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Disclosure: this is NOT a sponsored post (no compensation, product, or freebies were offered to entice me to write it), and is neither written nor endorsed by Good Farms. Per usual, the choice of subject matter and all of the opinions here are mine. This is the first of my posts inspired by #ExpoWest 

This weekend was the industry meeting, trade show, and adult trick-or-treating extravaganza known as Natural Products Expo West: a gathering of more than 100,000 people with exhibits/booths for more than 3,000 companies. For 2017, I can’t think of a better find to spotlight than Good Farms. Remember my last post about food waste? I had a lot of conversations around food waste at Expo West (which itself produces quite a bit of waste, but that’s a subject for another time). One of the most promising trends in the natural foods space is using “waste” products instead of putting them in the trash. (All that fancy coconut water people are sipping? Did you ever think about where the rest of the coconut goes?)

Enticed by strawberry juice! Friday morning I made my way to the Arena section, an entire room I missed last year, when I came upon a booth decked out in strawberries with a video slide show. If you know me, you know I’m a total strawberry junkie: I have fond memories of spending a day each summer picking strawberries with my family at Blessed’s Strawberry Farm (“one for the basket, two for me”) and filling the “way back” of the station wagon with berries; when I lived in Oregon I anxiously awaited the annual Burgerville strawberry milkshake season; most recently I wait for the spring farmer’s markets to open so I can buy directly from the farmers. When I saw strawberries, I was drawn like a bee to a blossom and let me tell you–SO worthwhile!

Right,back to the juicy goodness. Good Farms’ cold-pressed, organic strawberry juice is simply wonderful. You can smell the strawberries as the cup nears your face (since the juice is not heated, the volatile organic compounds that create the strawberry’s aroma remain mostly intact). The juice tastes just like biting into a strawberry, minus the pulp and seeds. It is very flavorful–I could see using a few splashes in my fizzy water to make a refreshing mocktail. While I didn’t check the nutrition label, I know it is fruit juice…so I’m glad it comes in 14.5 ounce bottles instead of gallons (as otherwise I’d drain the whole jug much too quickly). If you’d like to get your hands on some, try Costco, Whole Foods, Chick-fil-A, Panera, and meijer. (Note those are the Good Farms partners, not necessarily all of them will have the strawberry juice, which is currently in limited production.)

Boxed berries with a glass of the juice

Ugly reject strawberries make great juice. That’s because there are nothing wrong with the strawberries, which come from organic strawberry farms in Mexico; they simply don’t meet the beauty standards supermarkets set for strawberries. Using these berries instead of treating them like garbage not only results in delicious juice, it also makes sure farmers get paid for their crop, farmworkers can earn a better wage (more sold produce = higher profit = more money to pay wages), and it is a responsible use of the resources that went into farming the berries in the first place (including water, soil/dirt/land, and labor). Finally, it prevents the berries from ending up in a landfill, where they would either remain intact for centuries (as in a standard landfill, where the ever-increasing materials on top deprive those on the lower levels of the air necessary to rot), or decay and produce gases and contribute to climate change (if put onto a dump-style trash pile).

But wait, there’s more! If you’re following along to this point, you may have the same question I had: “Wait, after the strawberries are juiced, what happens to the smushed-up berry parts?” That’s wasted, right? WRONG! At Expo West I had the opportunity to talk to some of the Good Farms project team. The great guys in the booth were kind and patient with all of my questions. They explained that the juice project is currently a small operation–two trucks of berries per week–because it is important to get the process, production, and finished product done well before scaling up. (That way you can scale as time and resources permit, staying true to your original vision.) They are working to connect the farms with secondary markets for the smashed berry parts, such as companies that make all-fruit frozen pops. I imagine those berries would also be useful to companies that make yogurt, smoothies, and dried fruit products.

