Due to mounting pressure from informed and (understandably) outraged consumers, retail giant Costco decided to phase out selling chickens that have been treated with shared-use antibiotics. This move comes on the heels of a similar announcement from McDonald’s, which resolved to stop purchasing chickens raised with shared-use antibiotics within two years.
Antibiotic Resistant Superbugs
Antibiotics, initially, were created to combat serious and often deadly infections. Nowadays, however, the over prescription of antibiotics has lead to its overuse not just on humans, but on factory farmed animals, as well. Not only are they in humans and animals, they are also in water supplies!
Natural immunity is, of course, the best type of immunity one can have. Instead of relying regularly on antibiotics, you can fortify your immune system through diet and exercise. If you are exposed to a low-level strain of bacteria and are able beat the infection, your immune system would have more protection against stronger strains of that particular bacteria in the future.
Low doses of antibiotics, combined with the sickening conditions of factory farming create the ideal environment for antibiotic-resistant infections, such as E. Coli, Salmonella, and Staph. Feeding antibiotics to factory farmed animals is not only unnecessary and unhealthy, it’s dangerous. The groups receiving long-term benefits from this practice are big agricultural companies and big pharmaceutical companies. When major retailers, like Costco and McDonalds, choose to boycott such products, a powerful message
Seeing food differently
People care about what’s in their food. From labeling GMOs to buying organic to finding local farmers they can trust, consumers are using their dollars to advocate for food transparency. Chipotle is famous for letting consumers know what’s in their food. They label local products and GMOs, offer organic ingredients, and use responsibly raised meat without added hormones and sub-therapeutic antibiotics. Lobbyists for the meat industry like to claim that antibiotics save farmers money and therefore save consumers money. When Chipotle chose to purchase meat from responsibly raised animals, they had to increase prices. Rather than cause an outrage, their sales doubled.
The food landscape is changing. People now think before they eat, and cheap, fast, unhealthy food is on the decline. McDonald’s recent sales reports showed that earnings were down 1.7% worldwide and down by 4% in the United States. In light of that, it’s not hard to see their decision to phase out chickens treated with shared-use antibiotics is a desperate grab for an informed public who is no longer willing to accept their chemical-laden excuse for food. Costco cited human health as their primary reason for beginning to phase out meat treated with human use antibiotics. Consumers are having an impact, and major retailers are listening and adjusting their actions. This momentum is huge.
Encourage food transparency
The best way to keep encouraging food transparency is to continue to ask for it and to pay for it. You can get involved in legislation that asks for labels, like those for labeling GMOs. Find out if your state has proposed any labeling laws recently and call your representative. The U.S. Senate recently introduced a bill (S.621) designed to minimize the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria while taking care of animals. Buy organic and local produce and meat whenever possible. Local farmer’s markets offer a great opportunity to speak with the farmers and get to know what they’re doing. Getting healthy and fixing your immune system can reduce the potential negative impact of irresponsibly raised meat on your health. You can also support health by eliminating Heavy Metals from your system.
If you have been eating conventional chicken or other meats laced with antibiotics, it’s time to restore your intestinal flora.
For more on the detrimental impact of convention farming methods and how we can change the world with progressive farming, check out the first two sources below.