People who know me well know I'm kind of a nut about meat. I mean, I love meat (love, I LOVE MEAT!) but I'm picky about it. I'm one of those annoying people who obsessively reads food packages and asks a million questions at restaurants. But I don't think I'm being unreasonable. I just want my meat to be drug-free.
And most meat in America isn't drug free. Most of it is raised with antibiotics -- not because the animals are sick but because antibiotics help animals grow bigger, faster. It means cheaper meat, but it also means we're breeding antibiotic superbugs at an alarming rate.
And meat that makes us all sicker is just not delicious to me.
Don't get me wrong -- I think it's fine to give animals antibiotics when they're actually sick. In fact, that's the humane thing to do. I've talked with farmers about this and they all feel very strongly about taking care of their sick animals the best way they can. But that's sick animals.
So why are 80 percent of the antibiotics in America fed to livestock? You may remember Katie Couric's expose on animal antibiotic overuse and its effect on us. Feeding animals that aren't sick antibiotics has to be one of the great Terrible Ideas of the 20th Century. We need those antibiotics to work on us when we're really sick.
I'm amazed that this is still going on. I mean, look at what happened with pink slime! If enough people are paying attention and saying "no" to something, business will respond. The producers of the video below are pressuring Trader Joe's to stop selling meat grown with antibiotics. I think it's a good idea. Personally, I just make a point of buying only meat grown without antibiotics (and pasture-raised, and from farmers I actually know whenever possible -- don't get me started). It's more expensive so we just eat less meat. It's worth it to me. And honestly, I think drug-free meat just tastes better.
Some of you don't meat at all for this very reason. I totally get that. Either way I think we need to say something -- and act -- if we think meat on drugs is a bad idea.
How do you feel about meat that comes from animals fed antibiotics?
Image via MeatWithoutDrugs.org