SuperChefs Against Superbugs is a movement of chefs from across the country who want to stop the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms.
Recognizing the connection between this practice and the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance in people, these chefs are committed to speaking out for a more sustainable food system that uses antibiotics responsibly.
Started in 2012 when Pew partnered with the James Beard Foundation for the first Chefs Boot Camp for Policy & Change, SuperChefs Against Superbugs has grown to an active group of nearly 1,000 chefs advocating for policies to protect the public from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Advocacy in Action
Many of our SuperChefs have called on President Barack Obama, Congress, and other leaders to support the judicious use of antibiotics in food animal production, offering a compelling perspective as to why it is so critical that we tackle this issue.
- White House letter, September 2013—530 chefs signed a letter to chef Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy adviser for nutrition at the White House, urging the Obama administration to finalize policies to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and to protect people from resistant superbugs.
- Rustic Road Farm-to-Table Salon, July 2013—Pew hosted a farm-to-table salon dinner to celebrate sustainable agriculture in the Midwest and to discuss the public health impact of the overuse of antibiotics in industrial animal agriculture. The meal featured pork and beef from Niman Ranch that was prepared by some of Chicago’s most celebrated chefs, including Marc Bernard, Patricia Yeo, Laura Piper, and Paul Fehribach.
- SuperChefs Against Superbugs Lobby Day, April 2013—Chefs Jeremy Barlow, Tom Colicchio, Rock Harper, Maria Hines, Joe Simone, Sam Talbot, and Mark Williams spent an afternoon on Capitol Hill asking Congress to shine a light on antibiotic overuse and to end this practice that threatens our health.
- Food and Drug Administration letter, July 2012—More than 300 chefs signed a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to work with the agriculture and drug industries to better understand how antibiotics are used on farms and to curb their overuse.
- Video: Chefs call for judicious antibiotic use for livestock, July 2012—Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs Suzanne Goin and Mary Sue Milliken, who serve only meat raised without antibiotics in their establishments, came to Washington to call on Congress and the Obama administration to end the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production.
You can encourage industrial farms to stop overusing and misusing antibiotics by cooking with meat and poultry raised on farms where antibiotics are used only to treat sick animals. Below are recipes provided by award-winning chefs for inspiration.
SuperChef: One of Los Angeles’ most popular chefs, Suzanne Goin cooks with a palette of colors and flavors in all four of her restaurants: Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern, and Larder at Maple Drive.
Recipe: Brined Fried Chicken
SuperChef: Rahman “Rock” Harper is director of kitchen operations at DC Central Kitchen, a nonprofit organization that helps alleviate poverty, hunger, and homelessness. He won the third season of the television show “Hell’s Kitchen.”
SuperChef: “Top Chef” alum Mike Isabella is chef and owner of three celebrated Washington-based restaurants. He was named the people’s best new chef, mid-Atlantic, by Food & Wine magazine in 2012.
SuperChef: Mary Sue Milliken and partner Susan Feniger are co-chefs/owners of the critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica, CA, downtown Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, where they serve gourmet Mexican fare.
SuperChef: Andrea Reusing collaborates with local farms and fisheries to source her North Carolina-based restaurant, Lantern, named one of America’s top 50 restaurants and best farm-to-table restaurant by Gourmet magazine.
Recipe: Pesto Bison Burger
SuperChef: Ype Von Hengst is co-founder, executive chef, and vice president of culinary operations at the Silver Diner, a restaurant chain with 17 locations in the mid-Atlantic region. He is dedicated to healthy living and serving fresh and sustainable fare from local farms whenever possible.
Recipe: Nostrana's Tagliata
SuperChef: Cathy Whims is executive chef of the popular Portland, OR, restaurant Nostrana and four-time James Beard Award nominee.
Recipe: Uygur Style Beef & Rice Gnocchi
Superchef: Chef Patricia Yeo is well-known for her culinary breadth and knowledge. The “Top Chef Masters” alum is creative director of Chicago restaurant Big Bowl, developing new dishes and restaurant concepts that focus on sustainable and locally sourced foods.
