Food Certifications: A Waste of Money!?

Original Newsletter dated 2/22/2023

Hey There!

I have been really interested in the claims of antibiotic-free meat for a while now. I like to window shop the meat aisle at our local grocery stores to see what the big guys are up to. I'm sure you have noticed stickers claiming "antibiotic-free""raised without antibiotics""Organic" or some variation of that.

Like a lot of you, we are a typical middle-class family and have made a choice to allocate a sizeable portion of our income to either raising, growing, or sourcing food that we feel is an investment in our long-term health. 

So, it really stings when you make that investment and find out later you weren't getting what you were paying for!

Many food-conscious shoppers have turned to outlets like Whole Foods as a trusted source to buy meat, but even they are not as "clean" as they would like us to believe.

Multiple advocacy groups, such as Farm Forward, have been testing samples of beef from Whole Foods and various other grocery chains that claim to have antibiotic-free meat, but you guessed it! A large percentage of the beef samples tested positive for one or more compounds such as Monesin, Clopidol, Ciprofloxacin, Streptomycin, Sulphanilamide, and tetracycline.
Excerpt from Green Queen:

The USDA does not test or require antibiotic testing for products labeled as “Raised Without Antibiotics,” “No Antibiotics Administered,” “No Added Antibiotics,” “Raised Antibiotic Free,” and “No Antibiotics Ever,” the researchers found, even though companies must submit several criteria to the USDA, including a description of controls that ensure animals were not given antibiotics, tracing protocols for segregating RWA products, protocols for segregating animals treated with antibiotics, and a signed affidavit that describes how animals were raised.

“Although USDA-approved labels give RWA claims credibility and value in the marketplace, the agency does not require empirical antibiotic testing to validate them. Absent verification, there are incentives for parties throughout the supply chain to cheat or limit scrutiny,” the researchers note.

And yes, many of these samples were "Certified Organic".

It's time to break up with The Big Box Stores and put a face with your farmer!

Whole Foods Failed Us

At Gold Nugget Farm, we don't use antibiotics at all. We don't need them! Pastured cattle are healthy and thrive in their natural environment. 

Plus, we eat the beef that we raise, and I don't want that in my food just as much as you don't.

More Sources:
- Shelby