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Five months after a salmonella outbreak killed a California man and sickened 76 other Americans in 26 states, meat giant Cargill announced today that it’s recalling 36 MILLION pounds of ground turkey…one of the largest recalls of meat in our history.

The tainted turkey was produced at Cargill’s Springdale, Arkansas plant between February 20th and August 2nd and sold nationwide under brand names like Honeysuckle White, Shady Brook Farms, Fit & Active Fresh, Giant Eagle, H-E-B and Kroger.

If you buy ground turkey when it’s on sale and freeze it for later, go the Cargill website and click on the “8/3/2011 Product Recall List.” Check those brand names and then check your freezer. This nasty stuff is certainly NOT what you want in your frozen inventory!

Causing symptoms like diarrhea, fever and, occasionally, blood poisoning, it’s especially dangerous to the very young and the very old.

And, what makes it even worse, is that the exact strain of this pathogen, Salmonella Heidelberg, is also resistant to most commonly dispensed antibiotics…another indication that America’s modern factory farming methods–including the wide-spread use of antibiotics–may produce some cheap meat, but may also come with a steep price to public health.

Look, I’m not getting preachy here, or trying to make the ultimate case for better government oversight and regulation of factory farms, food safety and anti-biotic use.

And, even though the FDA shouted out a warning last year about the rampant use of antibiotics in factory farmed animals, this is not a political blog and there are many other organizations of scientists, doctors, and individual food journalists who can make that case far better than I can if you really want to hear it.

But, I am here to tell you, this latest food news is food for thought.

And just one more reason that, besides weight loss, living The Skinny is a better way of life.

If you simply  Eat More Things That Grow and Fewer Things That Walk, you’ll be eating a quarter of the animal you used to eat. Which means, when you do buy meat, you should really give yourself permission to buy local and organic, even if it does cost a bit more.

Honestly, even for me, it wasn’t easy at first.

When cheap factory churned chicken was 99 cents a pound, it took more than a little bit of will power for me to cough up 4.99  a pound for the locally grown and organic bird.

And, that’s not to say that even if you do spend more it’s completely safe. Even small farms have safety issues from time to time.

But, those farms are far less likely to pump their birds up with antibiotics to solve the ills of overcrowding that factory poultry have.

And the distance from farm to table reduces the health risks even further.

So, as you’re changing your weight, your health, and your life by easing up on the animal, remember today’s news and pony up for the extra cost of local, organic and humanely raised meat.

The choice of using less meat and better meat won’t just make you skinnier…the conditions in which your meat was raised and processed won’t make you sick.

For more on today’s news see:

The LA Times   New York Times  Mother Jones





About Lisa McRee

After 25 years as a local and network anchor, Lisa was just another American mother struggling, and failing, to lose weight. Finally, she cracked the code, and lost 30 pounds, quickly and for good, by doing what she loves: reporting, cooking and eating! The Skinny is the inside story on how she did it, and how you can, too!
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