Antibiotic-Free:Â Nearly 80% of the antibiotics in this country arenât used on people. Theyâre used on animals. Animals we eat. And most of these animals arenât even sick.Â
âItâs not natural for an animal to be in tightly confined quarters,â cattleman Mike Callicrate explains. âAs a result, theyâre subject to disease due to stress and the environment theyâre in. And that disease is contagious, so they feed sub-therapeautic antibiotics to keep these animals from getting sick, but these also have the effect of increasing performance and weight gain, so itâs a crutch for them.â
When animals are given antibioticsâeven when they donât need themâthey gain weight. And since a fat pig is worth more than a skinny pig, using antibioticsâeven if an animal isnât sickâincreases a farmerâs profits.
Except thereâs a problem. The misuse of antibiotics encourages the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could be harmful to people. Plus, animals fed antibiotics create animal waste full of those very same antibiotics. This can contaminate our drinking water and ravage our ecosystems, which eventually allows these antibiotics to work their way back to people like you.
Title:Â Antibiotic Free
Featuring: Bill and Nicolette Niman, Founders
Location:Â Niman Ranch,Â Bolinas, CA
The Nimans' secret for âantibiotic-freeâ beef production is simple: fresh air, sunshine, and exercise make for healthy animals.
Nicolette Hahn Niman says, âAnimals simply should not be kept in conditions that require continuous administration of antibiotics. This is not an ethical way to raise animals. More over, this so-called cheap food is food we cannot it is costing society dearly in the rise of more virulent diseases and the loss of our most potent weapons against infectious diseases, not to mention the increased threat of environmental contamination.â
Bill and Nicolette Niman believe âall farms and operations in the food chain should be transparent, including sharing their policies regarding the usage of antibiotics.â
Short film: "Thousand Hills" by The Perennial Plate
Watch this episode of The Perennial Plate to see howÂ Thousand Hills Cattle CompanyÂ strives to keep its cattle healthy for the community, the farmers' families, and for the livestock itself.Â
Recipe: Pumpkin Curry by Chef Ann Cooper
Ann Cooper is an internationally recognized author, chef, educator, public speaker, and advocate of healthy food for all children. She is also the founder ofÂ Food Family Farming Foundation,Â a nonprofit organization created to empower schools to serve nutritious whole food to all students.
In honor of Halloween this week, enjoy this delicious Pumpkin Curry featuring coconut milk, fresh pumpkin, kale, and garbanzo beans.Â
Why is ethical farming important to you? Tell us in the comments below, and follow us for more onÂ antibiotic-freeÂ throughout the week.
For the past three years, the Lexicon of Sustainability has sought out the foremost practitioners of sustainability in food and farming to gain their insights and experiences on this important subject. What began as a photography project to spread their knowledge has grown to include short films, study guides, traveling shows, a book, and a website where people can add their own terms to this ever-evolving lexicon. See more atÂ www.lexiconofsustainability.com.