May 8, 2012

Wendy's Makes a Shift

Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the animals their burger comes from, but increased press and movies such as Fast Food Nation are bringing awareness to the conditions on industrial farms and the techniques used by food processors and suppliers.  And, while the fast food industry is huge, even small changes can go a long way to shifting the tides and behaviors among competitors.

Wendy’s is a recent example of such a shift.  Their goal is to help shed some of the stigma around the treatment of animals relative to the fast food industry.  As such, they announced that they’re using a supplier for their chicken who uses a low atmospheric pressure system that renders the chickens unconscious before they’re handled by plant workers.  Previously, the chickens were stunned with electric prods before being handled, which was much more traumatic for the birds.

Wendy’s is also teaming up with McDonald’s in shifting to pork suppliers who are moving away from the use of gestation crates*.  And, just two weeks ago, Burger King joined the movement and announced that, by 2017, it would only source from suppliers who not only avoid gestation crates, but also supply cage-free chickens and eggs.

 So, while this may just be the tip of the iceberg, it is encouraging to see the giants in the industry taking steps in the right direction, acknowledging that their consumers are both aware of and demanding more, and beginning to step up to the Food Revolution plate.

*Gestation crates are small enclosures used to isolate female pigs.  They’re often so cramped that the animals can’t lie down, let alone turn around.  These environments have created very high-stress conditions and resulted in numerous health and behavior issues in the animals.

Read More:
Wendy’s changes treatment of chicken and pigs

Want to know about the Food Revolution at SRG?  Click here
--Christie Wood

Bryce Clark
Culinary Assistant

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