Health Buzz: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Poultry Hatchery

A plant-based diet for a competitive edge; don't mistake 'natural' for 'good'

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The 37-State Salmonella Outbreak is Linked to Live, Baby Poultry From a New Mexico Hatchery

A total of 316 people among 37 states have been infected with the outbreak strain of salmonella, according to reports to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC's Aug. 19 update states that, after interviewing 196 of the 199 people who had become ill from the outbreak, researchers found that 81 percent of them had contact with live poultry, and 97 percent of them bought poultry from agricultural feed stores. Researchers investigated which feed stores and companies these people visited, identified the 18 mail-order hatcheries that supplied the poultry and then conducted more research to find a link between the outbreak and the chicks, ducklings and other live baby poultry from Privett Hatchery in Portales, N.M.

To reduce the risk of a salmonella infection from live baby poultry, the CDC suggests washing hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching chicks, ducklings, goslings and baby turkeys. Parents, supervise young kids as they wash their hands to make sure they're being thorough, the CDC adds. (In the current outbreak, 59 percent of ill people are children ages 10 and younger.) Be aware of symptoms of salmonella, too, which include diarrhea, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramps. See more tips on staying safe here.

A Plant-Based Diet for a Competitive Edge

I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete, writes U.S. News blogger Brendan Brazier. The problem was: I wasn't good at any sports. Not enough fast-twitch muscles fibers to be fast and not enough endurance to go long. At best, I was average and realized from an early age that I'd have to work harder and smarter than others if I were to offset my lack of athletic ability enough to make sports an occupation.

It became apparent to me that recovery was a huge factor; the faster I would be able regenerate muscle fiber, the more training I could do in less time. Simply, it meant I would have the physical ability to work harder than the rest. And, as I soon found, 80 percent of recovery could be attributed to quality of nutrition.

So my focus went on what I ate, motivated by the fact that it would increase my odds of having a professional career as an athlete. The shift toward clean, plant-based eating allowed me to forge a seven-year profession as an Ironman triathlete out of average ability. [Read more: A Plant-Based Diet for a Competitive Edge]

Don't Mistake 'Natural' for 'Good'

I see the world "natural" all the time on food packaging, where it's supposed to imply that the products therein described as natural must be healthful. And it's not just on food, writes U.S. News blogger Yoni Freedhoff. I've seen "natural" claims on cosmetics, cleaning supplies, clothing and furniture – you name it, it's on it.

But what does "natural" mean, and does it really mean it's better for us?

Rather than debate the definition, let's simply take the word "natural" to represent a product with a set of ingredients that are all derived directly from nature, where human-made "chemicals" need not apply.

For consumers, it appeals to our belief that if it came from the earth, it must be good for us. I think that belief, also known as the natural fallacy, is not only incredibly ill-informed, it's also incredibly arrogant. [Read more: Don't Mistake 'Natural' for 'Good']

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