Tyson Foods’ recent agreement to settle a lawsuit for falsely advertising its “raised without antibiotics” chicken brand has received limited media coverage – no doubt to the relief of the company’s boardroom. And with an annual turnover of nearly $27 billion, they probably won’t sweat too much over the $5 million that the company must now shell out as compensation to unhappy customers. In falsely marketing its chicken meat as produced from birds “raised without antibiotics” while still feeding them antibiotics, Tyson Foods was shamelessly exploiting the growing public concern over the excessive use of antibiotics in industrial farming, particularly in the form of non-therapeutic growth promoters. But while the intensive meat industry continues to vigorously oppose any attempts to reduce antibiotic use in farming, the irony is that Tyson Foods may well have inadvertently shot itself in the foot by publicly admitting that the overuse of certain antibiotics in industrial farming really is a threat to human health.
Here at AWA, we’ve been thinking a lot about this special holiday and what lessons can be learned from this iconic meal. Early pilgrims and Native Americans ate what was locally available (granted, they didn’t have an alternative!). This happened to be animals that ranged and foraged in the woods and pastures, eating a diet specific to their natural needs and free from non-therapeutic antibiotics or added hormones. Sounds like a Certified AWA farm, doesn’t it? Meat, dairy, and eggs from animals raised outdoors on pasture or range is better for you, better for farmers, and better for the planet all great reasons to give thanks.
This Thanksgiving, let us help you find food you can be thankful for. Use our directory to find Certified AWA farms and products near you, or order online for delivery to your door. If your favorite AWA farmer is sold out of turkey, start a new tradition with something else. Thanksgiving short ribs are a sure hit, while chicken is a great alternative for smaller gatherings. On a holiday so centered on food, AWA is a great resource to find meat, dairy, and eggs you can be proud to serve your family—and help you capture the spirit of the original Thanksgiving feast.
Whatever the seasonal fare you enjoy this Thanksgiving, we wish you a safe and happy holiday, and thank you for your part in supporting family farmers. May you eat like a pilgrim!
The AWA Team