burger-king.jpgIf you feel like you’ve just got to have a fast food fix, I would suggest Burger King. Why? Because Burger King has taken steps to procure at least a portion of its meats from suppliers that raise and slaughter their animals humanely.

In what animal welfare advocates are describing as a “historic advance,” Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, said yesterday that it would begin buying eggs and pork from suppliers that did not confine their animals in cages and crates.
The company said that it would also favor suppliers of chickens that use gas, or “controlled-atmospheric stunning,” rather than electric shocks to knock birds unconscious before slaughter. It is considered a more humane method, though only a handful of slaughterhouses use it.
The goal for the next few months, Burger King said is for 2 percent of its eggs to be “cage free,” and for 10 percent of its pork to come from farms that allow sows to move around inside pens, rather than being confined to crates. The company said those percentages would rise as more farmers shift to these methods and more competitively priced supplies become available.

2 percent and 10 percent are small numbers, but it’s a huge step in the right direction. As more and more consumers vote with their dollars, more and more changes like this will take place. Not only will the animals that provide us food have better lives and easier deaths, the food they provide will be better quality.
I can’t believe I’m even writing these words, but I have to tip my hat to PETA for helping bring these changes about.

The changes were made after discussions with the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA.
PETA, in particular, has started a series of high-profile campaigns to pressure fast-food companies to change their animal welfare practices, including a “Murder King” campaign that ended in 2001 when Burger King agreed to improve its animal welfare standards to include, among other things, periodic animal welfare audits.
Since that time, PETA officials said they had met periodically with Burger King officials to encourage them to adopt tougher standards. About a year ago, the Humane Society began its own efforts to encourage Burger King to improve its farm animal standards.
Mr. Grover [vice president for food safety] said his company listened to suggestions from both groups, but ultimately relied on the advice of its animal welfare advisory board, which was created about six years ago and includes academics, an animal welfare advocate, an executive of Tyson’s Foods and Burger King officials.

Whatever the reason and whomever they listened to, it’s a change that’s long overdue and I applaud it. So, next time you get the urge for a burger, head to the King and vote for better animal practices. Next thing you know, they’ll be serving grass-fed only.


  1. Wow, that’s good to know. Personally, I prefer that my meat to have actually had a life before it ends up on my dinner plate.

  2. Chipotle has quite a few restaurants serving organic pork. Not quite grass-fed and, as of the last time I was in there, it’s only pork, but it’s a step in the right direction.
    Hey Scott–
    Thanks for the heads up on Chipotle.  I wasn’t aware that they were serving organic pork.  It is indeed a step in the right direction.

  3. Sir..ref fat profiles.
    Do you have partic leaning on the EPA/DHA ratio please ?
    If so could we hear it pleasum ?
    BTW i rec’vd an email today that felt worthy of mention.
    The ultra secretive and highly dangerous LCM have apparently ascribed an undercover operative to you and the Mrs’s singing tour of Italia.
    Footage of you twos’ eating more than 50 gms of Carbs per day shall be published in the International media under one monicker already assigned
    Low Carb Dr’s Seen Consuming Linguine Vaffanculo in Roma.
    Sir you have been forwarned.
    Oh and yes of course LCM..what else but the low carb Mafia.
    Now please what about the EPA/Dha ratio ?
    Hi Simon–
    To tell you the truth, I haven’t really given it a lot of thought.  Since I take it in whatever ratio it comes in the fish oil caps or the krill oil caps, I haven’t figured how to fiddle with the ratios.  Once I do think about it, and if I have anything worthwhile to say, I’ll let you know.

  4. Actually, I had carnitas on a salad at Chipotle Grill just two nights ago and the menu did not say organic, it said “naturally raised pork”. Naturally raised is what an online news article said a few months ago, too. The article (sorry don’t have the source at the top of my head but it might have been Slate) also quoted someone from Chipotle as saying the company was working toward having more of their meat items naturally raised.
    When the Chipotle near me opened a few years ago the menu said the pork was Niman Ranch brand (which has better standards for raising pork than the average, i.e., naturally raised), but it appears that Chipotle has stopped using the Niman Ranch name. Not sure if that means they changed their pork supplier or if they still source from Niman Ranch but just no longer mention the Niman Ranch name (I suppose it might not have any meaning for the customers and the beef and chicken were never “named”). But in general, the goals of the Chipotle Grill chain seem to be higher than the standard (even though McDonald’s is or has invested in CG.
    Hi Anna–
    Thanks for the update.  Anyone else out there with info on Chipotles?

