April 13, 2012

Freshworthy Friday: A New Rule for Antibiotics

They said the food movement was gaining momentum. They said it would begin making an impact. They said it was possibly the thing that could save the environmental movement.

The food movement, the food revolution, a focus on ethical and sustainable food—that's the whole reason Sustainable Diet exists. So believe me when I say I'm excited to hear the food news from this week; while many say it's not enough, it is a start.

U.S. Tightens Rules on Antibiotics Use for Livestock
Gardiner Harris, NY Times
On Wednesday, the FDA announced a new rule requiring farmers and ranchers to get a prescription from a veterinarian prior to using antibiotics in farm animals. Let's all pause for a moment and think about what a great thing this is. The overuse of antibiotics in cows, pigs, and other farm animals has put a strain on the food supply by creating drug-resistant forms of bacteria.
At least two million people are sickened and an estimated 99,000 die every year from hospital-acquired infections, the majority of which result from such resistant strains. It is unknown how many of these illnesses and deaths result from agricultural uses of antibiotics, but about 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States are used in animals.
Initially, the rule is being implemented voluntarily; drug companies will gradually begin shifting their drug labels to prescription only. I think the most encouraging thing here is that something has been done, acknowledging to the public by way of a new law that we have got to change the way we farm our food.

And coming up, here are some great events to take part in, wherever you are:

May 3–10 is Shop Your Values Week
This may be based in NYC, but really this is a great chance to make a difference wherever you are. Shop locally, and purchase ethical, sustainable, organic products and produce! Any day is a great day to take part in Shopping Your Values—and be sure to take a moment to share those practices with your friends and family.

Food Revolution Day — May 19th
Join Jamie Oliver and many, many others to claim May 19, 2012, as Food Revolution Day. Sign the petition and stand up for REAL FOOD at his site. I'm tossing around the idea of an Austin-based potluck; please comment if that's something you readers are interested in and we'll try to make that happen.

Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!