The Deadly "Super Bugs" Are Coming
By James Donahue
For reasons thoroughly explained elsewhere on this site, my family and I have been
vegetarians for several years. After hearing a new warning of the dangers of consuming dairy products, we have now omitted cheese and butter from our list of acceptable
In spite of this, we were surprised when a recent meal that included a lettuce and fresh vegetable salad caused
us several hours of abdominal distress. We were stricken with a mild attack of E.coli living in the fresh head of lettuce purchased from our local grocery.
That my wife carefully pealed back most of the outer layers of that lettuce, and then washed the parts she put in the salad,
probably saved us from getting violently sick. There was still enough bacteria clinging to the folds of the leaves, however,
to turn our lower intestines into a burning oven from hell about two hours after we ate.
How could such a thing happen?
The event was examined by the psychic/remote viewer who saw this: A farm hand was cleaning pig pens with his bare hands on
a contaminated pitch fork handle before going into the fields to help load head lettuce for market. He did not stop between
jobs to wash his hands. He consequently contaminated every head of lettuce he touched. We bought one of the heads of lettuce.
During the time it sat in the back of a truck, under a hot summer sun, the bacteria from his hands multiplied by the
millions, filling every part of that warm, moist head of lettuce. Even though the lettuce was probably refrigerated after
it was delivered to a buyer, and remained under refrigeration until the moment we ate it, the damage was already done. Without
the extra caution taken in our kitchen, the innocent appearing vegetable might have hospitalized us, or worse.
that most people suffer from some form of food poisoning more
often than they realize. This mild "flu bug" they think they had, or the gas pains experienced a few hours after eating, are
more likely caused by an unwanted bacteria in the food. Blame the heat of global warming for the increase in food contamination.
Also blame carelessness on the part of food handlers who don't wash their hands after using the toilet.
When I recently
worked on a small newspaper in Arizona, there was a sick joke circulating among the staff. We rated the quality of area restaurants
by the frequency of times we got stomach aches after eating their food.
We joked about it, thinking the worst that
could happen to us was a brief period of discomfort and possibly a touch of diarrhea. Now, however, thanks to a new strain
of super bug, eating contaminated food is no longer a laughing matter. People are starting to die.
E. coli and salmonella have been invading our food for hundreds of years. A deadly new strain of E. coli, identified
by a number: 0157:H7, was first identified about 15 years ago. And it is among the hardiest
of bacterium. My wife, who works in a hospital laboratory, said she has watched E.coli grow after placing a small sample of
it in a petri dish. Once in contact with the warm, moist environment of the dish, the bacterium multiplies so fast you can
literally watch it fill the dish. I have to think it grew equally as fast through that warm, moist head of lettuce we ate.
a deadly outbreak of food poisoning at a Milwaukee restaurant, a reporter for a Wisconsin newspaper talked to Charles Kaspar, a microbiologist at the University of Wisconsin about this new super
bug. What Kaspar had to say was especially alarming.
The new strain of E. coli tolerates an acidic environment, so
it is not killed like other bacteria when it enters a human stomach, which is full of gastric acids. By the time it reaches
the digestive track in the colon, a hundred cells can multiply into millions. It can multiply so fast that the body's natural
defense mechanisms can be overwhelmed if the patient does not seek treatment.
E. coli 0157:H7 is most frequently
associated with ground beef. But it is present in many other animals and vegetables. This bug has been documented in birds,
deer, apple cider, and lettuce. It also has been found in lakes and swimming pools.
The bacterium does not seem to
make animals sick, but it has a big impact on humans. It is invisible to the naked eye so simply examining meat and vegetables
will not help you detect the presence of E.coli. The only way to be sure is to wash everything and then cook the food thoroughly.
Make sure the milk and juice you drink is pasteurized and all fruits and vegetables are well-washed if it is to be eaten raw.
of the growing threat of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or "mad cow disease," and strains of either E. coli or salmonella showing up in meat
and dairy products, my family has stopped eating them.
If you watch the news carefully, especially searching the internet
for "real" news reports, you will find some ominous stories about people getting sick and even dying from a variety of super
bugs, usually linked to something eaten in a fast food restaurant.
Even as I write this, authorities are tracking
the source of a new strain of salmonella, which has killed one person, sent seven others to hospitals, and caused an estimated
250 other persons to become ill in the western areas of the United States. This strain of salmonella is said to be resistant
to normal forms of treatment, which means that a new and heartier "super bug" is emerging in this variety of bacteria as well.
Because many of the victims are teenagers, public health officials say they suspect "some kind of food" is responsible for
the infection and that it may be coming from a fast food restaurant.
Our general rule now: Don't eat meat or dairy
products for fear of consuming a deadly prion that will eat your brains. And in the vegetable and fruit categories; if you
can't peal it, boil it or fry it, don't eat it. The bacteria it harbors could kill you.
Due to human carelessness,
eating no longer can be considered a pleasant experience. Chalk it up as a daily walk through a field of land mines.