Sunday, April 29, 2012

Burger King.....No Longer King (in my books)

Yep, Burger King too has fallen to the pressures of being more, "ethical/healthy" or whatever they choose to call it.

Burger King vows cage-free chicken and pork
Decision by the US No. 3 burger chain raises the bar for its rivals

I had heard the news last week and I started thinking about what we have talked about in my last grad level class, Communicating Ethical Issues in Agriculture.
Do people really know what they are doing and how it will effect others when they make these decisions?!

I was driving home the other day listening to K-LOVE radio and the dj was talking about the new plans for Burger King. He joked saying: who was going to be on egg gathering duty, how will they find the eggs, where will the chickens live, etc. He then asked if anyone listening could help him understand, "this cage free deal" ( I decided that was going to be me, I am emailing this post to him as soon as I finish it)
Interesting enough the dj's grandparents had a farm and I believe he grew up on one as well. I started getting upset about BKs new vow and that someone who grew up in an farm family had a lack of knowledge of what was going on. People assume that cage-free  or free range means that that the chicken is roaming free all the time NOT SO: According to USDA, free range means " Producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside."  (Allowed access can mean that the chicken or pig was outside for 15 min.) Labeling is not as straight-forward and honest sounding as you might think or hope for. Even those against animal agriculture are not clear about proper labeling and regulations for cage-free. As of today there is not a strict and concise labeling for eggs in the United States.

We need to educate others (even if you think they grew up on a farm) about what certain terms in agriculture mean AND how these harmless looking steps can lead to something much worse. A fellow K-State grad blogged about this here.  Check out another great blog post here. We as producers and Ag Advocates need to have our voice heard- don't allow PETA & HSUS be the only voice that consumers are hearing!

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