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USDA Parasite Game

What percentage of retail beef samples are infested with sarcocystis parasites?

November 24, 2009 |
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OK, that’s kind of gross so let’s move on… to the USDA parasite game. Every year or so the U.S. Department of Agriculture tests retail meat to see how infested the flesh of farmed animals are. It’s up to you to guess just how infested. Greater than 50% or or less than 50%.
First up, the detection of sarcocystis parasites in retail U.S. beef. This is what it looks like in the meat; and sliced through under a microscope.
So what do you think? Greater than 50% of U.S. retail meat samples infested with this parasite? Or less than 50%?
Well they fed beef to dogs, and the bad news is that parasites “were excreted by nearly every dog fed beef samples originating in the United States, suggesting near universal bovine infection,” so they assumed the prevalence in the U.S. beef supply was around 95%, so definitely greater than 50%. The good news is that the strain they found only seems to infect dogs.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother videos on parasites. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on parasites. Also, there are 1,449 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!