It’s not just about the strawberries–it’s about the farmers. Every piece of produce has people behind it. In the US, we have typically treated farm workers poorly. While I haven’t studied the socio-economics of why, I imagine the shift from slave labor to poorly paid sharecropper labor (read: racism and the resulting racial and economic inequality) play a role. The framers of the US Constitution were landed, white gentry who definitely thought themselves more valuable and worthy than everyone else (e.g. the First Nations who already lived in the Americas, slaves, indentured servants, women). The Good Farms strawberry farms are in Mexico; in the US the workers who pick strawberries are almost always migrant farm workers, typically without access to education, social services, or medical care. Farm workers tend to move to follow the crops (where the work is), which means children who should be in school may be in multiple schools each school year, every year, making them more likely to fall behind academically and less likely to graduate from high school or pursue higher education. Female farm workers are subject to a high level of sexual harassment and assault, often at the hands of the bosses who are supposed to be protecting them. One report I heard on NPR (morning of 3/13/17) estimated that 45% of the farm workers in California are undocumented, which means they don’t enjoy many of the legal protections that US workers are entitled to, such as minimum wage, rest periods, and meal breaks. It also means that women who are sexually harassed or abused are less likely to seek help for fear of being deported and separated from their children. California only recently (since I moved here in 2008) passed laws mandating access to shade and clean drinking water for farm workers. We’ve got a LONG way to go here.

Good Farms is moving the needle. Good Farms is a stakeholder in the Equitable Food Initiative (EFI). You can read more about EFI on their website, but the basic gist is this: treating workers better (through fair wages and labor practices, access to education, sensible pesticide policies, proper protective equipment and safety protocols) is the right thing to do. EFI goes beyond third-party audits (like when OSHA shows up to spot-check your operation) by creating an on-farm team that is responsible for implementation and maintenance of their program. EFI partners include the United Farm Workers Union and Oxfam America. This is true of all of their farms, not just the strawberry farms. The Good Farms strawberry farms are also fair trade, certified by Fair Trade USA. You probably don’t even consider whether terrorists or slave-labor was involved in producing the food on your plate, but Good Farms does: C-TPAT (Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) helps them keep terrorists and terrorism out of the food chain by working with companies to protect and secure cargo, and with CIERTO to create transparent, safe labor contracts and help eliminate slavery. (Maybe you’ve heard about child slave labor used to obtain cacao? Slavery isn’t just a chocolate problem.)

I couldn’t capture the entire slide show, but you get the idea

A few other notables. Good Farms works with Feeding America and other food banks to donate produce instead of wasting it (not just strawberries, of course), to the tune of 350,000 pounds in 2016. They have outside auditing for their organic standards (CCOF) and food safety (PrimusGFS). Good Farms helps their farmers in Mexico by partnering with Mexican social responsibility programs that educate workers on their rights and how to exercise them; they help undocumented Mexicans living in Mexico obtain birth certificates (because without them, you can’t fully participate or exercise your rights–yet many economically disadvantaged Mexicans have never had a birth certificate). Good Farms partnered with Costco to provide disaster relief. With IEEA they provide education to farmworkers, by giving children backpacks with school supplies they reduce barriers to childhood education, and by maintaining websites and consumer outreach they teach us how to eat more vegetables and enjoy them.

Food security is a privilege. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are a lot like me: safe place to sleep tonight, not worried about where my next meal is coming from, enough income from my relatively-cushy job (where I do not perform manual labor in a hunched-over position like the farm workers in this video on the UFW facebook page) to make discretionary purchases, leisure time to pursue personal interests. I’ve never gone to bed hungry because I have always had access to plenty of food. My parents had access to education and paved the way for my life, where I had even better opportunities. Most of the world is not so lucky. I’m willing to pay a little more for a quality product that improves the lives of those whose work produces the food on my table, because I can.

How about you?

 

Update! Many of the sales, deals, discounts, and codes are good through Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday. I’ve made notes where I was able to verify the information; if there is no note about expiration, it might have just been a Friday thing.

Note: exactly ZERO of these are sponsored promotions, and exactly ZERO of the links below are affiliate links. (If that changes, I’ll make a note by the specific product or link.) Inclusion of a product/race/service on this list isn’t an endorsement, though I have reviewed many of these products. The information below comes from email sent to me, twitter, and instagram. Did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let me know!

