It pains me to write this letter. You are my “go to” grocery store. I really like your store, I buy groceries from you and I love that your roots are in the Midwest. But, lately, I have noticed that you are falling into the “marketing fear” that all us farmers dread. Today, while perusing through my newsfeed, I noticed this sponsored ad:
Yes, you are promoting larger chickens with no antibiotics – ever. As a farmer, I would love nothing better than to never use antibiotics on our farm. But if our pigs are sick, we have an obligation to help them. It’s our responsibility. Over the years, we have made huge strides in preventing illnesses, but sometimes, it’s just not enough. If antibiotics are needed, we work closely with a veterinarian and a prescription is given if needed. We also comply with the withdrawal periods to ensure no animal leaves our farm with antibiotic residue. I also know raising chickens is different than raising pigs. So kudos to those that can raise their chickens with no antibiotics ever. But here is my concern. I read through the comments and realized there were a couple comments that needed responding. Here is the first one:
This is a widely-known consumer perception that chickens are given hormones and that is what makes them larger. I talk about this common myth repeatedly. The fact remains–it is illegal to give chickens hormones.
Here is the next one:
Another perfect example of misinformation consumers have. This person thought the reason the chickens were larger was because of GMOs. Seriously? I did proceed to correct the statement and say that GMOs has nothing to do with the chicken being larger.
So my question is, what responsibility do you have as a food company to respond to these comments? If you are going to promote using these marketing tactics, I feel you have the responsibility and moral obligation to reach out and respond to these questions and comments.
Now, I don’t have a problem responding to these comments. But with less than 2% of us directly involved in raising and growing food, we can’t do it alone. I would like to see you elevate your social media presence and monitor these comments and help correct the misinformation that has been perpetuated by current marketing tactics. We are all in this together.
A Concerned Farmer from Minnesota