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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why I'm Furious at Panera Bread (and you should be, too!)

Panera has recently switched to antibiotic free chicken.  While I don’t agree with their decision to go antibiotic free, it doesn’t bother me too much.

What infuriates me, then?  The advertising campaign that goes along with it. The EZChicken campaign clearly sends the message that farmers who use antibiotics are lazy.

Puh-leaze.  My farmer is lazy because he gives our poultry antibiotics when they’re sick?  That makes him LAZY?

Farmers, like my husband, work 7 days a week to keep their livestock comfortable and healthy.  They work in all kinds of conditions, from blizzards to extreme heat.  These farmers often work early mornings, late nights and even check on things in the middle of the night if needed.  In addition to the manual labor and time in the barns, farmers are also business managers who have to manage the finances of the farm and they spend countless hours learning the best new management practices and technology.

The decision to use antibiotics is made carefully, with the guidance of veterinarians and decades of research.  The decision is NOT based on laziness or a fear of hard work.  And there are many safeguards in place to make sure that antibiotic use on farms does not negatively affect your food.  Antibiotics have strict withdrawal times (the amount of time it takes for the medicine to leave an animal's body) and flocks are tested for antibiotic residues before they go to market. 

As I've said before, decisions about animal care should be left to the experts - farmers and veterinarians and scientists that work with them.  But as much as I disagree with Panera's choice of antibiotic free chicken, the real problem here is their portrayal of modern farmers.  We should be thanking our farmers for doing one of the hardest jobs in the world, not calling them lazy because of well-informed decisions that promote animal health and welfare.

If Panera's new advertising methods make you angry, let them know!   Leave a comment on the Panera Bread facebook page and share my blog posts about antibiotics so that all those Panera fans know the truth about their shady advertising.


  1. Go, Katie!
    The claims and/or insinuations that some groups/companies are making are WAY out of line.
    I'm with you. (off to Panera Bread's site to say so, too)

  2. I AGREE with you, Katie! We raise beef cattle and to call any farmer lazy is INSANE!!! My hubby has such an awesome eye for sick cattle, he does a fantastic job of catching animals before they get very sick, and he is so in-tune to what works best proactively to insure the very best product for the consumer.

    Also, for the farmers' bottom line and ultimately the consumer's demanded low price, EVERY animal that comes onto our farm, needs to leave in the best of health. Losing even one calf costs us dearly.


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