Doctor's Note

Salmonella contamination is also a problem in the U.S. egg supply, sickening more than 100,000 people every year. See my video Total Recall.

Other pathogens in meat include Yersinia enterocolitica in pork (Yersinia in Pork), Staphylococcus (U.S. Meat Supply Flying at Half Staph), MRSA (MRSA in U.S. Retail Meat), Hepatitis E (Hepatitis E Virus in Pork), bladder-infecting E. coli (Avoiding Chicken To Avoid Bladder Infections), Clostridium difficile (Toxic Megacolon Superbug), and Campylobacter, the most common bacterial chicken pathogen (Poultry and Paralysis).

Poultry appears to cause the most outbreaks, but is all chicken to blame equally? See my video Superbugs in Conventional vs. Organic Chicken.

How is it legal for Foster Farms to continue to ship our meat known to be contaminated with a dangerous pathogen? See my previous video Why is selling Salmonella-Tainted chicken still legal? And stay tuned to hear more in my next video, Chicken Salmonella Thanks to Meat Industry Lawsuit.

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  • Jason

    Dr. Gregger, Thanks for all the work you do to bring nutritional awareness to so many people. Do you have a video or article that details what a whole food plant based diet should look like for athletes who train with weights ? I have seen several videos with tid bits of info, like B-12 and vitamin D intake as well as a few of the recovery videos, but I haven’t been able to find any single source that deals with proper diet for the entire day. Thanks for your help.

    • Aaron

      Just google Vegan bodybuilding and you should find somethings. Breakfast is usually oatmeal with berries and nuts. Definately incorporate beans, quinoa, salad and veggie burgers into you lunch/dinner

      • Jason

        Thanks Aaron, I did what u suggested and found a lot of conflicting information especially regarding the correct ratio of carbs, protein, and fats. Some even say to much protein may be problematic to health, but if your weight training and don’t eat enough protein how can you build muscle. So, is there and optimal plant based diet for bodybuilders that is supported by current research? If there is I haven’t been able to find one. It seems like the vegan bodybuilding information I have found suggest all the same macro nutrient ratios as any animal based diet. It makes me think the Vegan Bodybuilding plans are just modified from the meat based plans.

        • yardplanter


          Don’t get hung up on amounts. There is plenty of protein around in normal WF meals. You do not need massive quantities. Consider if you wanted to put on 2 lbs of muscle in a month ( that is a lot ). This is about 1kg. that in turns implies about 30 gms/ day. Estimates for ‘ normal folks ‘ who don’t lift is about 30 gms protein a day for maintenance. So at a max you need 60 gms or so for a wondrous 24 lbs of muscle in a year – if your are really pumping iron . On top of that our bodies know if it is in need of protein so it can recycle some of the protein that is broken down. Keep in mind It is just as important to have carbs around to maintain growth factors ( like IGF ) so that the amino acids can be used effectively and to keep the inflammatory response of working out to a minimum.

          Yes you do need to eat – and a lot…If you are 150-170 lbs and want to bulk up, you’ll need about 3000-3500 cal/day for sweaty 2-3 hr workout 4 x week but that needs to include less than that 60 gms of protein a day mentioned – probably closer to 40-50 gms. 2500 cal if you do 1-2 hrs.

          That protein accounts for 500-600 cal. What do you do with the rest of those 2000-3000? Well you need about 1500 just to keep walking. The remainder is what you use in those workouts.

          And yes, you can overdo protein even if from WF. Conversely – as a side note – the recent winner in the Biggest Looser showed a whopping 130 lbs loss and was on a 1300 cal/day diet. She was probably in ketosis !

          So follow something like McDougall’s program and snack on a slab of tofu/tomato/spinach whole grain sandwich and some dried apricots and blue berries right after a workout. You’ll be fine

          If you want some hard data see the “Plant Positive” series. There is a good section on body builders there.

          • Ben

            Plant positive is a crackpot Paleo site, is it not?

          • yardplanter

            Plant Positive is as Paleo as Romney is Democrat. No, Plant Positive ( as you might guess from the name ) is hard core WPF with more data than most can or are willing to consume and digest. He emusifies Traube, Lustig, Atilia to name a few lesser evils. Crushes Atkins and a host of other goblins like Minger.

            M. Greger is very kind/humerous in his presentations, Plant Positive is almost the alter-ego presenting data in a format Dr. Greger probably wishes he could use – stinging. My guess is that he is an epidemiologist or cardiologist- in any event someone with solid upper level biochemical training.

            Highly recommend the site if you are serious about WPF and want some ammunition in your pocket for your next encounter with someone who still believes high LDL is conducive to long life.

        • imvegan

          When you work out a lot and eat more calories you will automatically eat more protein, yes enough to build muscle. Try No meat athlete.

        • JacquieRN

          Does this help?

          1. A review article published in a 2006 edition of the “International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism” reports that excessive protein intake can be dangerous and is defined as consuming more than 35 percent of your daily calories from protein.

          2. The academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that consuming more than 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or about 0.82 grams of protein per pound, does not provide additional benefits when trying to build muscle.

