Will's Wisdom: Chick-fil-A

Posted by Will Harris
Apr 2, 2024 5:39:17 PM
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Chick-fil-A pledged to only serve chicken that had been given "no antibiotics ever" in 2019. This past week they changed their mind.
When antibiotics are used at low levels in animal feed they can make the animal convert the feed more efficiently. Even healthy animals. This efficiency makes the animal feeding operation more profitable. The reason that some companies choose to cease the use of these pharmaceuticals is to prevent pathogen resistance to the drugs. This resistance to the precious few antibiotics that we have can cause the drugs to be ineffective in fighting disease in humans.  
The problem is still a problem, but Chick-fil-A has found it too expensive and inconvenient to pursue this worthy cause. The company is dropping its pledge even though feeding antibiotics to livestock creates "superbugs" that can be impossible to treat when they infect humans.
The company will again begin sourcing chicken that is fed drugs. It's not a surprise. Burger King, Popeyes, and Panera Bread did pretty much the same thing. Tyson, who is one of the Big Meat companies, dropped its no antibiotics ever claim last year.
When a company chooses to raise animals in a monocultural confinement environment, they pretty much have to utilize technologies to make it work. These technologies typically have unintended negative consequences. The unintended consequence usually impacts someone further down the supply chain.

This is not the first time that Chick-fil-A has backpedaled on their quality standards. In 2013, the company made a public claim that they were removing corn syrup from their sauces. Now, over a decade later, their most popular sauces still contain corn syrup. 

The company’s founder, S. Truett Cathy once said, “Food is essential to life, therefore make it good.” I have to wonder if the direction they are heading in is what he had in mind.

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