Vegetables can absorb antibiotics found in soil but not at levels unhealthy for human consumption, according to a new University of Minnesota study.
Crops like sweet corn and potatoes pick up antibiotics from livestock manure applied to crop soil as fertilizer. The animals often are given antibiotics to fight disease and promote growth. But researchers found relatively small amounts of antibiotics in the vegetables they tested.
"I wouldn't be very much concerned about eating any of the vegetables coming from a farm where they might have applied the manure," said the University's Satish Gupta. "I think the food is safe."
Gupta says a person would have to eat almost their body weight in vegetables every day to approach unhealthy levels of antibiotics.
Scientists tested five antibiotics in fields containing eleven different types of vegetables. They published their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.