MOM: “How come the organic milk lasts so much longer?”

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One of the changes I’ve made since being diagnosed with cancer is that I only buy organic products, including milk. My mom, who usually just buys regular pasteurized milk, recently noticed that the organic milk seems to last so much longer. She asked me why.

“It’s the pus…” I answered. She looked at me a little confused.

Most people don’t know that the non-organic dairy industry is legally allowed up to 750,000 pus cells per ml of pasteurized milk. This means an 8-ounce glass of pasteurized milk can legally  contain up to 180 million pus cells.

PUS CELLS? Yep. The industry likes to call them ‘somatic cells,’ but this is just another name for pus – the same kind of pus that pops out of a zit on your face.

How does the pus get into the milk? Because non-organic dairy cows are raised in such crowded and unsanitary conditions that they are riddled with infection, particularly in their udders. Ever wonder why the non-organic dairy industry feeds their milk cows daily doses of antibiotics? Because of all these infections. But by using antibiotics so regularly, they can’t clear the infections in the cows. They can just keep them somewhat less threatening, producing less puss than if they just let the cows go untreated.

Organic milk comes from cows that aren’t treated with antibiotics. So why don’t they produce pus? Because they aren’t raised in conditions that result in infection. So when you pour yourself a glass of organic milk, you aren’t drinking down a pus milk-shake. Nor are you drinking down any antibiotic residue, which contributes to antibiotic resistance in humans.

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Pretty sick, right? But it’s true. Read on.

The problem of antibiotics being fed to livestock like dairy-producing cows is such a serious problem that the World Health Organization, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics expressed their concerns in an open letter to Congress: “The evidence is so strong of a link between misuse of antibiotics in food animals and human antibiotic resistance, that FDA and Congress should be acting much more boldly and urgently to protect these vital drugs for human illness. Overuse and misuse of important antibiotics in food animals must end.”

The FDA has announced plans to “phase out” use of antibiotics in livestock, but for now things remain the same. And unless dairy producers find better ways of protecting the health of their milk producing cows, taking them off antibiotics will result in more infection, not less. That’s more PUS…
Here’s an interesting video for those who like to get grossed out – but it illustrates the point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKTfkFIiQUw
And for a great article about the politics and problems of getting non-organic dairy producers to stop using harmful antibiotics click here:

ONE WEEK STAY IN THE HOSPITAL – AT PARENTS’ HOME RECUPERATING

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Stayed for one week at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, a hospital that started out in the mid 20th century as a resort (hence the inviting tower). Great care and food, but I was ready to check out of there. The less time in any hospital the better.

Infection in my lungs and legs (community-acquired Pneumonia and Cellulitis). Legs swelled up with fluid that ran out of room in my thighs and so creatively over-flowed into my groin, penis and testicles. The body really is amazing (and gross). Felt like an elephant for a few days. I’m headed back to normal, which in zoology terms is adequately (but averagely so) human. Healing due to antibiotics, of course. Amazing what antibiotics can still do despite increasing resistance due to the collaboration by big-PHARMA and big-FARM(Agriculture) to feed meat in the food chain daily doses of antibiotics like they were candies.

Had another chemotherapy treatment as well, because my cancer came back and we have to keep it in check.

And just in case anyone is keeping tabs, this hospital stay will be about $100,000 – just like the last one I had in April. That’s the American Health Care system for you, even after the ACA.

Should be home at my place next weekend. Need some hands-on care until then.