by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones
Factory-scale farms don’t just house hundreds of genetically similar animals in tight quarters over vast cesspools collecting their waste. They also house a variety of bacteria that live within those unfortunate beasts’ guts. And when you dose
the animals daily with small amounts of antibiotics—a common practice—the bacteria strains in these vast germ reservoirs quite naturally develop the ability to withstand anti-bacterial treatments.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria leave these facilities in two main ways. The obvious one is meat: As Food and Drug Administration data show, the pork chops, chicken parts, and ground beef you find on supermarket shelves routinely carry resistant bacteria strains. But there’s another, more subtle way: through the people who work on these operations.