Blog: Antibiotics

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Among its many firsts, Bon Appétit Management Company was the first food service company to address the issue of antibiotic overuse in the meat supply. We don’t serve chicken, turkey, or hamburgers from animals that have been raised with the routine use of antibiotics in their feed or water, which is the default for most of the poultry, hog, and beef industries. CEO Fedele Bauccio, who served on the Pew Commission for Industrial Farm Animal Production, has several times briefed Congress and Capitol Hill staffers on why it’s urgent that the government safeguard these drugs that were developed to treat human illness. Yesterday, the Food and Environment Reporting Network‘s Maryn McKenna broke the story on  ABC News that more than 8 million American women are at risk of recurrent bladder infections because of the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. McKenna wrote […]

Thanks to Michael Pollan‘s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the documentary Food, Inc., more people have become aware that the majority of cows in this country are raised on a grain-based diet for the last few months of their lives — and why that’s problematic for the health of the cows, the health of the humans who eat them, and the environment. The short version: Grains such as corn and soy are cheap carbohydrates that make cows get fat fast (not unlike humans). But cows’ digestive systems were designed to handle a high-fiber diet of mostly fresh grass or hay, with some natural grains. High-grain corn and soy diets — and the feedlots in which they are stuffed with them — cause many cattle to get sick, and encourage the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli as well. But as with […]

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Peter Coclanis argued in the Wall Street Journal that “American food is much safer than you think.” He is right in that that system only (italics mine) kills eight people a day on average, and that they are the weak members of our herd: babies, the elderly, the sick. He seems to think some human suffering is an acceptable price of doing business. Too bad it’s one that the food industry doesn’t actually pay.