Bacteria are everywhere, on everything, in everything. Some bacteria are beneficial, they help us digest foods, they created vitamins from nutrients in foods that did not contain vitamins. Some bacteria are harmful, and if you get them inside of you they will cause pain, discomfort, illness or death.
E-Coli is a bacteria that is most commonly found in the intestines and feces of warm blooded mammals. E-coli strains can be benign, they are know to create the vitamin K-2 for us. Vitamin K2 can be created in your intestines by your resident E-coli bacteria, and it is good for your artery health, and bone health.
E-coli is also a bacteria that can kill you. Certain strains of the bacteria that are harmful are typically found on feedlot cattle. Feedlot cattle are slaughtered in common with thousands of cattle per day, and all of them are smeared with feces, a product of industrialized meat production methods. Consumer Reports has done a study of meat and the article about the results “How Safe is Your Ground Beef?” is available online.
Long story short, any ground beef you buy at the grocery store is going to have e-coli contained in it.
“More Sustainably Produced” means no antibiotics, organic meats. Such meat is still produced industrially, it is just treated a bit better at the feed lot. The bacteria is found on the carcass of some animals, but the meat trimmings that make up hamburger are from a host of animals, and they are ground in common machinery–sustainably produced mixed in with conventionally produced. The contamination spreads through the facility and practically all hamburger in the facility ends up with evidence of fecal bacteria contamination.
“We suggest that you choose what’s labeled ‘grass-fed organic beef’ whenever you can,” Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Food Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports says. Aside from the animal welfare and environmental benefits, grass-fed cattle also need fewer antibiotics or other drugs to treat disease, and organic standards and many verified grass-fed label programs prohibit antibiotics. Sustainably raised beef does cost more (learn why grass-fed beef costs more), but it’s the safest—and most humane—way for Americans to enjoy our beloved burgers . . . cooked to medium, of course.
Grass fed beef do not stand cheek to haunch next to feces covered animals, on a concrete slab six inches deep in cow waste. They are not fed an unnatural diet that is a cocktail of deadly-to-them grains, antibiotics, and growth hormones. They are more expensive but eating hamburger from such an animal almost never leads to an emergency room trip, or even hot-trots to the bathroom.