Our Nation’s Meat is Already Antibiotic-Free

There has been a furor lately about antibiotics in meat, largely tipped off by Subway’s recent announcement that they would no longer be serving meat containing antibiotics.  This is solely a marketing ploy to make their company look better to consumers, and it is a grave insult to America’s hardworking meat producers.  Why?  Because none, yes, NONE, of the meat in our food system, beef, chicken or pork, has antibiotics in it!

A tasty pile of antibiotic-free beef. Photo source

A tasty pile of antibiotic-free beef. Photo source

When a rancher sits down to a meal, frequently it’s one of his favorites – pot roast.  There is nothing better than a slow-cooked, properly season piece of beef and the accompanying vegetables and potatoes.  The best part?  That rancher can be certain that the beef he produces is absolutely safe to eat and is free of antibiotics.

How can he be sure of this?  Because he raised the beef himself.  He has followed all of the protocols and precautions to make sure it was free of antibiotics residue.

How can you know if the meat you buy at your local meat counter is the same?

The U.S.D.A. regulates antibiotic residue.  Even so, each day, we are all bombarded by the media with skewed information about antibiotic-resistant bugs, and we all worry about our family’s health.  Some of the stories we hear are frightening, and we are right to ask questions and seek assurances.  Whether it says “antibiotic free” or not, the meat in your grocer’s case is completely free of antibiotic residue.

and all of it is already antibiotic-free! Photo source

and all of it is already antibiotic-free! Photo source

In the same way with humans, antibiotics are critical for farmers and ranchers.  As caretakers of animals, having effective antibiotics available for their animals is of utmost importance.  When a rancher uses an antibiotic, that animal is taken out of the food-stream for a very specific time period, until the medicine is completely out of the animal’s system.  They rely on their veterinarian to provide recommendations for using the right medicine in the correct doses and the right time.  Ranchers work closely with their veterinarian – the proof is that their vet’s phone number is on speed dial – but assuredly, their doctor’s is not.

This cow has an infected eye. Of course the farmer will use antibiotics if necessary! Photo courtesy of Crystal Cattle, who wrote a blog post on the topic.

This cow has an infected eye. Of course the farmer will use antibiotics if necessary! Photo courtesy of Crystal Cattle, who wrote a blog post on the topic.

Overuse of an antibiotic may promote resistance, which is why ranchers use them only when needed – when an animal gets sick.  Ranchers are cognizant of the value of antibiotics and the dangers of their overuse.  They are attentive to resistant bacteria in their livestock.  This is why they are diligent in their use of antibiotics and follow label directions and withdrawal dates.

It is because they are as concerned about the safety of their own family’s health as they are of your health.  They are parents and grandparents, uncles and aunts – the safety of their’s and everyone’s family is paramount to the ranchers who raise our meat.  As farmers and ranchers, they are proud to raise the safe meat that you put on your plate. The meat on our tables is safe and healthy, and will stay that way because of concerned, committed farmers and ranchers.

Interested in learning more about labeling? Click HERE to be taken to the USDA’s approved labels and their definitions.

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This entry was posted in Beef, Farmers, Feeding the World, Livestock Production, Ranchers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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