It’s been several months since we first asked Trader Joe’s to be a public health leader and stop selling meat raised on antibiotics.   But so far the company has refused to meet with us, and continues to fall back on the argument  that they give shoppers a choice of meats (which misses the point).

When Thanksgiving rolls around, however, Trader Joe’s clearly knows that its shoppers want meat raised without antibiotics.  Again this year, to stand out from the crowd, Trader Joe’s is selling only no-antibiotic turkeys for Thanksgiving.

That’s a great marketing pitch to get shoppers into the store for their big Thanksgiving food buying binge, but to have real impact we need grocers to stop selling antibiotic meat year-round, not just during the holidays.

Most factory farms pump animals full of antibiotics so they grow faster and to help them survive unsanitary living conditions. That in turn makes antibiotics less effective, and contributes to the growing crop of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ in humans.  The best way to get producers to stop overusing drugs is if major grocery chains refuse to stock and sell their antibiotic-raised poultry, beef and pork.

Trader Joe’s is a progressive grocer, and is likely to respond to what shoppers want.   Take a moment now and send a message to Trader Joe’s CEO.   Tell him thanks for the no-antibiotics turkeys during the holidays – but we know Trader Joe’s can do even better by making this a policy for all the meat they sell.