Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Let's Bring Home The Bacon And Ditch The Antibiotics

When you buy beef, what are you concerned about? Take our poll on meat standards and see how your thoughts stack up with others. It’s often easy to forget that the burger, steak or drumstick on your plate was once an animal. How was that animal raised? How was it treated? Where did it come from? What did it eat? What about hormones and antibiotics? Was its growth artificially accelerated to get to market sooner and reduce feed cost?

Partnering with farmers and ranchers who raise their animals responsibly and without depending on antibiotics to stimulate growth is business as usual for us at Whole Foods Market. Our meat and poultry is renowned for great taste and quality, and we believe this has a lot to do with the respect that goes into raising the animals and the good relationships we have with farmers and ranchers.

We have worked with farmers and ranchers, animal welfare groups and animal scientists in crafting our benchmark quality standards for meat and poultry. Their input is also crucial to the Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system we are implementing that supports and recognizes farmers and ranchers for their emphasis on the well-being of the animals.

At Whole Foods Market it’s easy to make informed choices for your plate. For example, choose either grain-finished beef from cattle who roamed the range for at least 2/3 of their lives or grass-fed beef from animals that never set foot on a feedlot. Or choose our pork, all from pigs that never lived in crates, or our chicken from birds that had room to flap their wings and run about. No matter what you choose from our meat department (and from the deli, too!), you can count on the fact that our standards for meat and poultry prohibit the use of antibiotics and added hormones.* *Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork, poultry, bison, veal and goats.

Check out this piece about our no antibiotics standard and meet some of our farmers and ranchers through these video slideshows.

Remember: Every bite has a story. Your conscious food choices make a world of difference. Learn more at Let’s Retake our Plates.