APPAREL

2XU–verified still active Saturday
40% off site-wide
Selected products up to 70% off
www.2xu.com

Aaptiv (apparel and gear)
25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY
https://store.aaptiv.com

ABombApparel
45% off plus free swag with code blackfriday45
https://www.abomb-apparel.com/

Alo Yoga–verified still active Saturday
30% off full-price (up to 70% off sale) with code ALO30
www.aloyoga.com

Bombas–verified still live on Saturday
20% off site-wide with code HOLIDAY20
https://bombas.com

Brooks–verified still live on Saturday
30% off select styles
Spend $120 get a free holiday tech tee or holiday socks
www.brooksrunning.com

BUFF–valid through Monday
25% of everything with code CYBERSALE
www.buffusa.com

Chase This Skirt–verified still live on Saturday
30% off store-wide (no code needed)
www.chasethisskirt.com

Fellow Flowers–good through SUNDAY!
10% off when you spend $50  code Holiday10
15% off when you spend $100 code Holiday15
20% off when you spend $125 code Holiday20
http://fellow-flowers.myshopify.com/

Handful
Buy 2 regular-price bras, get a free scoop neck tank
$10 off a $50 purchase with code #ShopSmall (Saturday)
https://handful.com/

Inversion Junkies–good through TUESDAY!
BOGO leggings with code BLACKFRIDAY16
inversionjunkie.com/collections/leggings

Legend Compression–good through MONDAY!
20% off $50+
30% off $100+
40% off $150+
code CYBERWEEK16
http://www.legendcompressionwear.com

Mizuno
20% off with code WHYWAIT20
www.mizunousa.com

Nuu Muu (athletic dresses)–good through 11/29!
25% off with code THANKYOU16
https://nuu-muu.com/

Oiselle–valid through Sunday!
15% off orders of $100+
20% off orders of $200+
30% off orders of $300+
www.oiselle.com

PACT (organic cotton clothes)–valid through the weekend
30-70% off site-wide on Friday, no code needed
https://wearpact.com

Pavement Runner/WeRunSocial–ongoing!
Everything marked down to $16 or less
http://pavementrunner.com/shop/

Physiclo (compression with resistance!)
save 25% with code HOLIDAY25
https://physiclo.com

PopFlex Active–valid through 11/28!
25% off all clothes and mats with code blackfri
http://www.popflexactive.com

Pro Compression–valid through Saturday!
50% Black Styles with code BLK
Free shipping on orders over $20
http://procompression.com/black-to-the-basics/

Raw Threads–valid through 11/28
15% off site-wide with code BLACKFRIDAY
25% off orders $100+ with code BLACKFRIDAY25
Free shipping (no code needed)
www.rawthreads.com

Reebok–verified still active on Saturday
50% off the Black Friday Collection code BF50
http://www.reebok.com/us/black_friday_collection

Simply Workout
30% (more on sale items!) with code TURKEYDAY
25% off with code BIGDEAL25
www.simplyworkout.com

Skirt Sports–valid through MONDAY!
15% off everything code BLACKFRIDAY15
Free shipping with $40 minimum purchase
www.skirtsports.com

SLS3 (compression)–valid through 11/28
up to 80% off with code CYBER50
BF2016 for 50% off and free shipping (today only)
http://www.slstri.com/

Sparkle Skirts–MONDAY ONLY
Buy 3, Get 1 Free (limited to B3G1 collection, see link)
FREESHIP2016 (covers up to $15 shipping fees)
http://www.sparkleskirts.com/collections/b3g1

Spiritual Gangster–verified valid on Saturday
40% off with code NAMASTE40
https://www.spiritualgangster.com/

Thorlos–valid through 12/31
30% off select clearance
Buy 3, get the 4th free
Free shipping in the US
https://www.thorlo.com

Toe Sox–verified valid on Saturday
25% off everything with code BESTSALEEVER
www.toesox.com

BODY CARE

Bunny Butt Apothecary–to 11/28
(small business soap, body cream, and more–delicious!)
25% off with code BLACKBUNNY16
http://bunnybuttapothecary.com/

Out of Africa–through 12/2
(fair trade, sustainable, cruelty-free, and more!)
20% off with code THANKSGIVING20
http://outofafricashea.com

