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Will meat raised without antibiotics cost more?

  • Meat and poultry raised without antibiotics does not have to be expensive.  In the Consumer Reports shopper survey, prices of such meat and poultry varied considerably depending on store, type of meat (beef, pork, chicken, turkey) and cut.
  • In some cases our shoppers found prices that were actually lower than the national average. For example, while the national average price in March 2012 for chicken breasts was $3.17 per pound, our shoppers found chicken breasts produced without antibiotics at QFC for $2.99 per pound and on sale at Whole Foods for $1.99 per pound.
  • The least expensive antibiotics products were whole chickens at Publix and Jewel-Osco, and chicken drumsticks
    at several Trader Joe’s locations, all for $1.29 per pound.
  • Studies over the last decade have indicated that raising meat and poultry without antibiotics could be accomplished at minimal cost to the consumer—about 5 cents extra per pound for pork and less than a penny per pound extra for chicken.

For more on the cost of meat raised without antibiotics, see the full report, “Meat on Drugs: The overuse of antibiotics in food animals & what supermarkets and consumers can do to stop it”