"Here’s yet another reason to eat veggie burgers instead of hamburgers: Davis Creek Meats and Seafood recently recalled 129,000 pounds of potentially E. coli-contaminated beef that was sent to distributors and retailers in Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Studies have shown that when contaminated meat is recalled, only about half of it is actually recovered — the rest remains in grocery stores.

You can protect yourself and your loved ones from E. coli and other bacteria that live in the intestinal tracts and feces of animals by leaving meat and other animal products at the grocery store. Most farmed animals are crammed into filthy sheds and slaughtered on killing floors that are contaminated with feces and other bodily fluids. These unsanitary conditions have led to a rise in food-borne bacteria.

Plant-based foods, on the other hand, don’t normally harbor E. coli or other fecal bacteria. In fact, according to the USDA, 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh. When fruits or vegetables do become contaminated with E. coli, it is because animal manure was used to fertilize crops or leaked into waterways. Cross-contamination can also occur when fruits and vegetables are placed on the same surface as meat.

As more people adopt a meat-free diet, our dependence on cows and other farmed animals will diminish, therefore lessening the threat of E. coli contamination — and saving human and animal lives. For more information, veggie burger recommendations and recipes, see www.GoVeg.com.

Heather Moore

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

 

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