June 15, 2011
E. coli epidemic sprouts attacks against organic vegetables
By now, you’ve probably heard about the horrific epidemic of E. coli fast spreading around Europe. So far, over three dozen people have died and over 1,600 are sick — many needing kidney dialysis or transplants. The source of the outbreak was claimed to be an organic bean sprout farm near Hamburg, Germany. As a result, the attacks against organic foods are on the rise.
Even if this source of E. coli is from organic food, are organics really to blame? First, E. coli is usually a harmless resident of our intestinal tracts. But, even inside us, sometimes our friendly flora can turn nasty. In this case, the E. coli strain has developed genetic traits that make it highly invasive, and toxin producing. These toxins can cause the liver and kidney to shut down. And to make matters worse, this spreading germ is highly antibiotic resistant!
In fact, this E. coli germ is a combination of traits never before seen. “I’ve never seen this array of virulence and antibiotic resistance. It’s a very unique combination.” That’s what Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, said of the strain.
While it’s possible nature could have created such a unique bacteria, it’s also possible its antibiotic resistance comes from previous exposure to antibiotics. And it’s possible the bug could have attacked any farm, even one using pesticides, herbicides, or genetically modified crops. So it’s not a fair attack on organics. We see plenty of these outbreaks on non-organic farms.
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With that said, how can you make sure you don’t become a victim of E. coli? Let me offer some tips on how to avoid contracting this and other food borne illnesses.
The most common source of E. coli contamination is on meat. Horrible factory slaughterhouse practices make them a prime target for the bugs. These factories would rather irradiate the meat than keep their equipment and methods clean. To avoid contamination, you’ll have to cook the meat. And be careful handling any conventionally killed raw meat product. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat.
But meat isn’t the only source. Unfortunately, we’re seeing contamination of veggies. I’ve always suggested you move to organic food sources than non-organic. In light of this outbreak, am I changing my recommendations? No! Organic veggie and fruit farms have greater controls than conventional. So I still think they’re safer. But you still need to protect yourself.
Consider soaking your produce in hydrogen peroxide mixed with water. Mix a ¼ cup of conventional 3% peroxide in a gallon of water. There are additional soaks to clean your fruit/veggies you can find online. I’ve also used Clorox – use 1 tsp to a sink-full of water. The small amount of sodium chlorite in the bleach won’t hurt you. (In fact, your own body makes sodium chlorite to kill invaders.) Soak the food for about five minutes. There’s nothing that’s guaranteed to work except growing your own food. But these measures can reduce not only bacterial contamination, but also chemical as well.
If you do get food poisoning, please know where your closest oxidation doctor is. My friend, and Real Cures editor Frank Shallenberger has just established the American Academy of Ozonotherapy. The website is under construction www.aaot.com. Once it’s up and running, you’ll have a great source for trained oxidation doctors. In the meantime, you can find oxidation doctors listed at www.oxygenhealingtherapies.com. Any of these doctors also can administer high dose vitamin C, which works as an oxidation therapy. Ozone, ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy, or high-dose vitamin C can likely stop not only the acute infection but also destroy the toxins made by the bacteria.
PS. I am teaching a “how to” oxidation seminar in August. Any interested doctor can contact my office at 707-578-7787 for more information on learning the most effective and efficient oxidation therapies you can do. They will be able to administer these incredible therapies the very next day.