Two all-beef patties — with a side of antibiotics

It’s so funny to me how devious big chains usually are. Especially fast food chain restaurants.

On second thought, maybe funny isn’t the right word. Frustrating and infuriating are more like it. Because let’s face it — Americans spend a lot of money in these places. So the least the government can do is make sure they’re safe and healthy.

Needless to say, the FDA hasn’t always done the best job in this department. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) But thanks to folks like us spreading the word, people are actually starting to pay more attention to what’s in the food that they eat — whether it’s sugar, pesticides, or antibiotics.

I know, I’ve said it a million times. But it bears repeating: Beef is a health food if the animal is raised and eats what it’s supposed to. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t eat it.)

But needless to say, you won’t find this type of meat at your average drive-thru. That’s at least one reason why burgers have such a bad nutritional rap. So, I’m hopeful that maybe this latest exposé will be the first step toward some very necessary change…

Fast food giants get a failing grade 

A sad fact: According to a recent consumer report, only two out of 25 burger chains in this country earned a top rating for their beef. (Shake Shack and BurgerFi, for those who are wondering.)

Outside of these two, there was one restaurant (Wendy’s) that earned a D-minus. The other 22 restaurants — which included fast-food giants McDonald’s and Burger King — failed miserably.

But the worst part of this report is that the lead author found the results “surprising.” All I can say to that is… really??? Perhaps he ought to reconsider his career then. Because from where I sit, there’s nothing surprising about it.

Just to be clear, an “A” rating in this case merely means that a restaurant serves meat that’s been raised without the “routine use” of antibiotics — “routine” being the operative word. (A previous report from this group found that restaurants were making this choice more frequently — though I fail to see how it’s much of an improvement.)

And, let’s not forget that it’s not only antibiotics we need to be concerned about in the food we eat — hormones, pesticides, and all manner of other hidden toxins can make their way onto your dinner plate.

Still, antibiotics easily take top billing as a concern — and let me remind you why.

As I mentioned in the March 2018 issue of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter (“The common infection you should NEVER shrug off”), antibiotic resistance is a rapidly growing crisis. Every year, upwards of 25,000 Americans die of an antibiotic-resistant infection. But overexposure to these drugs has other consequences, too — like microbiome disruptions — all with far-reaching effects on your health.

Big Food calls the shots again

Besides McDonald’s and Burger King, the following burger restaurants also earned an F according to this research:

  • A&W
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Checkers, Krystal
  • Culver’s
  • Farmer Boys
  • Five Guys
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers
  • Fuddruckers
  • Hardee’s
  • In-N-Out
  • Jack in the Box
  • Jack’s
  • Rally’s
  • Smashburger
  • Sonic
  • Steak ’n Shake
  • The Habit Burger Grill
  • Wataburger
  • White Castle

Wendy’s managed to dodge this list because it gets 15 percent of its beef from producers that have cut use of tylosin (an antibiotic and antibacterial animal food additive) by 20 percent. That hardly qualifies it as “health food,” but I suppose you have to start somewhere.

The FDA instituted guidelines a couple of years back with the goal of reducing “inappropriate” antibiotic use. But somehow, it continues to allow these drugs to be used in livestock’s food and water with veterinarian approval — even when the animals are perfectly healthy.

In fact, vets can order all animals on a farm to receive antibiotics for up to six months under these regulations. And again, as appalling as that is, it’s not the least bit surprising.

Meanwhile, here’s the response from McDonald’s: “In 2016, McDonald’s fully implemented its pledge to no longer serve chicken treated with antibiotics important to human medicine in its U.S. restaurants, which led to the 2018 implementation of an antibiotic use policy for broiler chicken in markets around the globe. McDonald’s is currently finalizing a global antibiotic policy for beef, to begin rollout before the end of 2018.”

The emphasis, of course, is mine. Because as you can see, McDonald’s would like you to think that it’s making an effort. But they have also decided that they’re fit to determine which additives will have a negative impact on human health and which are okay.

This kind of double talk isn’t just annoying — it’s life-threatening. And a perfect example of what happens when you let big businesses commandeer the country’s food supply.

Disaster, pure and simple.

If you’re craving a burger, do yourself a favor and make one at home. For tips on buying beef that IS actually good for you, refer to my article “How a good cut of meat can save your life” in the July 2016 issue of Logical Health Alternatives. Subscribers have access to this article — and my entire archive — by logging in to with your username and password. And if you’re not already a subscriber, the website has all the information you need to get started today.