Leading U.S. Food Service Provider Introduces Meatless Monday to Potentially Millions of Customers

The national non-profit Meatless Monday campaign is proving to be “The Little Engine That Could” in the environmental public health world. In just the last two years national awareness of Meatless Monday more than doubled. According to a commissioned survey by FGI Research more than 30 percent of Americans are aware of the public health campaign, compared to 15 percent awareness in 2008. No doubt the announcement last week that Sodexo, a food service company which serves more than 10 million North American customers a day, has adopted the campaign will only help to increase Meatless Monday’s popularity.

A number of Sodexo facilities including the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Cobblestone Cafe′ conducted their own Meatless Monday campaigns. However, starting this month Sodexo expanded the initiative to all of its more than 900 hospital clients, “as part of its ongoing effort to promote health and wellness.” In the spring, the company will offer menus and materials to all of its corporate and government clients and in the fall it will officially implement Meatless Monday at its “Sodexo-served” colleges and schools.

Sodexo joins a growing list of Meatless Monday supporters. Some of the most recent high-profile Meatless Monday converts include Moe’s Southwest Grill; Mario Batali, Celebrity Chef and restaurateur; Laurie David, An Inconvenient Truth producer and dozens of municipalities, universities, colleges, and restaurants. Read More >

Is There a CAFO in Your Neighborhood?

screen-shot-2010-12-07-at-15636-pmNational consumer advocacy organization Food & Water Watch (FWW) just released the latest version of its Factory Farm Map, which charts the concentration of factory-farmed animals across the country and their subsequent affect on human health, communities and the environment.

As most factory farmers and the state and local agencies that regulate them are often unable and/or unwilling to provide information about the locations of factory farms, researchers at FWW analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Using USDA Census data from 1997, 2002, and 1997 for beef and dairy cattle, hogs, broiler meat chickens and egg-laying operations, FWW researchers calculated the number of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) in each county in the United States. In addition to county-by-county analysis, viewers can filter the map by species of animals farmed, zoom in to the state or county level, and view maps by year.

The user-friendly Factory Farm Map shows that, though the total number of farms raising livestock in the United States has declined in recent years, these farms have increased in size. In other words, independent animal farmers are disappearing while large factory farms are getting bigger, and bigger factory farms mean more pollution and economic hardship in many rural communities across the nation.

Antibiotics: Misused on Factory Farms

Did you know according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, an estimated 70% of antibiotics in the U.S. are used on animals?

To promote growth?

A former research fellow, Jay Graham, MBA Ph.D., recently sat down to talk about the reality of antibiotic misuse on factory farms.  This discussion is in part a follow-up to our March 5th release that found more evidence of another potential link between industrial food animal production and exposures to antibiotic resistant pathogens.

For additional resources and to read the studies he references, please visit our new Antibiotics Resource page.