Sometimes my friends say things about food that irritate me—I’m sure everyone goes through something like this at some point in their life. It doesn’t matter that I’ve been friends with them for years, grew up on a ranch raising and caring for beef and poultry, received an undergraduate and master’s degree in agriculture, they still believe the false food hype that is out there.
Honestly, I can’t blame them. There is false information everywhere, especially when it comes to food. When you have people labeling meat as “non-GMO meat” (come on guys, there’s no such thing), it’s tough to know what’s worth buying into and what’s not. Right now one of the hottest topics in the food industry is antibiotics in meat, specifically in beef.
Recently at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association conference I had the opportunity to listen to a real conversation between the large chain restaurant Wendy’s and cattle producers.
So often companies make drastic choices without any consideration of whether they will be able to receive product grown in this fashion and how it affects farmers and ranchers. We have finally had a company emerge wanting to work with ranchers on how to reduce the use of antibiotics in beef.
Wendy’s has taken a logical approach. When anti-antibiotic activists ask about Wendy’s policy on antibiotics the reply is “When antibiotics are necessary, producers should work with their veterinarians and only use antibiotics as prescribed at the lowest dosage that has been proven to be effective.”
This is how conversations about food safety should happen. Liliana Esposito, Wendy’s chief communications officer, shared, “We are asking beef producers to come with us on our journey to be transparent and make our practices as great as they can be. The best beef comes from healthy, well-cared for animals. A sick animal needs to be treated, and you won’t hear differently from us.”
Thumbs up, Wendy’s. Let’s work on keeping the lines of communication open on both sides, so we can work on the healthiest product for the sake of both the animal and the consumer.
Hannah Miller is our digital community manager. A fan of calloused hands and hard work, Hannah hails from the Lone Star State and is our team’s native social strategist. From coordination of a global blogger program to managing a social media crisis for one of the world’s largest food brands, social media comes naturally to our resident Aggie.