Sumbody–CYBER MONDAY ONLY
free shipping on orders $35+ and a gift with code CYBER16
www.sumbody.com

EVENTS

Coastal Trail Runs/Zoom
20% off races through midnight only code blkfriday20
www.coastaltrailruns.com

Divas Half Marathon & 5k Series–valid through 11/28
$5 off any race with code THANKS16
http://www.runlikeadiva.com/

FitFam’s Elfie Run (benefits Toys for Tots!)
20% off with code BLACKFRIDAY20
http://elfie.run/

Hospital Hill–MONDAY ONLY
20% off with code Cyber17 (not valid on the family pricing package)
www.hospitalhillrun.com

Livermore Half Marathon–valid through MONDAY
The Town’s Half Marathon
$10 off with code THANKFUL2016
(apologies for the ugly link below, but imathlete wasn’t doing me any favors)
https://www.imathlete.com/events/EventReg/EventReg_SelectType.aspx?fEID=37198&fNew=1&fsource=imAEOverview

Mad Marathon–SUNDAY AND MONDAY only
$60 for either the 2016 Mad Marathon or Mad Half
www.madmarathon.com

The Phoenix Marathon
$20 off with code BFRIDAY20 (full and half only) until 11/29
http://thephoenixmarathon.com

PIG RUN of Lake Nona–Lucky 7th!
$5 off with code TURKEYPIGGY
http://www.pigrunoflakenona.com/

Seasick Events: Coast to Crest and Carmel Valley Trail
The Coast to Crest race is set for May 6, 2017 while the Carmel Valley trail race is set for Sept 9th, 2017. Registration for 40% off, this weekend only. Register for both events at once and receive 25% off automatically, AND if you include the code “HOLIDAY” you will receive an additional 15% off…  A TOTAL OF 40% OFF*!! (Registering for one event saves 15% off that event.)
www.seasickevents.com

Spartan Races
25% off all races with code HOLIDAY
Sale on gear & apparel
www.spartan.com

Surf City–valid through MONDAY
$20 off the half or full marathon with code BLACKFRIDAYSCM
https://www.imathlete.com/events/EventReg/EventReg_SelectType.asp

Todos Santos Half Marathon–MONDAY ONLY
$45 half marathon with code GRATITUDE
http://www.runtodossantos.com

Willamantic Classic–MONDAY ONLY
$6 off any distance with code CYBER
Introducing the Hop TWO It Relay option for the Half Marathon!
Two person teams, with the handoff at the Jillson Square midpoint of the race, convenient one stop parking, running, AND cheering plus fun team finisher medals. $55 on Cyber Monday, price goes up to $60 after.
http://www.willimanticathleticclub.org/Willimantic_Classic.html

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FOOD & NUTRITION

Aloha
30% off site-wide wide code FRIDAY SATURDAY
aloha.com

Amazing Greens
50% off with code HOLIDAY2016 through Monday!
free shipping on orders $75+
https://www.amazinggrass.com/store

Amino Vital–valid through MONDAY
30% off with code HOLIDAY
www.amino-vital.com

Amrap Nutrition
30% off on Amazon.com with code AMRAP300

Banza (delicious chickpea pasta, made in Detroit!)
Buy one, send one to a friend! Select items, through Monday 11/28
Deal page is here

Bodybuilding.com
BOGO on select items
www.bodybuilding.com

BSN–cyber MONDAY!
15% off all BSN Edge products
http://www.gobsn.com/offer/cybermonday.html

Buff Bake
15% off site-wide
extra savings with code cybermonday
www.buffbake.com

Detour Bar–MONDAY ONLY
entire site 30% off (no code required)
http://www.detourbar.com

Direct Eats–new! Valid Saturday and Sunday!
save 10% (off $75), 15% ($150), or 20% ($200) with code BLACKFRIDAY
15% off selected products from small businesses
www.directeats.com

EAS
25% off select items
www.eas.com

EBOOST
40% off with code THANKS40; free shipping over $40
https://www.eboost.com

Energy Bits.–now through Monday
20% off with code BAIN
$5 shipping to the U.S. for up to five bags of bits
http://www.energybits.com

