Winter storm Jonas sure left a lot of east coast residents snowed in for a few days! After everyone secured their milk and bread, we bundled up and waited for the biggest snow fall many of us have ever seen and once 30+ inches hit the ground we waited some more. Waited for the snow plows to come, for the sun to shine and for our hands to thaw from shoveling our driveways.
Most people didn’t return to work until Wednesday with many streets still white and the federal government closed. This allowed ample time to watch television and of course with television comes commercials. As I was binge watching HGTV, two commercials caught my attention.
One commercial was about chicken and proudly stated “our chicken is free of added hormones and steroids!” Now this isn’t a lie by any means – I’m sure their chicken is free of added hormones and steroids. Why? Because ALL chicken is free of added hormones and steroids! They simply stated a fact about all poultry products, but someone who may not be as familiar with animal agriculture might be led to believe that only this particular company’s chicken is free of such things.
Added hormones and steroids have been illegal in poultry and pig production for the past 50 years, yet it is still a myth many consumers believe is true. Although no chicken has added hormones, it is key to remember that all living things produce hormones naturally. This is why chicken shouldn’t be labeled “hormone-free,” but can be labeled as “raised without added hormones.”
When I watched the commercial all I could do was roll my eyes, and then another commercial came on that made me roll my eyes again.
This commercial was about milk and they said their milk is “always tested for antibiotics.”
Antibiotic use is a hot issue right now with everyone concerned about antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are one tool farmers and ranchers use to help treat, prevent and control disease to take care of their animals. The majority of antibiotics used in animal agriculture are different from the ones used in human medicine, but the agricultural community is committed to reducing antibiotic use too.
If any food-producing animal is treated with an antibiotic, they must go through a withdrawal period before they can be processed. The withdrawal period depends on the specific type of antibiotic used and the type and size of the animal receiving the antibiotic. For dairy cows, their milk must be dumped while they are on the antibiotic and for the withdrawal period afterwards. All milk is tested for antibiotic residue before it reaches your grocery store shelf.
It’s all delicious and nutritious!
I understand why the companies use such advertising – they are simply trying to sell their product. They are not intentionally trying to mislead consumers. If I were in their shoes and simply trying to sell a product, I might be tempted to do the same thing (although I wish they would just stick to saying their product is delicious and nutritious!).
Now that the store shelves are fully-stocked again, know that whatever chicken, milk, turkey, eggs or beef you decide to buy – whether it has a label full of buzzwords or not, it is all safe, delicious and nutritious!