As I've written previously, over 70 percent of the antibiotics used in the United States are given to healthy livestock (i.e. chickens, cattle and pigs) for the purposes of helping them get bigger faster and preventing disease in the insufferable conditions of commercial factory feedlots. Unfortunately, this use has fostered the growth of superbacteria resistant to the antibiotics that have served us so well for decades.
A boost for the movement to rid our food of antibiotics came earlier this week when Consumer Reports released a study, "Meat On Drugs: The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals and What Supermarkets and Consumers Can Do to Stop It,” that has garnered quite a bit of publicity. Could this be the start of the groundswell?
Key findings from the study:
- "A majority of respondents (86%) agreed that customers should be able to buy meat and poultry raised without antibiotics at their local supermarkets.
- "Fifty-seven percent of respondents reported that meat raised without antibiotics is available in the meat section where they usually shop. Of those who do not have it in their local meat section, 82% said they would buy it if it were available.
- "Studies over the last decade have indicated that raising meat and poultry without antibiotics could be accomplished at minimal cost to the consumer—about 5 cents extra per pound for pork and less than a penny per pound extra for chicken. More than 60% of respondents stated that they would be willing to pay at least five cents a pound more for meat raised without antibiotics. Over a third (37%) would pay a dollar or more extra per pound.
- "The majority of respondents were extremely or very concerned about issues related to the use of antibiotics in animal feed, including the potential creation of 'superbugs' due to overuse of antibiotics, unsanitary and crowded conditions for livestock, human consumption of antibiotic residue, and environmental effects due to agricultural runoff containing antibiotics."
Click here to read the report. It really is worth the couple minutes and it may change the way you think and shop.