It's rare to see McDonald's or Perdue as examples of responsible production. While we're not in the business of praising the "lesser evil", Sanderson Farms' recent marketing gimmick has put these companies ahead of the curve.
It's no secret that unclear food terms are often used as marketing tools. Taglines like "All natural", "fresh" (and now even "grass-fed") are largely unregulated, but are often used to mask conventional products.
Yet, terms such as "no antibiotics" are clear and overwhelmingly seen as positive. Even companies like McDonald's and Perdue--typically the face of negative big ag--have made efforts to curtail antibiotic use. Unlike the other 4 of the top 5 American poultry producers, Sanderson Farms has doubled down their marketing to insist antibiotics are fine.
Lampkin Butts, president of Sanderson, defended antibiotic use as critical to his version of sustainablility: "using less of everything". This is a grossly shallow definition, especially when applied to critical resources to life such as feed, water, shelter, and electricity.
Sustainability means using more time and more space. It means doing things at a natural speed and accounting for waste. In farming, it means using the necessary amount of food and water to sustain life. If Sanderson Farms sees sustainability as meaning "less" then why not start with less antibiotics?
Read the feature article here: Poultry Producer Sanderson Farms Stands Its Ground: It's Proud To Use Antibiotics