Talk about a research breakthrough! Scientists have just discovered a group of people who lie more than politicians.
And it’s the folks running thousands of our country’s restaurants!
Eighty percent of the largest restaurant chains in America — the same companies that claim they’re offering you healthy eating options — are hiding a dirty secret about their food.
They’re loading your meat and chicken with dangerous levels of prescription antibiotics.
And if you’re not careful, your next trip to the drive-through — or to your favorite sit-down restaurant — could end with a belly full of drugs.
And a health disaster waiting to happen.
Health food flunkiesBetter ingredients? Not so fast, Papa John.
“Quality is our recipe”? Not when your hamburgers are laced with prescription drugs, Wendy’s.
A coalition of public health organizations, including Consumers Union and the Center for Food Safety, recently handed out grades to the top 25 restaurant chains on whether they use antibiotics in their beef and poultry — and whether they tell us the truth about it.
And I hope you’ve already sworn off lots of these places, because things got ugly fast. Both Papa John’s and Wendy’s joined 18 other chains that completely flunked (I’ll give you the full list in a moment).
I’ve been warning you for years that our overexposure to antibiotics was creating new, deadly superbugs that are nearly impossible to cure.
But most of us are so busy trying to keep our docs from prescribing antibiotics for every sore throat or sniffle that we don’t realize we may be getting a heavy dose of the meds every time we eat out.
You see, 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in America are dumped into animal feed. And it’s not because these factory farms care about keeping poor Bessie healthy, either.
It’s because they discovered years ago that force-feeding animals antibiotics makes them gain weight so they can be sold for more cash at slaughter.
But these drugs end up right in our food supply, and you end up eating them every time you order a Whopper at Burger King, a roast beef sandwich at Subway, or fat T-bone steak at Outback or Applebee’s.
Can you believe it? These same companies will tell you exactly how many calories are in every meal or whether your favorite dish has gluten.
But while they claim they’re being transparent and are trying to give you healthy eating options, they’re moving heaven and earth to make sure you never know there are drugs in your meat.
Well, if you want to eat out and avoid repeated doses of tetracycline in your lunch, you can head over to Chipotle or Panera Bread. Both of these chains pulled down an “A” grade in the new report.
And that’s not only responsible, it’s powerful.
These chains purchase meat by the ton. So when they tell factory farmers that they’re done with antibiotics in meat, those farmers either change their ways or lose millions.
Panera and Chipotle have proven that this change is possible. So has Chick-fil-A, which got a B grade for trying to limit antibiotics in its food.
Now imagine if all 25 of these chains swore off antibiotic meat. I’m not sure it would exactly make their food healthy — or taste any better — but it would bring a tsunami of change to the factory farm industry.
And it just might save us from going straight down the tubes of worldwide antibiotic failure.
For example, on the Olive Garden website, they claim they “want you to love everything you eat at Olive Garden.” That sounds like a pretty clear invitation to tell Olive Garden management that we would love to eat antibiotic-free food.
It’s also a perfect time to have a one-on-one with Wendy, Papa John, the Colonel, and all the rest. If you eat at any of these places, send them e-mails, post to their Facebook pages, or try mailing a good, old-fashioned handwritten note.
Believe me, they’ve seen their failing grades splashed all over the media. Tell them it’s time to make serious changes to the food they’re serving us — or you’re going to start making some changes to where you eat.
“Chain Reaction: How top restaurants rate on reducing use of antibiotics in their meat supply” Friends of the Earth, foe.org