Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Better Beef - A&W Canada ... REALLY?


I'm not sure about this, and am interested in your thoughts.  A few days ago, a little flyer landed in our mailbox from A&W.  Along with the usual coupons (e.g. $4 Uncle Burgers and $2 Mama Burgers), there are a number of pages with messages like:
"Our 100% Pure Beef Guarantee - Raised without any added hormones or steroids, no preservatives or additives ... Ethically and sustainably farmed", and statements like:  "We pride ourselves on sourcing beef from ranches with a strong ethical commitment to both the environment and their cattle."

Images of free ranging, pasture-fed cattle abound in the flyer.  So I googled "Better Beef" and looked up "".  It's quite a little film, including interviews with 3 beef producers in Alberta, Montana and Australia.  It all sounds very good ... but, is it credible?  I don't know.  At the very least, it is interesting that a long-standing and main-stream burger seller like A&W is going out of its way to describe itself this way.  At best, it's an amazing shift toward ethical food-production.  I'm interested in your thoughts.

submitted by Gareth


  1. If it's true (and that bears some more scrutiny I suppose); then I applaud A & W. However, as I understand it, much of the meat produced in the hamburger industry comes from parts of the world where the creation and expansion of ranches to produce such meat causes environmentally destructive deforestation. How does A & W stack up in that regard. However, an interesting trend, and if true one to be commended and continued. When I get a burger I'll visit A & W.

  2. Good question. The images in the little video (9 minutes or so) shows pasture land in the foothills of mountain ranges ... clearly carefully selected images. It's quite unlikely that existing pasture is enough to feed the humungous appetite for burgers. Gareth