          3. Rip Esselstyn’s book “My Beef with Meat” has a chapter for athletes – Plant Strong the Athletes X-Factor – that might be useful for you.

        • Alan

          You do not need a bunch of protein to gain muscle. Work out with your weights, and eat a diet of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains. Keep your protein and fat intake between 10 – 15% and the rest carbs.

          • Ben

            add the all important legumes to your list. Or is legumes covered by grains? Lentils and pumpkin seeds are great for bodybuilders.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.


          Go to this website PCRM (Physicians committee for Responsible Medicine)

          Fill in the information (Subject material is free they just want you to sign in) and click Submit.

          Go to the bottom of the page under the heading Nutrition Fact Sheets: General Nutrition and click the Protein Myth and Food Power for Athletes. Good straight forward information with some recipee’s. Neal Barnard, MD and his team have compiled a plethora of information and recipee’s that are healthy and provide optimal nutrition for everyone including athletes.

          Remember a baby triples it’s weight in it’s first year of life drinking only breast milk. With what we have been told about the importance of protein intake throughout our lives in the US we would think there must be a lot of protein in Breast Milk. I mean, come on, triples its size?!? WOW!

          There must be a whopping amount of protein, right?

          Breast milk is only 1% in protein. An Apple is one percent protein!

          The largest land animal on the planet is an elephant and it eats only plants.

          Our digestive system is most closely related to the Great Apes and they are plant based, and the Silver back males are extremely powerful!( Click the link for an exhaustive list of plants apes eat.

          Elephants and Apes get enough protein! Why can’t we? The point is, we can and we do!

          We have been protein-washed in the US because the Meat, Dairy, Fish and Egg councils want you to buy their products. If everyone knew they didn’t have to eat those cancer causing, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, autoimmune disease promoting foods to get adequate protein in their diet, those corporations wouldn’t make very much money! It’s totally profit driven.

          Anyway I hope the information from PCRM helps.

          • Adrien

            Breast milk only 1% ? Are you sure that this is not a mistake ? I always heard of 5%. Look at that:

            And scrolls down and read the “Corrections”.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.
          • HemoDynamic, M.D.


            Yes I understand what was said in the corrections and I am not drawing conclusions that we need only one percent protein. My point is we don’t need as much protein as we are told.

          • Veganrunner

            Hi Dr Hemo,
            Are you on vacation? Haven’t heard from you in awhile. I’ve missed you.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            I’m not on vacation (I wish) in the last 6 months I moved from Los Angeles back to my original home, moved into a new home about 2 months ago, have two teenage boys that are very active and my wife and I both work so we have been very busy, so it is hard to find the time to comment. I love being able to support Dr. Greger’s effort I just wish I had more time to help with all the questions and comments.
            I appreciate your time with all your help and answers to the questions you provide on this site. It is greatly appreciated. Missed you too. :)

          • Adrien

            I didn’t know that it was so low ! Thanks for sharing this study. I agree with you that we don’t need as much protein as we are told.

        • DGH

          I suggest staying away from protein powder supplements. First, there is nothing buffering the absorption of purified protein directly into the bloodstream, which will cause acidosis and IGF-1 levels to spike. Second, most protein powders also contain harmful moieties like vitamin E, lecithin, choline, magnesium etc, which have all been linked to adverse health outcomes. My suggestion is that you get your protein from whole food sources – beans/legumes (chickpeas, navy beans, kidney beans, adzukai beans, soybeans), the lentils, peanuts, hummus, other soyfoods, grains, seeds and nuts. The most complete protein sources in the plant kingdom derive from the legume family, which can be incredibly diverse in species and forms on the plate in front of you. For example, putting some hummus on some steamed cruciferous vegetables is a way of getting protein in the form of mashed chickpeas. Putting natural (no sugar/no salt/no veg. oil-added) peanut butter on some whole wheat bread is another way of getting protein – both from the nut butter and from the bread. I myself like to put cooked beans into my smoothies, once I have thoroughly washed them off to eliminate any adverse flavours. There is a million ways to incorporate a complete balance of plant proteins into your diet. You could even go Eco-Atkins if you want.

          • yardplanter

            All these replies to Jason, all dishing out ( could not help myself ) essentially the same thing. Not one bit of sarcasm or animosity . Cool

    • yardplanter


      Take a look at: ( esp at ~ min 2:30 )
      It’s part of a series showing a list of diets eaten by particularly strong cultures. It strongly indicates that you do not have to be overly concerned about a particular diet but that a wide variety of WPF diets are sufficient to produce high strength.

      There is also reference to gms/protein/day ( 40-50) consumed by these cultures.

      • Jason

        Thanks, You guys are awesome. I probably never would have found all this info on my own. I really appreciate it.

  • Jay

    Dr, Greger. I’m vegan just for a little more than two months and I
    already started having numbness and tingling in my feet. I’ ve been
    taking cyanocobalamin injections in my thigh for a week now
    (injections… that’s all I could find in my town) (0,5 mg solution per
    day), but I still have the numbness and tingling…maybe I have iron
    deficiency? I’m thinking about visiting a doctor, they don’t really know
    a lot about veganism. What blood or other tests should I go through to
    out what’s wrong with me (and here where i live they say they don’t do
    MMA test for B12). Help me, please. I’m really worried. What do I do?

