Do you rush to buy a particular brand of chicken because it is anti-biotic free? Are you more likely to buy beef that uses "ethical, sustainable" practices like no added steroids or hormones.

I don't blame you, that stuff sounds scary, I don't want antibiotics in my sandwich. There's just one problem: chicken has to be antibiotic-free by law. One brand is trying to look like they are somehow superior to another company even though the chicken is the same.

And 'added' hormones make someone less ethical? Well, that qualifier is necessary because, as you know, we have lots of natural hormones - so do cows and the plants they eat. 

It's no surprise the average person can be scared - they just want to buy a hamburger, so they won't know that growth promotants are commonly used and have been used since ... the 1950s. Any added hormones wore off long before the animal got turned into delicious food but an ad campaign claiming Brand X is more "ethical" than some other brand is unethical scare mongering. Without those promotants, food would be a lot more expensive - sure, the Agricultural 1% doesn't care, they can buy anything, but they shouldn't let their brands scare poor people who don't have their Whole Foods-type agricultural budget.

Sarah at Nurse Loves Farmer has a terrific takedown of the most common fear marketing, brought to you via Dr. Cami Ryan.