I think most of the moms out there will agree with me. Grocery shopping with your kids is challenging.  I have three kids:  Bella, 6 years; Mae, 4 years; and Nolan, 3 years.  Walking through the aisles is a coordinated dance to avoid other carts, continuously apologize for the kids being in the middle of the aisle, and grabbing teeny-tiny hands away from the shelves of endless goodies.  Whew, I’m exhausted just writing that. 

Here’s what I am absolutely grateful for at the grocery store:  knowing that I can walk up to the butchers counter and order meat that is 100% safe for my family.  I am confident in purchasing chicken, pork, and beef for my family.  Farmers today are very concerned with providing your families (and their own families) with a very healthy and safe product.  I don’t have to look for those labels touting “Antibiotic Free”.  Farmers today do not routinely use antibiotics in their animals.  Plus, the FDA has strict guidelines to review and approve all antibiotics used in meat.  The US Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) monitors and tests meat to ensure there are no harmful residues, as laid out by the FDA, entering the food supply.

I can speak mainly on the pork side of the story, since we raise hogs.  We only use antibiotics to protect our animals’ health and welfare.  Those antibiotics are used under strict guidance from our veterinary team.  Pig farmers are also taking our commitment to the next level through programs like We Care® and Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) Plus certifications.  The We Care® initiative shows our commitment to practices that protect human health, which includes careful management of antibiotic use.  The PQA Plus certification is designed to help farmers develop good production practices, especially in relation to responsible antibiotic use and animal well-being.  Today, over 55,000 farmers have achieved PQA Plus certification, including my husband and myself.

Remember US and Illinois farmers support responsible use of antibiotics (in both humans and animals), and seek out specific, professional guidance from veterinarians before using any antibiotics.  We are continuously updating our research to ensure that we are only getting better at growing a healthy, well-balanced, and safe diet for our families and yours.  So, to my fellow mommies, don’t stress about the labels on meat in the grocery store.  Worry only about whether or not your kid is running over other shoppers with your cart. 

This article was reprinted from WatchUsGrow