Chick-fil-A’s use of antibiotics disgusts customers

Carly Yamrus, Senior Opinion Editor

Antibiotics in chickens is just plain “fowl.”

Good news for fast-fooders though, Chick-fil-A just announced last week that they would become antibiotic-free within the next five years.

Chick-fil-A, famous for their fried chicken sandwich “noms,” hopes to continue the legacy of quality ingredients for their 67-year-old family business.

The switch will be a process because of the number of components within the supply chain that must make changes.

Chick-fil-A joins Chipotle and Panera Bread in their antibiotic embargo.

This is pretty good news for the industry. Though I assume not many people are too aware or concerned with the type of meat they are purchasing upon ordering.

Or if they do care they are still hungry and need their waffle fry nourishment. The chicken sandwiches must go on.

When was the last time you stopped at a pick-up window and interrogated the cashier for your “Chick-n-Strips” past history report? Yesterday? Well my apologies then.

Jokes and coleslaw aside, the misuse of antibiotics is in fact a very serious issue within our food culture.

Chickens are pumped full of antibiotics, many which are used to treat humans, for several reasons.

They are used to prevent disease among a flock and to “maintain animal health.”

The more troubling reason for antibiotic usage in chickens is for weight gain and faster growth. While this treatment may speed up the rate of processing for the meat industry, this poses a threat to both the chickens and the humans who eat the meat.

Bacteria in chickens become resistant to antibiotics over time. According to, if a human were to get sick from the meat, they would not respond to treatment because the antibiotics used to treat them is what was used on the chickens. The chickens are resistant, and that means you are too.

One point to be made is that animals should never be given “treatment” that they do not need. Weight gain is only a side effect of antibiotics; not its true purpose.

The meat industry disagrees and says that there is inconclusive evidence about any of these concerns.

Few people, is seems, will even question the use of antibiotics in their meat. Why question it when it is cheap and tasty. Bigger chickens are better, right? Wouldn’t you think so?

But wait, what about free-range? Farm-raised? Natural? Organic? No hormones added? It doesn’t even seem fair. Each of these labels slapped on the front of your meat gleaming with “eco-friendly” appeal symbolizes yet another problem within the system.

I could fill this entire newspaper with information about the meat industry, the USDA, the FDA, and the shady business practices that slip by the average American in favor of another dollar.

Your meat should be farm-raised, free-range, natural, organic AND free of hormones and antibiotics without having to wear a sticker boasting the tiny green leaf and “seal of excellence.” It shouldn’t need any differentiation.

If that green-labeled meat is farm-raised, free-range, natural, organic, hormone and antibiotic-free, then what exactly is the unlabeled one?

So while Chick-fil-A basks in their newest marketing promotion with the promise of “antibiotic free chicken!,” we can nod our head to their efforts but must remember that this new promise is merely a long-awaited correction. And I’m still not eating there.