Sign To Demand Tyson Foods Adopt A Responsible Food Policy

Sign To Demand Tyson Foods Adopt A Responsible Food Policy

Despite years of pressure, Tyson Foods, since acquiring Hillshire Brands, is one of the few remaining Big Food companies which still fails to adopt a responsible palm oil procurement policy. It’s too busy driving the explosion of factory farming around the world. 

In the last 20 years small-scale farming has been largely replaced with factory farms -- industrial operations that confine thousands of helpless animals in horrendous conditions that lead to worker abuse, massive water contamination and hazardous air pollutants that endanger human health, as well as unbelievably cruel treatment of animals.

As one of the most influential players in the global processed meat market, and one of the biggest corporate laggards that refuses to deal with its Conflict Palm Oil problem, Tyson Foods must adopt a responsible food policy with commitments on responsible production of palm oil and meat. We can support family farmers, local economies, and animal welfare by transforming Tyson Foods.

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Unilever Delivers On Cage-free Pledge Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

Unilever Delivers On Cage-free Pledge Three Years Ahead Of Schedule

Today, Unilever – one of the world’s largest food conglomerates – announced that it has fulfilled its pledge to go exclusively cage-free for eggs in all Hellmann’s and Best Foods mayonnaise products, three years ahead of schedule. The acceleration of its previously-stated cage-free timeline – which translates into more than a million birds a year out of cages — is a hopeful indicator that Unilever will be one of many food companies that execute on their pledges well ahead of their original time frame. Within the last two years, more than 200 companies – the biggest names in food retail in the United States and abroad – have committed to go cage-free, and egg producers know that they must move dramatically toward more extensive systems if they want to sell eggs.

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Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp: Help Us Stop The DARK Act

Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp: Help Us Stop The DARK Act

Dave Matthews, Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young are speaking out against the controversial Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599), also known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act.

The legislation would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the distribution and labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs), thus preempting states’ rights to label GMOs themselves.

The famous musicians, who serve as board members of Farm Aid, signed a joint letter calling on President Obama to stop the DARK Act rider, which some lawmakers in Congress are trying to sneak onto to the year-end omnibus spending bill.

“Giant food, chemical and biotech corporations have spent millions of dollars to block our right to know what’s in our food.”...

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Steve Ells - Chipotle Founder and Co-CEO

Steve Ells - Chipotle Founder and Co-CEO

Steve Ells opened his first Chipotle in 1993. It was a success from the start, growing into a nationwide restaurant chain that today has 1,900 locations, 45,000 employees and generates annual revenue of well over $4 billion. It was innovative, creating what has become known as ‘fast casual’ dining, and with its commitment to organic food ingredients. Steve’s Chipotle website states, “We care deeply about where our ingredients come from. While industrial farming practices have evolved to maximize profits and production, we make an extra effort to partner with farmers, ranchers, and other suppliers whose practices emphasize quality and responsibility.”

Regarding the animals Chipotle sources for its food, “We think that animals raised outdoors or in deeply-bedded pens are happier and healthier than those raised in confinement. With our suppliers, we take a firm stand on two things.”  First, that pasture-raised animals must be provided the living space to be animals. Second, that farmers and ranchers must raise their animals without using antibiotics or synthetic hormones.

Moreover, regarding the produce Chipotle purchases, its mandate is to source locally grown wherever possible and to buy from farms “that plant a variety of crops and rotate the fields where they’re planted keep(ing) the soil nutrient-rich and the land healthier year after year.”

This mandate from a food chain mirrors that of Alan Lewis and the Natural Grocers – Vitamin Cottage grocery store chain. Each enables hundreds of family owned sustainable small farms to survive and to thrive, and pumps millions of dollars back into rural economies. faCE ISSUE 5 focused on THE RESURGENCE OF SUSTAINABLE FAMILY FARMS. We at Farm Animal Compassionate Engagement believe this movement, the return of small farms, of a modern day Grange, of food-to-table, will create 500,000+ new farming jobs over the next decade, will result in the rebirth of rural towns, and will constitute one of the essential American social movements in our country’s evolution into a more compassionate nation.

What we most want to commend Steve Ells and Chipotle on, is their strength of character, their adherence to their values. This past year, the factory-farmed dominance of the pork industry was so near-complete, that when pork suppliers violated Chipotle’s animal care standards, it proved impossible to source humanely raised pork. Rather than compromise, Chipotle removed pork from its menus – and for a prolonged period of time.

