The Mad Cow Lottery

The Mad Cow Lottery

The chances of your children eating mad cow infected beef in the U.S. appear to be extremely small – on the order of your chances of winning a supper lottery jackpot. Only 81 animals are believed to have been imported into the U.S. with the infected cow in 2001, and only 70 of these remain to be found. This is a tiny number out of the tens of millions of cattle consumed each year in the U.S. And three suspect herds have already been quarantined.

However, if you are the kind of person who buys a lottery ticket when the jackpot is huge, on the off chance you might win, you might also be the kind of person who would hold off on feeding your children beef right now, because the ‘prize’ for eating mad cow beef is huge – a relentlessly fatal degenerative disease. Certified organic beef comes from cows raised in a healthy way. On the other hand, conventional cold cuts, hot dogs, and ground beef are riskier than a conventional cut of steak, because they contain parts of many animals. A single fast food burger could be like buying dozens or even hundreds of lottery tickets.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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