Sheila Gunn Reid provides an update on her call for a boycott on A&W pointing out how they proudly tout their use of Canadian grown tomatoes.
I've got a beef with A&W.
People familiar with agriculture have been displeased with A&W since 2013. That was when A&W decided it was going to start using beef that's raised without the use of hormones and antibiotic free.
That meant the company would be sourcing much of their beef outside of Canada.
Even though A&W insists their customers are asking for this sort of beef, I’m not convinced. Customers who don't know better might think this “better beef” is magical and healthier, but once people really get the truth, instead of the fear and lies, they will vote with their wallets against A&W’s slander of Canadian farmers.
The following is a debunking of A&W's nonsense:
1. Hormone implants
Beef with a slow release hormone implant contains seven times less estrogen in a single serving than a can of beer. You would have to eat 93 cows each day to keep up with the amount of estrogen a healthy woman produces each day.
This is crazy fear mongering. A&W makes it out like Canadian beef is soaked in hormones when a serving of cabbage contains 1000 times more estrogen than a single serving of beef.
In fact, the bun A&W serves its magic meat on is has 20,000 times more estrogen in it than the burger.
Because of these tiny hormone implants, producing a kilogram of live beef requires 29 per cent fewer cattle, 24 per cent less land and creates 14 per cent less greenhouse gases. So if A&W doesn't like hormones, shouldn't we be asking: why does A&W hate the earth?
This is right from A&W's better beef website. The question asks: "Do you give your cattle antibiotics?"
And the reply: "Our ranchers only use antibiotics when medically necessary to ensure the health of the animal, in the same way that most doctors recommend the use of antibiotics for people."
The Alberta Cattle Feeders Association says they only give antibiotics to animals that are sick, for only as long as they need them, and then they follow the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s antibiotic and medication protocols that are enforced through strict surveillance. The meat is not allowed to enter into the Canadian food chain until after the medication has cleared the animal for 20-30 days.
Unnecessarily medicating an animal is expensive beyond just the cost of the medication. It means 30 extra days feeding and caring for an animal that's ready for slaughter. That’s expensive. No farmer would unnecessarily medicate an animal; it cuts into their bottom line.
But A&W is counting on the Canadian public to trust them while they market in fear. They are claiming they are doing something better than the standard operating procedures for Canadian beef farms coast to coast, but they aren’t. They want you to believe that hormones are bad. They aren't. A&W is just scaring people by giving them half the story.
3. Personal health
A&W may think that people can actually taste antibiotics that have left the animal's system about four weeks prior to butchering. Or maybe they think people can actually taste two nanograms of hormones. If they do, that's crazy.
Or maybe they think people eating these insanely low levels of hormones or beef that were once given medicine is bad for their health. That would also be crazy.
The World Health Organization says there are no ill humane health effects from consuming beef raised with the use of hormones. Same with the FDA.
These naturally occurring growth promotants have been in use since the 1950s and studied extensively.
I don't think A&W is using better beef. But they're using beef that is raised differently than the vast majority of healthy and delicious beef that is raised in the United States and Canada.
By A&W calling their beef better, they imply that all the other safe, proud, ethical Canadian farmers are worse. And I'm sick of companies who market based on lies, innuendo and fear while maligning Canadian farmers to do it.
I'm voting for Canadian beef with my wallet! I'm supporting ethical hard working sustainable Canadian farmers and I hope you do too.
A&W’s beef isn't better, it's just different. And Canadian farmers who don't follow A&W's pseudoscience demands are not worse. They are sustainable.
That's why I'm not eating at A&W until they put Canadian beef back in all their restaurants. If you agree with me, please join my boycott and sign the petition below.
You don't get to spread false info about Canadian farmers and still get my money.
A&W must stop embracing pseudoscience claims and put Canadian beef back in their restaurants.