Commentary: Antibiotics in fast-food beef


I basically NEVER EVER ate at fast-food restaurants for a 50 year period of my life...ever since they showed up in my hometown around the late 60's. This was due to me ALWAYS being on a diet, finances (lack of) and transportation (also lack of). Back then a McD order consisted of a hamburger, fries and milkshake...I'm not sure there was much else on offer at McDonalds but none of those were ever listed on my Weight Watchers food options.

But then COVID hit in 2020 and I volunteered to stay home-bound with my 95-year old mother so she could be isolated from the rest of the family. That's when we started eating in the car. And eating in the car. And eating in the car. I could probably recite the menus from McDonalds and Wendy's, although I've still never eaten at a Burger King or Arby's. Oh, I did have a taco at Taco Bell and this would be the ONLY meal I ever had at Taco Bell because of that first experience. Those encapsulate the fast food options in my local area.

Plus I don't cook much meat because I suck at cooking meat in general and red meat in particular. So it was a horrifying realization to read in an (albeit OLD) Consumer Report article from 2019 about the antibiotics used in the cattle for fast-food beef. Research and the published results of antibiotics used in chicken had resulted in fast-food companies reducing the amounts. But this 2019 article was again researched in 2021 and the results barely changed, even though companies in 2019 said they would change their policies. Apparently they didn't.

Here is the scorecard from 2019 and I've annotated the three companies that slightly changed from 2019 to 2021:
  1. Wendy's went from a D+ to a C
  2. IHOP and Applebee's went from an F to a D.
The rest of the fast-food companies were just the same--no change, even though McDonalds make a big public announcement after the 2019 report that they would improve.

Huh. Looks like that was a load of beef.

Pretty much the only thing I eat from fast foods is Taco Bell* and that’s may be only once every five years or so. My personal trivia question claim to fame is I’ve never eaten a McDonald’s hamburger. Ever. I remember when they came to town and said some thing like 100 served on their sign, lol. I can remember when it showed up in town and asking dad if we could eat there and his answer was why would you wanna eat there when we can make better burgers at home? As it turns out, I’m sure he was right, but at the time it was probably a financial decision. I once had a green milkshake there on St. Patrick’s Day in high school. It was not good. One other time with a friend and a short lunch hour, I got a salad there. It was not good. That was the end of everything McDonald’s for me.

*I take that back I do eat at togos, but I’m not sure if it’s a national chain. It’s like subway only actually good.