Americans more picky about animal products
Americans are increasingly picky about what they eat, especially when it
comes to the ways that farm animals are killed, processed, sold and served as
food. And US businesses are following this trend in purchasing the food
Fast-food chains are changing the way they purchase pork and eggs; chefs are
dropping ingredients not seen as animal friendly; farmers and slaughterhouses
are changing how they treat livestock, and one grocery store chain is even
adding animal-welfare ratings to its meats.
Changes at major
In June, the nation's largest meat processor, Tyson Foods Inc.
of Springdale, Arkansas, said the fresh chicken brand it sold in stores would
come from birds raised without antibiotics. Fast-food giant Burger King said in
March that it would buy more eggs and pork from farms that gave animals more
living space. Later this year, Whole
Foods Market Inc., the natural and organic grocery chain, plans to introduce
a multitiered rating system on its meat and poultry that focuses on specific
measures of animal treatment. Whole Foods is trying to address the concerns of
shoppers by posting its farm animal standards online.
Smithfield Foods Inc .,
the nation's largest pork producer, in January launched a 10-year transition
plan to take its pigs out of the tiny stalls that are now the industry standard
and put them in larger group pens.
"It is too soon to
say if these moves will dramatically alter the way America is farming, but they
are hopeful signs," said Peter Singer, a Princeton University bioethics
professor."It is good that the market is responding to consumer demands."
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