As it turns out, the salmon you are eating may contain minute amounts of antibiotics. According to Vital Choices newsletter Chile’s Salmon Farms Accused of Drug and Worker Abuses:

Antibiotic abuse alleged
Regulations adopted by the United States and European Union restrict the use of antibiotics in salmon farming fairly strictly. But Chilean salmon farms are said to employ these vital human drugs in massive doses.

According to Ecoceanos and other sources, Chilean farms use 75 to 100 times more antibiotics per ton of salmon, compared with Norwegian farms.

Over the last decades, attention has been called to antibiotics in food — usually, in beef. Now we hear about antibiotics in fish. But what’s the big deal?

Remember, I’m not a doctor, but my understanding of antibiotics is that anti means "against" and biotic means "living beings" — such as bacteria. Against bugs. Against bacteria.

It’s my understanding of the use of antibiotics for humans is that, for example, if someone has the flu, the flu bug causes a rise in his temperature, which needs to be brought down. Antibiotics were found effective in bringing the temperature down, thus making the flu bug lose, and so he takes antibiotics to get better. You win over the bug. (If you’ve ever had the flu, you know what I mean.)

There are other uses for antibiotics. But they have adverse affects too: you can be allergic to an antibiotic (like getting red, hives or other adverse effects), antibiotics are hard on the system — and taking antibiotic pills kills the natural intestinal bacteria your body uses to break down food. Not good.

Antibiotics and Sick Salmon

Let’s look at that Vital Choices article again: eat that salmon from Chile and you’re likely also eating antibiotics. Why? Because salmon get sick in these farms and are treated with antibiotics for humans (wow!), so while you’re eating, you’re also killing the intestinal bacteria in your stomach. That’s what I call indigestion! In other words, antibiotics in fish or any other food are not beneficial for digesting the nutrients from your food. (By the way, if you have to take antibiotics, we’ve found that it can be helpful to take acidophilus in order to restore the "good" bacteria in your intestines — but better take that bottle of strawberry-apple flavored acidophilus with you next time you go to that upscale restaurant for you Salmon Almandine!)

What the heck are human antibiotics doing in salmon? A better question is: are we eating sick fish? And, in ingesting antibiotics in fish (or any other food), are we setting ourselves up for other problems? Read Antibiotic Overuse Fuels Drug Resistance from the Medical College of Wisconsin.

It’s pretty clear that ingesting antibiotics through eating fish is something to be avoided; after all, we’re not the ones who are sick.

As always, we think it’s best to know where your food is coming from and what’s in it. If you don’t, it can affect your health adversely. It’s up to all of us who buy food to see that the food we buy is healthful not harmful.

Buy helpful food — not harmful food,
George Vigil

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