Is Garlic The Next Antibiotic For Livestock?

Did you know that more than 80% of all antibiotic use in the United States is not by humans but by livestock? 

Over the past century, pigs, chickens, and cows became the leading consumers of these antibiotics as an economical way to maintain the health of the farms. However, studies have continually surfaced about the ongoing threat of continued antibiotic use in animals intended for food. 

In response to the continued findings, one question has become prominent on a global scale: Are there natural alternatives to using antibiotics. 

Many leading organizations would say not — and consumers are taking notice. As the World Health Organization continues to warn that the growing resistance to antibiotics threatens modern medicine, shoppers are buying organic products in more significant numbers than ever. Governments are likewise taking notice, as reports continue to warn against the overuse of antibiotics. 

In light of the recent environment, garlic has become a champion of the alternative sphere. While it is not a new alternative to antibiotics — history shows it has been cultivated for over 5000 years for use both in kitchens and medicines, and was extensively studied by Louis Pasteur — garlic has been used as a mild antibiotic in livestock for many years because it does not cause microorganisms to develop a resistance similar to modern antibiotics. 

Why use antibiotic alternatives like garlic for livestock? 

Because the properties of garlic can improve the health of your livestock with many naturally-occurring properties, including antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, antiviral, and antioxidant-rich nutrients. 

Garlic works: 

as an anti-cholesterol agent

as a prebiotic 

as an anti-methanogenic and antiprotozoal agent

and to increase antimicrobial activity

Outside of maintaining the health of your livestock, garlic can also help you run a more efficient farming operation by: 

  1. Providing a cost-effective option: Garlic is much cheaper than antimicrobial and antiviral options at-cost, but it will also improve the intestinal health, maintain feed consumption, and help reduce diarrhea during infections in your livestock, helping you increase weight gain and lowering expenses in the process. 
  2. Being readily available: Garlic is both readily available and relatively inexpensive. While it’s not a one-to-one substitution for an antibiotic, more and more producers are switching from feed-grade antibiotics to see how they get along without them, and research has shown garlic has a high probability of working. 
  3. No risk of building a resistance: Garlic is a naturally-occurring anti-bacterial agent, inhibiting the growth of infection, such as salmonella, while also protecting the body from pathogens. 

Whether you’re working with cows, poultry, or swine, garlic’s use as disease prevention can help your farm production by keeping your livestock healthy. 

At Olam, we take pride in providing the best quality spice products, including garlic, while being mindful of origination, food safety, traceability, reliability, and sustainability. If you’re interested in exploring your alternative antibiotic options with garlic, please get in touch. We are happy to offer you options that will help you bring a sustainable, organic microbial choice to your farm. 

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