Yesterday’s announcement by Subway that it is transitioning to meat that has never been treated with antibiotics raised eyebrows with those of us in the anti-fear club.
Already, Chipotle and Panera are on the list, with fear-mongering tactics. Chipotle is committing treason while Panera is actively drug trafficking; both of them are eligible for the death penalty if found guilty under U.S. law. Therefore, many in agriculture gave those two restaurants the death penalty of no future business.
Subway’s move is less clear at this point. While changes will take place over the next 10 years, it remains unseen if those “changes” have holes like Subway’s Swiss cheese, and how the marketing that surrounds the claims is framed. Nevertheless, the announcement saw a collective groan from those who already swore off Chipotle and Panera.
Subway raises flags with claim
Subway’s official press release notes that it pledged to remove artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives by 2017, and by March 2016 Subway stores will begin to sell chicken raised without antibiotics. Following that pledge are turkey (2016, with a few years of transition), pork, and beef (both by 2025).
Of course, Subway is still reeling from its franchisee’s marketing company spokesman, Jared Fogle, admitting to sex crimes against minors in August. It is possible the company couldn’t handle any more bad press, and the Food Babe’s threat to deliver petitions to the offices really changed their policies. Whatever the case, several in agriculture are noting that Subway is actively deleting any Facebook comments that disgree with their policy, even respectfully. (See "Subway removing antibiotics... and comments")
But, as promised, here is where you should direct your attention in the future.
Agriculture’s guide to good [chain] eatin’:
- Culver’s – There’s only one franchise that actively thanks farmers on its website, painted "Thank you farmers" on a highly visible blue barns near popular highways in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, and two in Wisconsin, and with an annual give to the National FFA Organization. When possible, stop here to make your agriculture dollar go farther.
Lucas’ tip: Get a reuben with cheese curds and a root beer float, and have a great day.
- Domino’s – A 2012 snub of the HSUS, paired with a 2015 rejection of PETA gives Domino’s very high marks among farmers. The 2012 publicity made Domino’s the center of a grassroots campaign by agricultural advocates to buy truckloads of pizzas, but that should not slow down anytime soon. While their website lacks an outright “thank you” to farmers, their partnership with Dairy Management Inc. helps keep more cheese on the pizza and the “Delivering Dairy Goodness” logo on many of their products.
Lucas’ tip: Use the app to better track your pizza. And always get extra cheese.
That’s it. Few other chain restaurants, if any of national scale, in recent years have taken an active stand for farmers. If you know of one and the example of why they are good advocates for agriculture, comment below. This should not count restaurants that have an active partnership to sell product alone, but those that have taken an active stand for choice in scientifically proven practices.
Until then, watch what you eat, and remember that whatever mom and grandma make is usually best.