Every time I would eat at Chipotle prior to this, I noticed while waiting in line, that carnitas was one of their popular menu items. Imagine Steve Ell’s resolve. He risked a mass exodus of customers who could flock down the street to order their carnitas at Taco Bell or numerous other food chains where it was always on the menu – chains operating without concern at their executive level regarding the humane treatment of the animals they source for food. In a hyper-competitive industry where ‘food fashion’ can shift quickly, this was a risky decision…

Chipotle customers tend to be loyal. And aware, informed and issue-oriented. And they remained Chipotle customers.

Now some factory farms are getting the message. In the report, Humane Farm Animal Care® Announces Big Advance in Farm Animal Welfare, in faCE LIFT, it is no coincidence that DuBreton, North America’s largest pork producer is agreeing to raise 300,000 more crate-free pigs. Nor, most probably, is it a sudden surge of compassion on their part either. They are changing their methods to supply a changing customer demand. And customers’ demand for healthier, humanely raised pork, rises hand-in-hand with a company like Chipotle who gets it, whose mandate, whose DNA insists on it.

This is not just a reflection of the compassion and the caring of Steve Ells. This is also a demonstration of his courage.

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Duh! 6 Surprising Facts On The Intelligence Of Farmed Animals

Duh! 6 Surprising Facts On The Intelligence Of Farmed Animals

Anyone who has lived with a dog or a cat can attest to how intelligent and quick these animals are.  We always stop to marvel at how our cats know when we’re upset and need a snuggle or how our dogs can learn tricks and perform incredible feats. But what if we told you that dogs and cats aren’t the only intelligent animals out there?

Rather, you might be surprised to know that some of the most interesting, clever and intuitive characters live tucked away in cages, barns, and out of sight. I know first-hand just how smart farm animals are. During lunch breaks at work, I have played fetch with a turkey, taught pigs how to “sit” and “roll over,” and even had a rudimentary game of football with a group of hens.  There is so much about these charming creatures that people don’t know, or don’t really bother to find out, so it’s time we celebrate them for the individuals that they are and the talents they possess. Here are six of the most amazing facts about farm animal intelligence and behavior.

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Ground-Breaking Animal Welfare Organic Rules Moving Forward

Ground-Breaking Animal Welfare Organic Rules Moving Forward

Update: The new rules were finalized on January, 18, 2017.

As we’ve reported in the past, buying certified organic meat doesn’t guarantee the animals were treated humanely. And while there’s no cure-all for an industry that often prioritizes economy over animal welfare, things may be looking up for animals raised on organic farms in the U.S.

That’s because a set of rules called the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) won last-minute approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and could make it onto the Federal Register to become law within the week. The OLPP enacts comprehensive animal welfare standards covering living conditions (particularly for poultry), healthcare, slaughter, and transport.

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Resistance To The Antibiotic Of Last Resort Is Silently Spreading

Resistance To The Antibiotic Of Last Resort Is Silently Spreading

The alarm bells sounded on November 18, 2015.

Antibiotic resistance is usually a slow-moving crisis, one of the reasons its danger can be hard to convey. Just over a year after they were discovered in China, bacteria that can fend off colistin are being found all across the world.

One by one, over the years, the drugs used to fight the most stubborn infections have fallen by the wayside as bacteria have evolved resistance to them. For certain infections, the only drug left is colistin. Then on November 18, 2015, scientists published a report in the British medical journal The Lancet: A single, easily spreadable gene makes the bacteria that carry it resistant to colistin, our antibiotic of last resort.

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Chicken Industry Pushes Against Movement That Wants Svelter, Slower-growing Birds

Chicken Industry Pushes Against Movement That Wants Svelter, Slower-growing Birds

The report, prepared by an industry consulting group, comes after a year marked by increased pressure from consumers, retailers and food service companies to transform practices at the nation’s factory farms, including the use of antibiotics, housing chickens in crowded cages and failing to stun birds properly before slaughter.

Last March, Whole Foods Market announced it would require its suppliers to switch back to slower-maturing breeds and to improve farm conditions by 2024 as part of the Global Animal Partnership program the retailer created to push for more humane treatment of farm animals. In November, food service titans Aramark and Compass Group agreed to follow the same standards.

