A Massachusets pizza chain is the first in the nation to to receive Humane Farm Animal Care's Certified Humane seal of approval. The humane designation applies to pizzas that are topped with their North Country Smokehouse Sweet Italian Sausage, Pederson's Natural Farms Uncured Natural Bacon and Pederson's Natural Farms Rotisserie Chicken. (No pepperoni? What gives?)
"When you think ethically-sourced food, you may not always think pizza, but that's something we are working hard to change, Patrik Hellstrand, CEO of Oath Craft Pizza said in a statement. "We're sourcing ingredients free from chemical additives, hormones and antibiotics because we're committed to doing the right thing for our customers and the food system. Buying products from and supporting the farmers who meet Certified Humane's farm animal care standards is an essential part of our company's business model."
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The Certified Humane label has created standards of treatment for farm animals, including letting them roam free, feeding them a diet that doesn’t include antibiotics or hormones, and making sure their living spaces are clean and not over-crowded.
HFAC conducts inspections to make sure farms are keeping up with their standards. Right now, around 665 million farm animals have been Certified Humane by the HFAC since its launch in 2002, but this is the first time a pizzeria's menu has been given the distinction.
Many companies are getting on board the all-natural food trend train: Tyson Foods has vowed to stop feeding their chickens antibiotics by the end of this year, while KFC has also promised to go antibiotic-free by the end of 2018. Perdue made a similar commitment, stating that they hope to also clean up the chickens’ habitat to reduce the chance of infection.
It seems as though our favorite guilty-pleasure foods – from slices of pizza to juicy fried chicken – are working on taking the guilt out of eating them. As long as that means we get to eat more pizza and animals have a better life, it's a win-win.