25 of the most popular fast food/”fast casual” restaurants are getting called out for high levels of antibiotics in the meat they serve according to the “Chain Reaction” report by Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and four other consumer interest, public health and environmental organizations
Can everyone join us in saying “EWWWWW!!!”
Ok – so why is this a problem? According to an article on CNN, “When livestock producers administer antibiotics routinely to their flocks and herds, bacteria can develop resistance, thrive and even spread to our communities, contributing to the larger problem of antibiotic resistance,” the authors wrote in the report, which was released Tuesday. “The worsening epidemic of resistance means that antibiotics may not work when we need them most: when our kids contract a staph infection (MRSA), or our parents get a life-threatening pneumonia.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have repeatedly warned about the not-far-off public health threat of antibiotic resistance. The CDC estimates at least 2 million Americans contract antibiotic-resistant infections every year, and that 23,000 die as a result.
“A post-antibiotic era — in which common infections and minor injuries can kill — far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, is instead a very real possibility for the 21st century,” the WHO cautioned in a 2014 report.
How did your favorite chain fare? Check out the list of restaurants and the grades here, but, spoiler alert: While Chipotle and Panera Bread received an “A”, other VERY popular chains like Starbucks, Subway, Outback Steakhouse, and Domino’s received an “F”. So you may want to think twice about what you are grabbing for lunch today…
It is also worth noting that the grades did not reflect the use of hormones found in the meat, but that the report’s authors said they also asked restaurants about use of hormones in meat and poultry supply chains out of concern that meat producers might increase use of those growth-promoting drugs as they phased out antibiotics. The use of hormones raise animal welfare concerns and possible human health risks as well.
Basically – even if a restaurant advertises “antibiotic free” meat, that DOESN’T mean it is HORMONE free…
This supports our mantra to COOK as often as possible: pack lunch, bring snacks for car trips and long flights, and choose veggie options whenever you are stuck eating at a restaurant that does not advertise it’s commitment to “antibiotic and hormone free” meat. And commit to cooking meat that is free from antibiotics and hormones in your own home.
Join the conversation! Will this report change your ordering habits??