Using antibiotics to keep livestock healthy until they're chopped up and smooshed into burgers and chicken nuggets is not a great idea: we're already facing a bevy of antibiotic-resistant bugs hellbent on killing us. Throwing the drugs down our throat, in meat or pill-form, is only going to make things worse. Doctors are coming to understand this and, in many cases, are prescribing antibiotics as a last resort. The folks that produce meat for burger joint supply chains? Not so much. By pumping their livestock full of antibiotics, whether the animals are sick or not, is a great way to ensure that the the animals stay healthy until they're sent to the slaughter. Despite the dangers posed by overuse of these wonder drugs, a lot of burger joints are fine with this:
Twenty-five of the top US burger chains were graded on their antibiotic policies in a collaborative report released Wednesday. Only two chains received As, Shake Shack and BurgerFi; the other 23 got a D minus or F.
Wendy's was given a D minus for a policy that the authors described as "while far from comprehensive … a positive step forward." According to the company's website, Wendy's will get about 15% of its beef from producers that have committed to a 20% reduction in antibiotics used in their livestock and whose cattle's antibiotic use can be tracked and reduced.
For their efforts, as weaksauce as they are, Wendy's scored the only D issued by the study. McDonald's, Burger King, Sonic, Hardee's, Whataburger, Carls Jr., Culver's, Steak n' Shake, In n' Out, White Castle, Smashburger, Checkers, Krystal, Freddy's, Habit, Rally's, Fuddruckers, A&W (in the U.S., anyway) Jack's and FarmerBoys all earned an F rating.
Nosh as you will.
Image via Flickr, courtesy of 24 Students