SuperChefs in the News
- Chefs Stir the Pot in Hopes of Influencing Big Food Issues, Seattle Times, Aug. 19, 2013
- Nashville Voices Take Concerns About Antibiotic Resistance to Washington, Tennessean, April 16, 2013
- Cooking Up Change: How Chefs Are Making a Difference in Our Food System, James Beard Foundation, Oct. 17, 2012
- Rock Harper: The James Beard Boot Camp for Policy & Change, Super Chef magazine, July 23, 2012
- Seattle Chef Maria Hines (and Secret Seattle Visitor Hugh Acheson) Learn Advocacy Lessons, Seattle Weekly, July 18, 2012
- Mike Isabella Learns About ‘Drugs’ at Boot Camp, Washington Post, July 16, 2012
- Dear F.D.A.: Stop Drugging Animals, Mark Bittman Blog, July 13, 2012
- Date added:
- Nov 8, 2013
Chris Linaman, executive chef at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, WA, is dedicated to creating a more sustainable food system by supporting growers and producers who raise food without the routine use of antibiotics that endanger the public’s health. Working in partnership with Health Care Without Harm and Overlake’s administration, Chris has created a comprehensive sustainable food purchasing policy for Overlake Hospital that has resulted in many impressive achievements in just a short time.More info
Two former FDA commissioners – David Kessler (1990-1997) and Donald Kennedy (1977-1979) – wrote to OMB Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell urging her to take action on antibiotics in agricultural feed.More info
In comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Pew asked the agency to improve the way it reports annual sales of antibiotics for use in food animal production. Chief among its recommendations, Pew urged the FDA to amend the definition of “therapeutic” antibiotic use to more clearly exclude inappropriate uses for so-called “disease prevention” purposes that, in practice, are similar or identical to growth promotion.More info
Organizations representing the medical, public health, and sustainable agriculture communities are urging the Obama administration to end antibiotic overuse and misuse in food animal production. They asked President Obama to direct the Office of Management and Budget to finalize Food and Drug Administration Guidance #213 and issue a proposed rule on the Veterinary Feed Directive in order to initiate the three-year phase-out of growth promotion and production-related uses of antibiotics.More info
So far this year, more than 300 people have gotten sick from bacteria called Salmonella heidelberg. Almost three-quarters of them live in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that chicken produced in three Central California processing facilities is the "likely source of this outbreak" and that the bacteria are "resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics."More info
Latest Foodborne Illnesses Show Links Between Farm Antibiotic Use and Resistant Bacteria in U.S. Poultry SupplyAn ongoing outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg this year has already sickened nearly 300 people who consumed contaminated chicken, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More info
This week, The Pew Charitable Trusts delivered a letter signed by 530 chefs to Sam Kass, executive director of Let’s Move! and senior policy advisor for nutrition at the White House, urging the Obama administration to finalize policies to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics and to protect people from resistant superbugs.More info
Consumers across the United States are demanding meat and poultry raised without antibiotics—and large producers, restaurants, and other institutions are listening. Following is a list of some leading companies offering responsibly produced food.More info
Decades have passed since FDA first tried – and failed – to restrict antibiotic use on industrial farms, a practice that contributes to the development of drug resistant bacteria that can infect people. Ask President Obama to finish the jobMore info
Jeffco Public Schools is the largest school district in Colorado with nearly 86,000 students and about 12,000 employees. On Sept. 18, 2013—Colorado Proud Day—the school system began serving chicken raised without antibiotics to its students, along with other fresh, locally produced food. Executive Director of Food and Nutrition Services Linda Stoll answered some questions about the importance of Jeffco’s new menu item.More info
Institutional and individual consumers have the power to change industrial farming practices that endanger human health. Routinely feeding antibiotics to livestock that are not sick is undermining the effectiveness of life-saving drugs, which leaves children especially vulnerable. That’s why, from inner city Chicago to the suburbs of Denver, schools are buying more food from producers who raise animals without misusing antibiotics.More info