Hello, fellow meat lovers! It’s Lucinda, Head Hen here at Moink, back to give you another token of Wednesday Wisdom: “You are what you eat, so don’t be fast, easy or cheap!”
You’ve probably noticed the growing controversy surrounding the use of antibiotics in our meat supply over the last few years. There are so many differing (often self-serving) views about whether it’s safe for the big chicken companies to use antibiotics and how much they should have to disclose to us consumers on the label. All the tricky language and greenwashing is downright confusing, but you know you can always count on me to shoot you straight, especially when it comes to food!
Antibiotics and Chicken
Did you know that around 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed to animals? It’s because the modern industrial farm is the ultimate breeding ground for disease. Animals are confined in close quarters, often in their own waste, and they stay in a constant state of stress that inhibits their natural defenses and makes them even more susceptible to infection. The animals quickly lose all their beneficial gut flora and grow dependent on the very drugs that are making them sick in the first place.
The meat companies keep band-aiding the issue to increase their profits. It’s sad and shameful, but very true.
When animals are given antibiotics to treat disease or promote growth, there is undeniable evidence that it also poses a risk to humans. Over time, both animals and people become resistant to the drugs, and that’s why we’re now seeing so many “superbugs,” or illnesses that don’t respond to common antibiotic treatment. This is a major threat to public health.
The problem of antibiotics in our meat supply didn’t really hit home for me until last year, when I came down with a wicked case of antibiotic-resistant Strep. (It was so terrible I thought I was dying. Like legit-I was saying my goodbyes and preparing to meet my maker!) I guess I thought antibiotic resistant-superbugs were specific to a person. Meaning, as long as I personally didn’t overuse antibiotics or misuse them (not take the entire thing as prescribed) then I would be safe from superbugs. Um, no. That’s not how that works. The bugs can breed and mutate in animals and other humans, and then by the time you catch it the antibiotics won’t work. Obviously, I lived to tell the story, but the experience made me even more passionate about our mission to bring ethically-sourced, humanely-raised meat to every home.
When it comes to labeling for antibiotics, meat companies are playing dirty yet again. The USDA says “natural” poultry products cannot contain artificial ingredients like colors and preservatives. But this label doesn’t guarantee anything about how the chickens were raised, what they were fed, if antibiotics and hormones were used, and other practices that a shopper might logically assume from the word “natural.” Terms like “No Antibiotics Ever” or “Not Raised with Antibiotics” don’t necessarily guarantee the chickens weren’t given medications and antimicrobials in their feed and water. Unfortunately, even the term humanely-raised is open to interpretation, depending on who can make a profit.
I’ve said it a hundred times and I’ll keep shouting it from the rooftops: The only way to really know what’s in your food is to know who you’re getting it from.
That’s why Moink only works with small family farms who NEVER give antibiotics to their animals. Moink chickens are ethically-sourced and humanely-raised outdoors on pasture like nature intended. I know because I pay regular visits to their farms around the country just to be sure they are given a life worthy of their sacrifice! Unlike the big poultry companies, our farmer partners don’t have to use drugs to compensate for the unsanitary, inhumane way their chickens are being raised. The same goes for Moink beef, lamb and pork.
Buying store-bought chicken might be the faster, easier, cheaper way, but it’s not the best way, and there is a VERY high cost to cheap food.
P.S. If you really want to dig into this topic further, I recommend reading Big Chicken, by Maryn McKenna. You’ll never look at chicken the same!
Ready to make the switch to antibiotic-free, exceptional tasting meat? Try a Moink Box today.
Ready to join the Moink Moovement and help us fight for the family farm?