Enjoy Life Foods (great for those with allergies!)–to 11/28!
10% off site-wide, 20% off orders $50+, 30% off orders $65+ code THANKFUL
http://shop.enjoylifefoods.com/

Hammer Nutrition
Free ultra gel sampler kit with order, use code WS16E
15% off fuels
20% off supplements and accessories
30% off clothing
50% off clearance
http://www.hammernutrition.com/
(Not an affiliate link, but if you want to tell them I sent you, I would LOVE that.)

ieatprotein
30% off with code EAT30
www.ieatprotein.com

Inside Tracker— valid through MONDAY!
Best deal of the year on the Ultimate plan!
https://www.insidetracker.com/customer/onboarding/choose-plan/
25% off any other Inside Tracker plan with code BLRF25OFF
https://www.insidetracker.com/customer/store/create-account

Kuli Kuli (moringa super foods)
15% off with code GRATITUDE (ends Sunday)
https://www.kulikulifoods.com/products

MeStrength
25% off with code VeryMerryMestrength (case sensitive)
www.mestrength.com

No Meat Athlete (with friends!)
The Plant-Based Fitness, Meal Plan, Cookbook, and Habit Change Bundle for $95 (individually priced items total $1,000+)
https://go.nomeatathlete.com/nma-bundle-2016

NuGo Nutrition
25% off all NuGo bars, free shipping on orders over $50 with code THX4U (through 11/28/16)
http://store.nugonutrition.com/products

Nuun
20% off + free shipping with code OPTOUTSIDE2016
https://nuunlife.com/shop

Quest
Through MONDAY!
$5 OFF any orders $45 – $69.99
$15 OFF any orders $70 – $94.99
$30 OFF any orders $95 – $250
(limit $250 per household)
https://store.questnutrition.com/

Run Gum
25% off through Monday
$5 off an order of $50+
$10 off an order of $100+
$20 off an order of $200+
free standard shipping
https://getrungum.com/collections/2016-black-friday-cyber-monday

Penzey’s Spices
Love Boxes discounted (through 11/27)
$4 off Black Pepper ½ cup (through 11/30)
Vanilla discounted
www.penzeys.com

Seven Seas Teas
40% off with code GREENFRIDAY7
http://www.lovesevenseas.com/

Thrive Market
25% off everything
www.thrivemarket.com

Ultima Replenisher
All flavors and sizes discounted in their store on Amazon.com

Vega
All products discounted; spend $100 and get a limited edition Mizu bottle plus free shipping (limited number available, ends 11/27)
https://myvega.com/products/categories/all

Vegan Proteins–valid through MONDAY!
50% off all Plant Fusion proteins, code CYBER50
Free variety pack with any Protes purchase (no code)
2 Free Badass Cookies when you buy a box
Buy a $100 gift card, get $15 gift card free (good until 12/31)
http://www.veganproteins.com 

Youth H2O
60% off Bloomin’ Apple flavor (discount reflected in pricing)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QIVE4ES/?th=1

Yuve (vegan protein shakes)
25% off with code bf2016
https://www.getyuve.com/

GEAR

6 Pack Fitness
40% off site-wide, 20% off elite bags (no code needed)
20% off sauces and accessories (no code needed)
http://www.sixpackbags.com/

Believe training journals
30% off with code BELIEVERS
www.believeiam.com

FitBook
$49 BlackFriday Bundle
Spend $30+ get a free blender bottle with code BLACKFRIDAY
www.getfitbook.com

FitMark Bags
10% off $50+ with code BF10
15% off $100+ with code BF15
20% off $150+ with code BF20
25% off $200+ with code BF25
Plus a free gift with each order
http://fitmarkbags.com/

The Hollywood Trainer/Jeanette Jenkins
DVDs priced at 50% off!
http://www.thehollywoodtrainer.com/shop/

Kurgo (gear for your four-legged buddy!)
40% off everything with code CYBERSALE through 11/29
www.kurgo.com

