Did you know that on a yearly basis, around 700,000 people die as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections?
Moreover, reports also suggest that the number may increase to 10,000,000 deaths on a yearly basis by 2050 if we do nothing to stop this serious issue.
Back in 2017, STAT News senior writer Helen Branswell reported that around 70 percent of antibiotics are used in agriculture with the goal to prevent diseases due to the crowded and stressful conditions of factory farming or for the promotion of livestock growth.
Knowing the seriousness of this problem, there are a lot of public health advocates and scientists who are criticizing brands of supermarkets and restaurants that are supporting the use of antibiotics by selling meat and meat products that contain them.
Major Groceries Exposed for Supporting Antibiotic Use
In 2017, the NRDC surveyed the 5 largest chicken retailers in North America, i.e., Safeway, Kroger, Costco, Walmart, and Publix. The survey’s criteria were: responsible use of antibiotics, public commitments regarding antibiotic use, informational materials helping consumers find antibiotic-free meats, and external verification of the suppliers’ claims.
Though many people would think that the globally-recognized groceries are the ones to fight against antibiotic use, particularly if it is a risk for people worldwide, this is not the case. These brands are actually supporting antibiotic overuse!
Check out the image below to see the grades these 5 popular brands received!
According to the NRDC, the grades are a reflection of the fact that none of these 5 retailers are strongly committed to addressing the overuse of antibiotics in the poultry sold in their markets.
Why We Need to Push for Poultry without Antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance refers to the bacteria’s capacity to fight off the effects of antibiotics. This happens when the bacteria go through changes which lower the efficiency of other agents created for the treatment and prevention of infections.
Consequently, the bacteria survive and continue growing and causing additional problems. Antibiotic resistant is a real public health problem and it is already taking victims!
Without doubt, animals do need antibiotics from time to time; but, routinely filling them up with antibiotics needs to come to an end.
How to Decrease Your Exposure to Antibiotics from Food
The next time you head for grocery shopping, go to a local and independent supermarket or a farm near the place you live. Talk with the vendors there and find out whether their meat and other foods they may be offering have been treated with antibiotics or not. Whenever possible, look for organically-raised meat from vendors you are certain are not using any antibiotics.
If you buy from the major grocery retailers, make sure you stay away from brands like USDA Organic, Country of Origin, and other products with labels that contain words like natural, free of antibiotic residue, antibiotic-free, etc.
Or, you can always go vegan or vegetarian and preserve your health, but also help our planet become a better place for living!