Subway just announced its commitment to stop using antibiotics in its meat.
This is a huge win for the Consumers vs. Big Food movement. It started, as many recent wins have, with one person and her “army” of followers. You may have heard of Food Babe, aka Vani Hari, the anti-processed food blogger who, along with her loyal tribe, has managed to convince several big-time food companies to make major changes to the foods they serve.
Here are just a few examples:
- Chick-fil-A agreed to remove artificial dyes, artificial corn syrup, and TBHQ from their products—and use only antibiotic-free chickens within the next 5 years.
- Chipotle agreed to disclose all their ingredients and commit to stop serving GMO food.
- Kraft removed artificial food dyes from their Mac and Cheese after the Food Babe gathered 380,000 signatures.
The list goes on.
Food Babe’s push to convince Subway to get rid of antibiotics started in April, 2015 with a simple letter. From there, she got backing from several public interest groups and launched a series of petitions, the most recent of which netted over a quarter million signatures.
The fat cats at Subway finally caved, and announced their timeline for removing antibiotics from all their meats by October 20, 2015.
Here’s why this news is big—even if you’re a vegan or vegetarian
Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a growing problem. It now kills about 23,000 Americans every year. Getting food companies to stop serving antibiotic-laden meat means farmers who supply those meats will stop using antibiotics.
This is a crucial step in preventing thousands of illnesses and deaths every year caused by superbugs … and it begins to spark conversations about how to make our food system safer, healthier, and more sustainable in the future.
You still won’t catch me eating Subway very often (if ever), but I’m all for that.