I sure hope all of you have been following Dairy Carrie lately. She is a really great friend of mine that blogs from her dairy farm in Wisconsin. In case, you haven't let me catch you up to speed. Recently, she visited Panera Bread to grab a bite to eat and was not happy with what she saw on the menu and their advertising campaign. If you somehow missed it, here is a link to her posts here and here. Most importantly, if you agree with what she has to say be sure to sign her letter on this post.
I have been upset before just reading the local grocery store ad when I saw them bragging that their chicken is antibiotic free. Umm excuse me, but all meat in the U.S. is antibiotic free, let me explain.
For those of you that do not live and work on a farm let me help you get the facts straight. No meat in the United States contains antibiotics. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (a division of the USDA) regularly inspects meat to insure that. When I say meat, typically they test the liver and kidneys of animals since that is the last place that antibiotics would be found in the body.
Several companies like Panera Bread are trying to use these scare tactics to make unsuspecting consumers think their meat is somehow safer than the competition. It simply is not. Please remember, the United States has the safest food supply in the world.
Famers like Dairy Carrie, myself and others take antibiotic usage very seriously. Livestock are only treated when necessary. Every medication is labeled with a withdrawal period and we follow these to the letter. Here is a post I did last year on why we use antibiotics on our farm.
Withdrawal period means that we must wait X number of days before the animal can be slaughtered or their milk can be used for human consumption. On a dairy operation, the milk is literally thrown away if the cow is given antibiotics. Each antibiotic has been tested to see how long it stays in an animals body. Each antibiotic has a different number of days some as long as 45 days.
Do not fall prey to their deceptive marketing and pay extra for "Antibiotic Free." One company saying their meat contains no antibiotics is not lying. I mean really it is just insinuating that the competition's meat does have antibiotics which it does not.
Are you looking for other ways to save on your meat grocery bill? Check out this link on how a young family continues to save every month on their meat purchases.
If you want more info about antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, check Mom at the Meat Counter's post after her daughter fought a MRSA infection. The author of this blog is a meat scientist at the University of Arkansas. If you want in depth information, she is the gal for you. She does a great job of explaining pretty complex subjects for people like you and me.
If you want to know more about organic milk and if it is really the right choice for your family, check out this post from a Chicago mom that did her own investigation.
I hope this clears up some of the confusion and gives you renewed confidence in the meat that you feed your family tonight at the dinner table.
-A Kansas Farm Mom