Orange Mud–new codes valid through SUNDAY
15% off everything
Free headwrap with purchase
Free shipping (USA) or $10 shipping
Code: BKFDY
10% off $100+ with code SB10
15% off $150+ with code SB15
20% off $250+ with  code SB20
25% off $350+ with code SB25
30% off $500+ with code SB30
www.orangemud.com

Run Ink–through Sunday!
20% off the USA Race Chart with code INSTATURKEY
www.runink.net

SPIbelt–valid through MONDAY!
20% off with code HOLIDAY20
http://spibelt.com

The Color Run
50-60% off everything in the Color Run store
Free shipping for orders over $25
http://store.thecolorrun.com/

Trigger Point
30% off everything on the site with code NOEXCEPTIONS (through Monday, 11/28)
https://www.tptherapy.com/shop

TRX (suspension trainers and more!)
20% off all; 25% off $100+; 30% off $200+ with code BEST16
https://offers.trxtraining.com/black-friday-sale

TRAINING & COACHING & EDUCATION

Barre3–valid through 11/29
50% off barre3 online subscriptions and prop kits
http://shop.barre3.com/

Brett Hoebel
30% off the 20 Minute Body trilogy
http://20minutebody.com/discounts/fitfriend

IDEA 
40% off everything in the store with code FRIDAY40
www.ideafit.com

MobilityWOD
20% off Movement and Mobility 101 with code blackfriday2016
mobilitywod.myshopify.com/products/the-starrett-system-movement-mobility-101
Nathalia Melo-Wilson (trainer)
Monthly membership $5.99 with code melo1
Six month membership $29.94 with code melo2
Year membership $47.88 with code melo3
www.melomafia.com

Run Lean, Run Strong from RunningShoesGuru
save 65% until Monday
http://www.runningshoesguru.com/runlean-65off/

RunSmart Online–valid through 11/27
50% off downloads
Up to $200 off on run form analysis
Runsmartonline.com

Tracy Anderson Method
Spend $200, save 15%
Spend $500, save 20%
Buy 6 months streaming, get 1 free
www.tracyanderson.com

Vi by LifeBeam
Pre-order $199 today only (that’s $80 off)
https://www.getvi.com

Yoga Is… (online conference recordings)
25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY
https://by203.infusionsoft.com/app/orderForms/YOGA-IS-Online-Festival

YogaFit
15% off all 2017 yoga teacher trainings with code GIVETHANKS17
http://www.yogafit.com/

Xen Strength Yoga
30% off everything in the shop code holidayxen
http://xenstrength.com

It’s national Get Smart About Antibiotics Week. (I discovered this by accident, so I’m sharing it widely.)  Appropriate too, as we’re moving into cold and flu season AND about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Did your Thanksgiving turkey take any antibiotics?  Unfortunately unless you’ve sought out a drug-free bird, you’ll never know.

Earlier this week I participated in a twitter chat with Center for Disease Control (CDC) experts Dr. Tom Chiller, Dr. Lauri Hicks, and Dr. Loria Pollack (#SaveAbx), and if I could communicate just one thing from that chat it would be this:

I view antibiotics as a resource like fisheries or a forest. If we don’t protect them, they will be gone.    –Dr. Daniel Uslan

antibiotics get smart

We haven’t discovered any significant new antibiotics in over 20 years. Antibiotic resistance leads to infections that have limited or no treatment options.

Antibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed drugs used in human medicine (and also among the most commonly counterfeited drugs, so don’t even think about buying them on the internet). Most people do not understand how antibiotics work, yet the way we use antibiotics today directly affects how effective they will be in the future. Because they have been around for our whole lives and are relatively safe drugs—by which I mean few people die or suffer very bad side effects from taking them—the perceived risks of antibiotics are overlooked by the general public. We easily forget that antibiotics are a “social drug.” Each time you use an antibiotic, it becomes less effective for you AND for others.

