Another Reason to Go Grassfed: Commercial Cows May Be More Prone to E Coli
thedailysheeple.com / Lily Dane / May 21st, 2014
Escherichia coli (E. coli) has been making the news lately, with recent cases reported in six states so far.
But where does the bacterium come from, and how can infection be avoided?
E. coli has an interesting history. It’s been around, well, probably forever – but the bacteria was first discovered in 1885 by German pediatrician Theodore Escherich. It is a normal resident of the intestines of humans and animals, and usually does no harm. In fact, Escherichia coli can be helpful – it keeps disease-causing bacteria from taking over.
It wasn’t until many decades after its initial discovery that scientists learned that some forms of E. coli are capable of causing serious disease and death.
The strain O157:H7 is the one you hear about in the news because it is the usual culprit in food-borne E. coli outbreaks. It is the third most deadly bacterial toxin, coming in behind the pathogens that cause tetanus and botulism. An epidemic spread by undercooked hamburgers from McDonald’s restaurants in Oregon and Michigan in 1982 led to the discovery of this strain.
So, why are we seeing more frequent – and more widespread – cases of E. coli O157:H7 in recent years?