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Are Farmers Lazy?

July 23, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo there have been some friends who noticed a marketing campaign from Panera Bread – and a very not favorable indication that might be just marketing but is an insult to those who keep them in business. No food, no restaurant. This post from Dairy Carrie tells the tale.

So why add to it? Because, although I agree with much of what Carrie says, like most places we’re independent. Also, in regards to Panera Bread, we’re coming from a different perspective.

We raise chickens…yes including outdoor ones. Sometimes they require OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmedication when they get sick or injured. Some folks seem to think we should not treat animals when they’re sick, and shouldn’t use animals for food ever. Does this mean that people prefer eating sick animals? Does it mean that a minor illness,like the cow Carrie treated for pneumonia, should be left to die because we’re going to stand by no medications ever.

Do people hold themselves to that standard? Most don’t. But a pill with wings because “it’s just easier”? That’s the biggest backhanded insult so far this year. If and when we treat something – be it chicken, turkey, rabbit, whatever – it’s not because it’s “easier” it’s because without it the animal or bird can DIE. Perhaps if we wanted easier we would just go eat at a restaurant where we can walk in, order food, eat, throw the rest away and never think about the effort that went into providing the food. How lazy is that?!  Not even doing dishes!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYes it’s a needling point more than any veterinary syringe. At the same time I see people unwilling to use chickens as food at all, then bemoaning overpopulation and what do we do with them? Rather than use them for food they’re turned in to humane societies and ‘rescues’ instead of feeding people.

I’m not sure which view is more insulting. I’m quite sure Panera Bread isn’t going to buy from us any more than Chipotle does. They aren’t willing to take 200 birds every month because it’s not enough volume, yet with volume to get the price they want…the farmers providing it are lazy because they’re not like us? They’re lazy for providing what restaurants and their millions of customers want?

The fact is all chickens sold for meat are tested antibiotic free – so another marketing BS claim. But hey, it’s what people want to hear right? Even though it’s not really what they think they’re buying because if they think, well that would take effort to look at what they’re saying vs what sounds good in a sound bite.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIncreasingly restaurants – that depend on quality food, at a price much lower to the farmer than what they get for the final product – seem to enjoy insulting farmers and, with it, processors that get clean, safe food to their kitchens. But lazy?

I challenge restaurant managers to bring your business knowledge out to the farms. Cut the BS – come on out and show how it’s done, because clearly they can do so much better at providing food choices for 308million people daily, the majority of which do not eat at their restaurants.

But it’s not insulting just to farmers. It’s insulting to consumers, our customers. Because it insinuates, too, that not eating at their high priced places means one doesn’t care about their food quality. We will be happy to provide more with SlowMoneyFarm chickens. No BS labels, full transparency and – ha! – something you can’t get at Panera Bread, Chipotle or any other fast food place.

Peace of mind. Talk to us – exercise your food choices. We won’t be eating at Panera Bread restaurants – not because of their marketing words (after all, we have antibiotic free chicken!) but because it’s considered lazy to take care of our animals when they need it. We call it humane.

Perhaps that’s not in Panera Bread’s marketing plan. It’s in ours.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2013 11:40 PM

    Spot on!!

  2. July 24, 2013 12:01 PM

    As a hog farmer and ag advocate, thank you!! I am so over restaurants and labels with all their claims that are a bunch of nonsense. At this rate, all livestock production will head to China, who has very minimal, if at all, food regulations. Does this country really want that?

    • July 24, 2013 12:49 PM

      Thanks for stopping by – it takes all sizes and types of operations to supply food choices. When we get expanded we’ll have hogs, and I’d guess it’ll be quite a bit different from your farm. I don’t think 100 or 200 or even 1000 customers are going to do a great deal for your competition, but everyone else has to eat too! Thankful we get to choose – both food and farms.

  3. July 24, 2013 12:56 PM

    Reblogged this on DownTheBackRoad.

  4. July 24, 2013 9:13 PM

    Reblogged this on samWOW-Life at College and commented:
    Panera’s latest marketing campaign is ruffling a lot of feathers. Slow Money Farm sums it up nicely here in this post.

  5. Alisheeba permalink
    July 27, 2013 7:39 AM

    Thank you for publishing this article. I was extremely shocked and a bit angry to hear such an “implication” that farmers are lazy. Actually farmers are the HARDEST WORKING people in this COUNTRY. In fact I SWEAR the downfall of our entire political system is mostly thanks to our lawmakers being so far removed from “the farm” that they have no work ethic and no common sense! If more children where raised on farms we would have less people on welfare I’m sure! That is my “humble opinion”.

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