Antibiotic Resistance
Antibiotic Resistance

Essentially it’s like bacteria evolution: the strongest (most drug-resistant) survive and reproduce, populating the world with eve more drug-resistant bacteria. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them, or failing to finish a course of antibiotics, promotes growth of antibiotic resistant bacteria (sometimes called “superbugs”). The Capital and Coast DHB in New Zealand reported that the risk of contracting EBSL (an antibiotic resistant superbug) in Singapore increases from 6.3% to a whopping 29.4% with hospitalization and antibiotic use. The CDC estimates that antibiotic resistance causes at least 2,049,442 illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the US alone. (In contrast, leukemia causes 22,569 deaths and homicide causes 16,259.) Of those, approximately 410,000 illnesses are caused by antibiotic resistant germs in food.

antibiotics animals

Antibiotic use isn’t just out of control in human medicine, but also in agriculture. Approximately 80% of antibiotics used in the US are given to food animals, not people. That we can protect people from getting infections from eating animal meat is a wonderful thing for public health; that most feedlots use antibiotics like cow-treats due to overcrowded and unsanitary conditions is not. Meat producers also pump antibiotics into all kinds of healthy animals to cause the animals to grow faster and bigger (which is good for their bottom line, but bad for the future use of antibiotics).

antibiotics cows

Antibiotics are an important tool we have to fight infections and maintain/protect health, but in order to keep them effective, we need to make sure they doctors and patients are making the right decisions about antibiotic use. Essentially, we need to use the right medicine for the right patient at the right time—this includes promptly identifying the specific disease-causing pathogen so that doctors can match the right drug to the right bug, prescribing antibiotics only when they are necessary and will be effective, and finishing the entire prescribed course of treatment.

antibiotics recommendations

 

HOW TO TAKE ACTION!

Preventing infections is the first step towards reducing antibiotic overuse.

  1. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands. Clean and cover cuts and scrapes.
  2. Follow best practices when cooking meat. Immediately clean surfaces and tools that touch raw meat. Keep raw meat separated from other ingredients (until cooking).
  3. Get a flu shot.

Be a responsible patient when seeking medical treatment.

  1. Don’t insist your doctor prescribe an antibiotic.
  2. If prescribed an antibiotic, take ALL the medication as directed.

Choose your food wisely.

  1. Buy meat from companies that pledge to use antibiotics responsibly.
  2. If you have the storage space, consider buying a share of an organically raised animal. Many farms offer “co-op” style buying.
  3. A few sources for turkeys: Diestel, D’Artagnan, Plainville Farms, Harvestland brand, Mary’s Free Range Turkeys. Check for turkey farmers in your area (a Google search is actually quite helpful)
  4. “The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.” Michael Pollan

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/

“Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work”

“Get Smart for Healthcare”

“Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work on the Farm”

“Get Smart About Antibiotics Week”

Antibiotic Resistance and Food Safety, Center for Disease Control website. http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/antibiotic-resistance.html

“Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Cost the U.S. Healthcare System in Excess of $20 Billion Annually.” PR Newswire. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/antibiotic-resistant-infections-cost-the-us-healthcare-system-in-excess-of-20-billion-annually-64727562.html

Sydney Baldwin, “You’ve Got Questions About Antibiotic Resistance; We’ve Got Answers” at the Food & Water Watch blog. http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/blogs/youve-got-questions-about-antibiotic-resistance-weve-got-answers/

Eliza Barclay. “Did Your Thanksgiving Turkey Take Any Antibiotics?” NPR. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/11/26/247377377/did-your-thanksgiving-turkey-take-any-antibiotics

“Bibliogaphy on Antibiotic Resistance and Food Animal Production: Scientific Studies (1969-2014). Pre Charitable Trusts. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2013/05/21/bibliography-on-antibiotic-resistance-and-food-animal-production

Martin Blaser, “Why antibiotics are making us all ill” on the Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jun/01/why-antibiotics-making-us-ill-bacteria-martin-blaser

“Getting Smarter: A Year of Action on Antibiotics” via the Pew Charitable Trusts. http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/collections/2014/11/getting-smarter-a-year-of-action-on-antibiotics

“Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.” (video) PBS Frontline. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hunting-the-nightmare-bacteria/
“Overuse of antibiotics in animals is dangerous for people.” (video) Consumer Reports. http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/3291481807001/

Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship (SHARPS) collaborative. http://www.sharpsgroup.org/

Lydia Zuraw, “FDA: Antibiotics Sales to Farms Up 16 Percent Between 2009-12” http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2014/10/antibiotic-sales-to-farms-up-16-percent/#.VGuulaPTmDZ

Let’s talk about suicide.

