The fact the obesity is among the biggest health problems in the United States is no secret. Far too many individuals are now consuming an incessant amount of saturated fats, calories, sugar as well as other substances that are harmful for them through their food.
It's not that people don't make an effort, it's just that somewhere in between life happens and takeout becomes the go-to meal — both in terms of time and money. According to a recent study conducted by a collaboration of various public health and environmental organizations, almost all US restaurants use chicken, beef, and pork, which have been routinely treated with antibiotics.
Out of 25 fast food chains that were evaluated on the basis of their practices and policies, only two (Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread) managed to score an ‘A,' and a surprising 16 of them scored an ‘F.'
In case you didn't know, the end result of continued consumption of such meat would leave your body containing bacteria that simply cannot be warded-off with common antibiotics. The next time you became really sick, drugs might not be able to make you healthy.
Believe it or not, over 80% of all available antibiotics in the US are being used in poultry and meat production, and most of it is actually being used on animals that are otherwise healthy, simply to promote their growth or prevent undesirable disease in unsanitary and crowded conditions.
This has resulted in what can be called a trend of antibiotic resistance – one of the biggest health hazards to date.
The “F-Ratings” Factor
Every public health agencies in the US has declared antibiotic resistance as one of the primary health hazards, citing the rather large and routine antibiotic use in livestock production as a primary cause.
In the event that most of your diet (especially on busy nights and weekends) consists of fast food, you would certainly want to see where your go-to restaurant chain stands on being ranked according to antibiotic practices and policies:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Olive Garden
- Burger King
- Domino’s Pizza
- Little Caesars
- Buffalo Wild Wings
- Dairy Queen
Why The F Ratings?
The aforementioned restaurants received the F ratings due to a myriad of reasons, the most pivotal of which are:
- They do not have disclosed policy on the antibiotics usage in their poultry and meat.
- Their current policies permit them to continue to serve meat that has been routinely treated with antibiotics during the production process.
- They have made no effort in informing their customers regarding their meat-sourcing policies.
- They have failed or declined to respond to any requests to divulge information about their policies on the use of antibiotics.
Who Got The A Rating Then?
Once again, only two restaurant chains – Chipotle and Panera Bread were awarded the “A” this year. In fact, over 91% of poultry and meat in Panera Bread is antibiotic free, as of Autumn 2016. This means that if you do need your dose of fast foods, you are much better-off buying it from these two.
As of now, they are the only fast food chains which offer their meat that have not been routinely dosed with antibiotics.
What Can Be Done About This?
Given the complexity of the situation, the wisest option that anyone could take to slow down the widespread antibiotic use in both animals as well as animal products is to not purchase product from those companies which use them.
The decrease in sales will then push them to opt for practices that are more humane and definitely safer. Regarding consuming organic animal products and meat, there are many who point out that it is in fact quite expensive and simply cannot be bought for daily consumption.
There is, however, a counter-argument that says that this is the case only because of the assumption that one has to consume at least one animal product daily – and even at every meal.
Small things do go far, and this is no exception. Something as small as a “Meat-free Monday” can go quite a long way in reducing your animal product consumption, as well as your grocery bill, in turn allowing you to be able to afford good-quality meat that has been produced organically.
Yet another obvious change that you can make is to eat only from those fast-food restaurants that serve antibiotic-free meat. Fortunately, you won't have to search far and wide, as many are available on lists written by organizations such as Consumers' Union and Friends-of-the-Earth, among others.
Famous Restaurants Obesity Side Effects Final Words
According to the Center for Disease Control's statistics, over 2 million US citizens get infections that are resistant to antibiotics every year. The biggest contributor to this statistic is the consumption of meat that comes from animals which have been overdosed with antibiotics. This creates bacteria such as E. Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter and makes them already immune to medicines which were otherwise very effective in warding them off.
A disappointing 16 restaurants and fast food chains in the US have earned an F grade from a recent collaborative study, thereby indicating the potential health hazard they pose to thousands, if not millions of individuals.
Quite surprisingly, these include very popular chains such as Dominoes, KFC and Starbucks. That said, fast food restaurants have also understood the gravity of the situation and have taken steps to improve the quality of their products.
For instance, many restaurants, are now advertising the fact that the meat served by them is 100% free of antibiotics, and are taking certifications to back-up their claims from the relevant authorities (after first making their livestock antibiotic free, of course).
Now that is indeed a great step forward though there is still a long path to cover. Not surprisingly though, the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the hazards posed by too much consumption of antibiotics — be it from animal products and meat or from other places — and are opting not to eat processed foods and meat.
That too is a step in the desired direction. After all, the less that people consume of harmful antibiotic-rich animal products, the sooner will the manufacturers have to alter their practices, and do away with (or at least minimize as much as possible) the use of antibiotics.
Not only is this important for our own health, it is also important for the animals' health.