How antibiotics used in factory farming destroy our microbiomes

Good bacteria are our friends. We need to protect them.

Jillian Michaels: More and more these days we're hearing how important microbiome is, good gut flora, healthy gut bacteria so to speak. And then you've got probiotics, good bacteria, and prebiotics, which are essentially the nutrients for the probiotics. I have heard and I have read many studies linking healthy gut flora to everything from the inhibition of Alzheimer's to it being linked to autism in children to a healthy fast metabolism and on and on and on. And I remember years ago when I wrote my book Master your Metabolism, by the time we die, I'm trying to remember the exact number but I believe that like only one out of every ten cells in our body is even human anymore, like we have so much bacteria in our system.

And this should be a good thing, but because we're over prescribed antibiotics and because so much of the animal products we consume that are non-organic the animals have been fed antibiotics because they're in horrendous feed lot conditions that make them sick and unhealthy, plus the antibiotics and their excrement runs off into our water supply so essentially we are being inundated with antibiotics from all different directions on a consistent basis and our diets are not well rounded enough that we're replenishing.

So yet another reason where oh I don't do dairy. We can't make these unilateral statements. I do dairy. I do it if I'm following a calorie allowance and I'm having an equally balanced macronutrient ratio, how many calories of animal protein am I getting a day? At the most 600. So the dairy I choose is organic and it's fermented and I have a diet that's also very rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. So I'm getting my enzymes, I'm getting my probiotics and I'm getting the prebiotics to help keep the probiotics flourishing.

  • More and more research nowadays links good gut flora to several health benefits, such as the inhibition of Alzheimer's to a fast metabolism.
  • Since we're over prescribed antibiotics, and because much of the meat we consume comes from animals that were fed antibiotics, we are destroying much of the good bacteria, and often at the risk — because of our diets — of replenishing them.
  • A well-rounded diet that's light in animal protein, high in macronutrients, and supplemented with a good intake of prebiotics can ensure we're keeping probiotics flourishing.

The contentious history of the Anarchist Cookbook

Numerous critics have called for the ban of the infamous instruction manual for violent civil disobedience.

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Culture & Religion
  • The Anarchist Cookbook provides instructions for making bombs, drugs, and operating firearms; naturally, this makes it rather controversial.
  • Concerned citizens, anarchists themselves, and many others have called for the ban of the book, but most liberal democracies have refused to do so.
  • Whether you think dangerous literature should be banned or whether banning books is an inherently anti-democratic position, knowing and understanding why the Anarchist Cookbook draws so much criticism can be valuable.
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The world's watersheds, mapped in gorgeous detail

Hungarian cartographer travels the world while mapping its treasures.

Strange Maps
  • Simple idea, stunning result: the world's watersheds in glorious colors.
  • The maps are the work of Hungarian cartographer Robert Szucs.
  • His job: to travel and map the world, one good cause at a time.
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Cahokia: North America's massive, ancient city

It was a sprawling civilization.

Public Domain
Culture & Religion
  • Near modern-day St. Louis, Missouri, you can find towering mounds of earth that were once the product of a vast North American culture.
  • Cahokia was the largest city built by this Native American civilization.
  • Because the ancient people who built Cahokia didn't have a writing system, little is known of their culture. Archaeological evidence, however, hints at a fascinating society.
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