“It is really unsustainable to have business practices that cause so much suffering, are so unhealthy, that consumers are appalled and reject the product when they’re educated about what’s happening,” said Daisy Freund, director of farm animal welfare for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which has pushed the slow-growth movement.

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Industrial Farming Threatens Food Security In The U.S.

Industrial Farming Threatens Food Security In The U.S.

It is indisputable that we are negatively affecting our air, soil and water in a way that is drastically impacting the earth itself.

If you look down while on an airplane, you can't help but notice the vast exposure of soils into perfectly-carved squares below. These exposed soils are a tragic sign of an unsustainable practice that leads to erosion, runoff pollution while also decreasing soil organic matter and impacting our air quality.

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Firefighters Saving 150 Pigs From A Burning Barn

Firefighters Saving 150 Pigs From A Burning Barn

Beautiful moments can happen even in tragic situations. Time and time again, firefighters have shown their incredible empathy for animals in distress, making for some pretty amazing rescue stories. 

Knowing that scientists have determined that not only are pigs smart, they are smarter than dogs, some primates, and three-year-old children, we are thrilled that the firefighters went above and beyond to rescue these amazing animals.

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U.S. Senate: Stand With Poultry Farmers, Not Greedy Corporations

U.S. Senate: Stand With Poultry Farmers, Not Greedy Corporations

I’m a West Virginia poultry farmer, and I’m asking for your help. I recently went public about problems in the poultry industry such as diseased birds and genetic deformities. My story was featured in the New York Times. But I took a major risk in coming forward: most farmers in my situation are afraid to speak out against injustices and company wrongdoing because the poultry industry and its lobby are so powerful. Help me keep the poultry industry honest and make it possible for farmers like me to do their jobs. Tell the Senate to support farmer safeguards under USDA’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA).

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Pretty Much Nobody In The U.S. Leads A Healthy Lifestyle

Pretty Much Nobody In The U.S. Leads A Healthy Lifestyle

STEPHEN COMMENT:   Over 88,000 people have signed this petition directed to the U.S. Senate. Help correct Big Ag's exploitation of its contract farmers. Please add your signature.

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ARTICLE:   Only 2.7 percent of U.S. adults hit the four key metrics of living a healthy lifestyle — abstaining from smoking, eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy body fat percentage — according to a disheartening new study.

The study’s lifestyle benchmarks for health weren’t particularly high. Being smoke-free, exercising moderately and eating USDA recommended foods don’t seem like particularly difficult marks to hit. So why do so many Americans fall short of living healthy lives? ...

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Encouraging News On Animal Welfare

Encouraging News On Animal Welfare

Just a decade or two ago, this country seemed mired in a medieval mentality when it came to the treatment of animals. From tacit or outright toleration of animal-fight contests in some states; to the extreme confinement of chickens, sows, and veal calves on factory farms; to chimps being injected and infected for medical research; to testing cosmetic products by forcing them into the eyes of rabbits — appalling practices abounded.

But those times, they are a-changin’, and faster than anyone could have imagined just a few years ago. 

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Latest HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Painful Practices In Egg Industry

Latest HSUS Undercover Investigation Reveals Painful Practices In Egg Industry

An undercover investigation by The HSUS has revealed cruel treatment of egg-laying hens at New England’s largest egg producer. The factory farm in question supplies eggs to several states, including Massachusetts. 

The Maine facility where we conducted the investigation is a massive complex of almost 70 warehouses that together confine some four million laying hens. It’s operated by Hillandale Farms and owned by egg magnate Jack DeCoster, whose filthy facilities in Iowa led to a 2010 salmonella outbreak for which he was criminally convicted.

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Another Egg Farm is Under Fire for Horrifying Cruelty to Hens

Another Egg Farm is Under Fire for Horrifying Cruelty to Hens

Another disturbing undercover investigation is shedding yet more light on some of the horrifying abuses commonplace in the egg industry. The investigation, released by Mercy For Animals (MFA), was conducted at Shady Brae Farms in Marietta, Pennsylvania, which is certified by United Egg Producers (UEP).

The footage shows a number of serious problems that should make people question their interest in eating eggs. Hens left suffering from illness and injury without any intervention, others trapped by their cages and unable to move or reach food or water, while getting trampled by their cage mates. Dead chickens rotting amidst hens laying eggs for people to eat.

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