    • Veganrunner

      Jay go to a doctor. B12 deficiency (and resulting symptoms) isn’t going to happen in 2 months. It could be a couple of things. But not veganism.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      As Veganrunner stated, Go to the Doctor! Ask your friends and family which doc they think listens and makes appropriate decisions and go to that one. The numbness could be many things and really needs to be evaluated.

  • Cary

    I noticed on the package of meat, the words “American Humane Association Certified.” Does the American Humane Association approve of raising chickens in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions?

    • b00mer

      “Humane” certifications are a marketing technique used to increase profits, at least according to Humane Society’s Joe Maxwell, pig farmer and HSUS Director of Rural Development & Outreach. They are larely meaningless in practice. However, they do tend to be supported by the large animal welfare organizations, since they provide a concrete goal which they can campaign on and more importantly, raise donations towards. Most “humane” practices actually increase economic efficiency for farmers and do little to improve conditions, but they do make people feel better about consuming animal products.

  • David Cooley

    FYI – tried to share video on facebook, but it is not connecting ???

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      I don’t know how you are doing the sharing but for me I just right click the address bar on the web page the video is on, click copy, and then paste into the Facebook post. It may take a second but the video will automatically load into the Facebook post. I use Google Chrome.
      I hope this helps.

      • David Cooley

        You are correct and thats what I often do. I just wanted dr greger to know that I tried the facebook button under the video and it didnt appear to connect. I should have communicating that clearer. thanks.

        I just went back and tried it again and it is now working.

  • Tobias Brown

    Very subtle ending there. Haha! I’ll say it, “Shit happens.”

  • Alan

    The way i see it, if anyone eats the stuff with all the contamination going on then they should be the ones responsible. In other words quit eating the poison.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    A funny thought. “100% Natural” is what the label says. They’re right, Salmonella is 100% natural.

    What about the other label, “American Humane Association Certified.”
    Really?! Sounds like an oxymoron to me!

    Recently we had a Foster Farms farm shut down in California because it was infested with cockaroaches.(

    This is a statement from the AHA website, “You’ve probably seen our “No Animals Were Harmed”® disclaimer at the end of movies. But did you know that American Humane Association’s Los Angeles-based Film & TV Unit is the film and television industry’s only officially-sanctioned animal monitoring program?”

    What are they monitoring? (Not the cockaroaches) and “No Animals were Harmed”? Are chickens not animals?

    • From the article:

      “Despite pressure to do so, federal inspectors could not force a recall of Foster Farms poultry because salmonella, unlike strains of E. coli, is considered naturally occurring and not an adulterant.”


  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    New meaning of the word chicken shit…

  • Anne

    My grocery store banned bean sprouts because they might have salmonella in them! But they still sell chicken…

    • footestomper

      Anne, Good point. Dr. Greger raised this question over 3 years ago. Watch this video . . . a warning against eating alfalfa sprouts because of 100 cases of salmonella (I believe it must have been in 2009, since this video is from 2010 and mentions “last year.” But, there was also 118 cases associated with eggs . . . correction . . . 118 THOUSAND !!!

    • Thea

      And we know what would happen if you pointed this out. They would look at you like *you* were the crazy one. Ha.

  • k.Matthews

    Can you boil the infections out before you cook this chicken and does it cook out of eggs what temp kills these germs in meats?

    • yardplanter

      Not sure why you would boil first ( dissolve out ?) but, Yes, you can kill the bacteria by cooking, but not the endotoxins ( the mucopolysaccharides that make up part of the bacteria membrane.), nor, as Dr. Greger has pointed out , does it affect the bacteria on your kitchen counter

  • Psych MD

    Point: Foster Farms.

    My wife is Mary’s assistant.

    • EP_2012

      So much death. Why did you feel the need to post that?

    • tedster

      I saw hundreds of cute little female (I assume) chicks. What happened to the 100s’ of cute little male chicks?

  • P-Alex

    “animal stress” = hypocritic naming for “animal suffering”. this concept was developed in the last decade to allow industry to respond to public concern about animal welfare.

  • Sarah

    Dr. Gregger,
    After seeing several of your videos about meat, I am curious if any studies have been done on kosher meat that is prepared according to the orthodox way. Perhaps some of the procedures like soaking out the blood of the meet and salting the meet mitigate some of the negaitve effects of bacteria? Thank you for everything you do!

    • tedster

      Here’s an under cover video from the United States’ largest Glatt Kosher meat processing plant. Apparently this plant is or had been certified as using Kosher techniques. WARNING: graphic video

  • Troy Ottwell

    Great…no….better than great video…Best I have ever seen.
    Can UV-c light be used as a way to fight…reduce health risks?

    Best summary of current health issues I have read…Troy in Texas.
    ( chicken does look as tasty as it use to…need a water diet)

  • Ruby

    You’re like saving my life with all this gritty empirical info sir. Y’had me at hello. . . Lol.