Costco has decided to phase out the sale of chickens that have been treated with shared-use antibiotics. This is a big win in a few ways. First, the low levels of antibiotics meant for human use that find their way into the raising of conventional meat make the antibiotics less effective, as they only succeed in killing the low-level bacteria and creating antibiotic resistant superbugs by allowing the stronger strains to survive. Second, consumers who are voting with their dollars for healthier meat that isn’t full of unnecessary hormones and antibiotics are being heard. This announcement from Costco comes on the heels of a similar announcement from McDonalds. McDonalds and Costco, the third largest retailer in the US, are deciding to go against traditionally accepted agricultural practices because of public pressure and demand, showing that informed consumers can and do make a difference.
When chemicals were first introduced in farming, everyone marveled at what they could do. Yields were dramatically increased. In the beginning, the soil was so healthy, any damage done by chemical fertilizers was imperceptible, and pests had yet to evolve resistance to the insecticides. Our technologies were exported around the world as a revolution in agriculture – the green revolution.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body reacts to the protein found in gluten in a unique way. With most food allergies, people experience a reaction immediately or within minutes of consuming the offending substance. For those with celiac disease, a reaction occurs up to 72 hours later and could be extreme or largely go unnoticed, which can confuse and delay an accurate diagnosis.
In the dead of winter, the Minnesota State Legislature isn’t letting the snow keep them from reintroducing legislation to label GMOs. At the end of January, HF 351 and SF 335 were proposed in both the House and the Senate. While the state has proposed legislation that would disclose the presence of GMO ingredients to consumers by January of 2017, support for GMO labeling in the state has grown at a fantastic rate. After seeing the Oregon initiative to label GMOs defeated by a mere 812 votes, activists across Minnesota are pushing even more to make sure they get the support they need to pass these bills and let GMO companies know that we want to know what is in our food.