Is Your Food Antibiotic-Free? | The Lexicon of Sustainability | PBS Food



Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics in the U.S. aren’t used on people. They’re used on animals, animals we eat. And most of them aren’t even sick. Bill and Nicolette Niman share their insights on the growing movement to remove sub-therapeutic antibiotics from American beef.

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Food Terms

Antibiotic free
– Bill and Nicolette Niman

Sub-therapeutic antibiotics
Low level dosages used for extended periods of time on otherwise healthy cattle, mainly to increase their daily weight gain.
– Bill and Nicolette Niman

Therapeutic antibiotics
A specific dose used for a limited period of time, in an amount calculated for an individual animal to cure a particular disease.
– Bill and Nicolette Niman

They are systems where livestock are kept in very crowded situations—usually in some kind of barn or facility—and fed a diet that consists mainly of grain, soybeans, and supplements (for milk cows, this include some forage like hay.)
– LOCAL: The New Face of Food and Farming in America, by Douglas Gayeton.

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Featured in the Film

Bill Niman
BN Ranch
Bolinas, California
Bill Niman is a cattle rancher in Northern California, proprietor of BN Ranch, and founder of the natural meat company Niman Ranch, Inc. He was a member of the Pew Foundation’s National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, which released recommendations for reform of the nation’s livestock industry in April 2008.

Nicolette Niman
BN Ranch
Bolinas, California
Nicolette Hahn Niman is an attorney, writer and livestock rancher. She and her husband, Bill Niman, operate BN Ranch, a ranch and natural meat company offering grassfed beef and heritage turkey. She is the author of the books Righteous Porkchop (HarperCollins 2009) and Defending Beef (Chelsea Green Publishing 2014).

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