April 17, 2013 A new analysis of government data finds that antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause human illness were widespread in supermarket meat samples tested. The implications are significant: that the bacteria had become resistant to antibiotics back at the farm because farmers were overusing them.
Cows wait to be milked at a California dairy farm.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
April 11, 2013 Legislation introduced in several states would require anyone who records evidence of animal abuse to turn it over to authorities within a set period of time. But animal rights activists aren't welcoming these measures: They see the bills as veiled attempts to stifle long-term undercover investigations that can prove a pattern of abuse.
Tenderness, fat content and meat color are targets for breeders hoping to improve the pork on our plates.
November 16, 2012 Scientists have sequenced all of the DNA in the cells of a female pig. While this information will likely be used to create happier pigs that get sick less often, it could be used to create tastier pork products.
Only Luxembourgers eat more meat per person than Americans.
June 27, 2012 Americans eat more meat than almost anyone else in the world, but habits are starting to change. We explore some of the meat trends and changes in graphs and charts.
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Men at a slaughterhouse stand near hanging beef carcasses, late 1940s.
June 26, 2012 Thanks to American wealth and ingenuity, we're a nation of meat eaters. But that's not the whole story. Over the years, we've made access to land near cities affordable to farmers, and created a cheap market for beef and chicken.
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The FDA's latest effort to end the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animals is getting mixed reviews from activists.
April 11, 2012 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will collaborate with the livestock industry to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal feed. But activists say a voluntary approach won't go nearly far enough to protect human health.
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Pigs take a mud bath at the De Jofrahoeve pig farm in Esch, Netherlands. Dutch farmers treat their animals with almost three times the antibiotics that their Danish neighbors use.
Robin Utrecht/AFP/Getty Images
March 23, 2012 Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed with a 1977 plan to outlaw the use of certain antibiotics as growth promotion drugs for livestock. American farmers are unsure about how this could impact their industry, but there's a real-world example that provides some answers: Europe, and specifically Denmark.
Meat substitutes like seitan made from wheat gluten are becoming more palatable.
March 19, 2012 According to a U.S. product database, 110 meat substitute products were introduced in 2010 and 2011. All those new products are giving people who are looking for tasty alternatives to meat a lot more choice.
Breeding sows in crates at a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods in 2010. The photo was shot by the Humane Society as part of an undercover investigation.
Humane Society/Associated Press
March 1, 2012 Iowa is poised to join several other states that have passed or are considering what activists call "ag gag" laws. Such legislation criminalizes undercover photography or video inside animal farms.
Many livestock groups say there's no evidence that antibiotics in livestock feed have caused a human health problem, but researchers beg to differ.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
February 21, 2012 Researchers have shown how a bacterium resistant to antibiotic treatment passed from humans to pigs to humans. And now the new resistant human bug appears to be spreading beyond people with direct exposure to livestock.
One of the few baby Cochin chicks that survived the trip to Sara Sarasohn's home in Berkeley, Calif. last week.
February 13, 2012 When an urban farmer loses some baby chicks she was going to raise in her backyard, she's reminded that nowadays the consumer rarely has to bear the risks or costs of raising food.
Beef cattle stand in a barn on the Larson Farms feedlot in Maple Park, Ill.
February 1, 2012 A new study wants to rectify beef's image as an environmental miscreant. It says modern beef production is a lot kinder to the environment than it was 30 years ago.
A holding pen for lambs at the Will-O-Wood Farm in southeastern Ohio.
Meta Van Nostran
January 31, 2012 Lamb prices are at an all-time high, but American sheep farmers are worried. They say they need more farmers to raise sheep. And they want existing sheep farmers to increase the size of their flocks to meet growing demand.
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Butcher-in-training Andrew Plotsky at the 2011 Young Farmers Conference.
January 21, 2012 To connect better to community and food, one twenty-something has trained to become a butcher.
Chickens in a mechanized hatchery, in Monroe County, Alabama.
January 4, 2012 When livestock producers overuse antibiotics, the drugs can help breed resistant bacteria, or superbugs, that have infected tens of thousands of people. The FDA wants to stop that, but its announcement today only restricts one class of drugs out of the many used on animals.
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