Joe the Pig with his resolutions.Making resolutions for 2013?  How about one that’s good for you, good for public health, and easy to keep past January?    This year say, “No more!” to meat raised with antibiotics.

You can do it!   As Consumer Reports found in a study released last year, meat raised without antibiotics is now available at most grocery store chains around the country and doesn’t have to be expensive.   We found many examples of no-antibiotics meat priced competitively with their conventional counterparts.  You can also look for affordable cuts like drumsticks or whole chickens, both of which we found for as low as $1.29/lb, that were raised without antibiotics.

Buying groceries is like voting with your dollars.  The more demand consumers create for meat raised without antibiotics, the greater pressure is put on suppliers to stop the all-too-common practice of plying food animals with antibiotics, often for the purpose of making them grow faster.

Antibiotics are a finite resource:  the more they’re used, the more quickly resistance builds – and resistance is building fast.   UTIs, gonnorhea and tuberculosis, for example, are all making headlines as these infections become more difficult – and  in some cases impossible – to treat.   Using antibiotics correctly to treat humans is of course an important part of the solution, but with 80% of the antibiotics in the US currently being given to animals that become our food, we clearly need to curb the antibiotics on the farm as well as those being prescribed in the doctor’s office.

This year, tell the meat industry that it’s time to kick their drug habit.  The next time you shop, check that package of chicken (or turkey, beef, or pork) and look for a label that says “Raised without antibiotics”, “No antibiotics” or a similar claim.   If you can’t find what you’re looking for, tell your grocery store it’s time to get on the ball and start offering these products.

Also, join us in asking grocery stores to take a proactive step for public health and stop selling meat raised with antibiotics altogether.  So far Whole Foods has made this commitment, and we’re looking at Trader Joe’s to be the next marketplace leader.    Take action here.