Cow + Corn = E. Coli

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So we know E. coli is a problem in beef processing, when fecal matter inadvertently transfers to meat. Cows naturally create E. coli in their stomachs, but the introduction of corn into their feed (cows are traditionally herbivores) evolved and multiplied the E. coli into much greater proportions…According to Michael Pollan, author of the Omnivore’s Dilemma, if we took cows off of a corn diet for 5 days they would shed 80% of the E. coli in their bodies. But corn marbles the meat with desirable fat, so producers don’t want to do that. So what do they do instead?
They develop an experimental vaccine to inject into cattle that supposedly makes them immune to E. coli. Do we not see we are solving a problem with yet another problem? Read more about the high levels of corn (and its derivatives) already in
our diet.

Dec. 17 2009 |
  1. Bill Marler

    Not quite so fast. Please take a look at this post:

    Pathogenic E. coli has been found in grass fed, organic, range fed beef. More research is needed.

  2. jane

    Of course the issue is not black and white, and I agree with you that more research is needed. But I still believe cattle should be fed what they were meant to eat — grass, not grain. Any complications that ensue (e.coli, mad cow disease, etc.) are results of farmers going against nature for the sake of some marbling.

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