  5. From the Chipotle website (they call it “Food with Integrity”):
    “In pursuing new sources of
    pork, we discovered naturally
    raised pigs from a select group
    of farmers. These animals are not confined in
    stressful “factories.” They live outdoors or
    in deeply bedded pens, so they are free to
    run, roam, root and socialize. They
    are not given hormones or antibiotics.
    Consequently the pork they produce has a
    natural, moist, delicious flavor. We think it tastes
    better and is better for you. Our customers love it.
    And because they do, we buy all we can. By
    creating a market for
    meats raised in a
    healthier environment,
    we make it worthwhile
    for these farmers to
    raise even more. That’s
    how Food With Integrity
    works for everyone.
    Today we’re doing the same with new sources of
    chicken, beef, beans, avocados and even lettuce.
    We’ll be doing it with every item that goes into our
    The rest (PDF) can be found here:
    Hi Karen–
    Thanks for the info.

  6. My fast food of choice has been Wendy’s since they did away with transfats last year.
    Hi Elizabeth–
    You ought to do your own study of Wendy’s fries and see what happens.  If you do, make sure to keep us all posted.


  7. Good info Anna, thanks. I haven’t been to Chipotle in quite some time as there isn’t one in Louisville. I don’t think all of the Chipotle’s have access to naturally-raised pork either. The one that I first saw it at, in Dublin, OH, mentioned that they were working to source natural chicken as well. I’m pretty sure McDonald’s spun Chipotle off…probably too close to responsible and healthful for The Clown.

  8. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chipotle_Mexican_Grill
    In 1997, McDonald’s made an initial minority investment in Chipotle Mexican Grill. By 1999, it had grown to a controlling interest, and, by 2005, it was 92%.

    On October 25, 2005, Chipotle initially filed for its IPO.

    On September 8, 2006 McDonald’s Corp. announced it had started an offer for its shareholders to exchange McDonald’s stock for shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill. The exchange will allow McDonald’s shareholders to acquire Chipotle shares at a 10 percent discount. The offer is capped at a level of 0.9157 Chipotle shares for each McDonald’s share exchanged owned by McDonalds Corporation.
    So, McDonald’s, the company, is divested. McDonald’s, the owner-shareholders still own it.
    I did not know this and will stop referring to it as McBajaFresca.
    No nutrition info on website, and failure to do it ever (according to Google Answers), so no idea what is in sauces, marinades, etc. They do offer an unwrapped burrito though.

  9. Did you move your feed URL? I recently noticed that I never get any updates, and sure enough the link for you is now 404.
    Anyway, just the other day on my own blog I was mocking the idea that anyone actually takes PETA seriously. I assert that they do far more harm than good…for every minute of PR they give to some worthy cause, they draw ten minutes with something idiotic, like suing Survivor because the contestants ate feral rats on some deserted island, or proclaiming all pets to be “slaves”, or some other nitwittery.
    Just last sunday, McLaughlin Group was mocking them for their silly, solemn warnings against buying a bunny for your kid’s Easter gift.
    If anything, the net result of PETA is people associating caring about animals with crackpot leftist melodrama.
    I’d rather the animals I eat have lived pleasant lives, but like most people the first thing I think of when the subject comes up is some wackos throwing animal blood at workers entering a sausage factory, or some other idiotic nonsense like that.
    Hi Kaz–
    I’m a total illiterate when it comes to any of the technicalities of this blog.  I don’t even know what a URL feed is, so I can’t answer your question.  I’ll pass it along to my web guy to see what happened.
    I agree 100 percent with your PETA opinion.  Their publicity stunts get them notoriety, but no one, aside from other soft brains, takes them seriously.

  10. My Chipotle (St. Pete, FL) has a a sign inside that says that all the animals they use in that location are humanely raised – which is a big reason I eat there if I have to get quick food. They are also trying to use more organic topping stuff (beans, veggies, etc), and the dairy products don’t have rGBH.

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