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RE: "In east Longmont, an industrial-strength natural foods sector is sprouting"(Daily Camera Business Plus, Jan. 4):
As mentioned in Shay Castle's article, the natural and clean eating industry is rapidly growing in Colorado. This growth is part of a larger trend toward more sustainable food and agricultural practices. One of the many benefits of this food transition that Castle did not mention is the move away from raising meat on routine antibiotics. Restaurants have stepped up as leaders in this transition, which is critical not just for food sustainability but because it helps protect one of the biggest miracles of modern medicine.
Imagining a world without the antibiotics millions of people rely on is terrifying. Already, 23,000 Americans die as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Yet 70 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are given to livestock on factory farms for growth promotion and disease prevention. This overuse of antibiotics on factory farms fuels the rise of superbugs, which cause illnesses we can't cure.
Restaurants have the power to call for change not only for the clean eating industry but for public health as well. Many major restaurants like Panera, Chick-Fil-A, and Subway have already committed to selling meats raised without routine antibiotics, and producers like Tyson have followed. We need other major food chains to follow suit in order change the agricultural industry and to protect public health.
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