Antibiotics in Food An Official Health Crisis

Thirty-one years ago, Ariane founded D’Artagnan as an antidote to the industrial food system. Way back then, it was a novel idea to source from small farms, and to commit to free-range, natural production, sustainable, humane farming practices, and no antibiotics or hormones.

Over the last few decades it has grown clearer that Ariane’s vision is an important one. The world has seen the effects that antibiotics in food can have on human health. Antibiotic resistance is a grim reality to face.


Just last week the United Nations officially declared antibiotics in food a health crisis on par with AIDS and Ebola. This was only the fourth time that the U.N. used the word crisis in reference to a health issue. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called this a “fundamental threat” to the entire planet:

If we fail to address this problem quickly and comprehensively, antimicrobial resistance will make providing high-quality universal healthcare coverage more difficult if not impossible. It will undermine sustainable food production. And it will put the sustainable development goals in jeopardy.

Read more at NPR, excerpt below.

Every year, more than 2 million Americans get sick with antibiotic-resistant infections, and tens of thousands die as a result, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common diseases, like urinary tract infections and pneumonia, are becoming harder and harder to treat. And new superbugs are cropping up — even here in the U.S. — that are resistant to last-resort drugs.  – Michaeleen Doucleff

Further coverage of this historic announcement can be found at The Guardian, which is the source of the quote below.

“It’s ironic that such a small thing, is causing such an enormous public threat,” said Jeffrey LeJeune, a professor and head of the food animal research program at Ohio State University. “But it is a global health threat that needs a global response.”

The good news is that you can make a difference with what you choose to eat. Shop for protein at, where the meat is antibiotic and hormone free. Eat at restaurants that pledge to use only antibiotic-free meat; there are a growing number of such establishments. It may seem like a small thing, but in the world of microbes, it’s an act with much larger ramifications.
















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