Six major school districts ban purchase of chickens treated with antibiotics. The urban school districts’ plan aims on strengthening the health of the students.
Together, the Urban School Food Alliance purchases food and supplies of over $552 million every year in order of providing for about 2.9 million students every day. The move by the Urban School Food Alliance will give the food industry a major market motivation to reduce the use of antibiotics in meals for schools.
Health specialists said that the existence of antibiotics in food has helped develop bacteria that is resistant to it and increased the susceptibility towards diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have said that the resistance to antibiotics is among the most severe issues regarding health.
Mark Izeman from the Natural Resources Defense Council (a nonprofit organization regarding the environment based in Santa Monica) aided in developing the plan.
He said this step is important in order to ensure the protection of the children. The districts are pressing the whole industry in taking a step away from animals such as chicken that were raised with the use of too much antibiotics.
Mark Izeman said that it is especially important that healthy food is available for the students coming from families with low-income from the school districts of Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County and Miami-Dade. The meals in schools mean most of the time half of the food consumed by many students daily.
As stated in the new alliance plan, chicken must be raised without the use of antibiotics and without using any products coming from animals in the feed. All chicken should also be treated kindly and fed only with a strict vegetarian diet. Should a probability rise from the vendors of food of not being able to provide the whole quantity of chicken in accordance to the plan, they will have to submit a written agenda on when they can meet it.
This recent move by the district is the latest one taken in order of having healthier school meals. The district has also removed flavored milk from schools, changed the menus in schools to provide more fresh produce and reduce the salt, fat and sugars in their foods and banned the sales of soda in vending machines.