More than 39,000 people die each year from suicide. That is more than twice the rate in this country of homicidal deaths. One million people, annually, make a suicide attempt in the U.S. We need to think of these losses as preventable, as we already approach deaths from accidents and illnesses where prevention, early detection, and employing effective interventions are lifesaving.

Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D., “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” on The Huffington Post (see link below).

Knowing what you can do to prevent suicide is like knowing how to perform CPR: you hope you never have to use that knowledge, but if you’re ever in a situation where you do, you’ll be thankful you can. People who commit suicide are just like you. They have jobs and families. They experience stress. They might even seem “perfectly normal” to almost everyone around them. Some have faced joblessness and homelessness. Others are wildly successful at their careers and own multiple houses. You might know someone who has tried to commit suicide (and maybe you don’t even know it). You have absolutely no way of knowing whether you, a family member, a co-worker, or a friend may become suicidal in the future.

September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day, a collaboration of International Association for Suicide Prevention, the World Health Organization, and the World Federation for Mental Health. Consider this post a Public Service Announcement that YOU have the power to help prevent suicide.

I know several people who have contemplated or attempted suicide. In high school, one of my close friends was suspected of being suicidal, as was a mutual classmate of ours; both were taken to a mental health facility.  My friend was (and is) one of the smartest people I have ever met. She has a quick wit, easily learned anything she put her mind to learning from language to musical instruments, and was a prolific writer. People liked her and thought she was hilariously funny. My classmate–someone I didn’t know as well as I would have liked, mainly because she was so incredibly cool that she intimidated me–was gorgeous. She had beautiful wavy hair and the kind of looks that never needed  makeup to light up a room. Her sense of personal style was chic but not commercial; I admired her ability to create outfits and imagined she just rolled out of bed perfectly dressed. She was also very smart, artistic, and seemed to have a lot of friends. Another one of my high school classmates–funny, popular, involved in all sorts of extracurricular activities–exhibited some suicidal tendencies.  His family tried to help; while you might hesitate to call it suicide, he went rollerblading at night on a narrow dark street, wearing all black, with no ID.  These are just my high school friends; I know others too.

Please take five minutes out of your day to learn about suicide and what you can do to prevent suicide. Only have one minute? My friend Carlee is participating in the AFSP Out of the Darkness Walk in San Diego.  Today also happens to be her birthday, so if you have $5 please donate.  (If you don’t have $5, please consider skipping tomorrow’s trip to Starbucks?) From her campaign page you can also learn more about how you can participate in a walk yourself.

http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=561734

The number one piece of advice I have found to prevent suicide is to REACH OUT. Anxiety and depression are very common among adolescents and young adults (but also exist in all other populations!) and can lead to suicidal thoughts. Many of the articles I’ve read today suggest that a sense of connectedness and community are important in preventing suicide.

If nothing else, keep this number handy: Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

If you have reason to believe someone is in imminent danger of killing themselves, this is a life-threatening emergency. Call 911 or your local emergency number.

Other Resources:

The Crisis Text Line http://www.crisistextline.org/get-help-now/

Help A Friend In Need  https://fbcdn-dragon-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t39.2178/851574_196126063918794_1130524222_n.pdf

A collaboration among Facebook, The Jed Foundation, and The Clinton Foundation.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention http://www.afsp.org/

International Association for Suicide Prevention http://www.iasp.info/ @IASPinfo on twitter

Follow the links for World Suicide Prevention Day for quick reads on suicide prevention and more resources.

World Federation for Mental Health http://wfmh.com/

Among other resources, there is a downloadable guidebook called “Mental Illness and Suicide–A Family Guide to Facing & Reducing the Risks” available in English and Spanish.

Huffington Post: There are multiple articles posted today on this topic. Here is the link to the one I referenced above.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lloyd-i-sederer-md/world-suicide-prevention_b_5783596.html?ir=Healthy%20Living&utm_campaign=091014&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Alert-healthy-living&utm_content=Photo