Public health advocates are calling on consumers to go antibiotic-free with their traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Earlier this week, the Pew Charitable Trusts posted its three reasons to buy a Thanksgiving turkey raised without antibiotics — the main one being that consumers can influence food producers to curb the overuse of antibiotics in livestock raised for food by “voting with their wallets.” The concern is not with antibiotic residue — something for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects — but that overuse of antibiotics on farms contributes to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bugs, foodborne and otherwise. This is not the first year such groups have made the plea. Last November, set against the backdrop of the outbreak of multi-drug resistant Salmonella Heidelberg linked to Foster Farms brand chicken that sickened 634 people, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) suggested that Americans choose USDA Organic or turkey sold under a “No Antibiotics Administered” label. This year, healthcare professionals are also taking a stance on antibiotics used on farms. The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and the Sharing Antimicrobial Reports for Pediatric Stewardship (SHARPS) group created a pledge for pharmacists and physicians to “Celebrate Thanksgiving this year by purchasing (or encouraging my Thanksgiving host to purchase) a turkey raised without the routine use of antibiotics” and to educate the food service managers at their healthcare facilities about antibiotic stewardship and discuss the importance of purchasing meat raised without the routine use of antibiotics. Over the summer, Cargill announced that it would stop using antibiotics for growth promotion in raising its turkeys. While not agreeing to go entirely antibiotic-free — the drugs will still be used for treating illnesses and for disease prevention — the company became the first major U.S. turkey producer to have a USDA Process Verified program for no antibiotics used for growth promotion. Cargill stated that its Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms brand turkeys would be available without the growth-promoting antibiotics this Thanksgiving and that all of the company’s flocks will be raised without growth-promoting antibiotics by the end of 2015. Some advocates, such as Steven Roach, a senior analyst with Keep Antibiotics Working, have argued that Cargill’s changes aren’t enough. He told Food Safety News this past summer that he wanted the company to show more commitment to reducing overall antibiotic use by tracking the amount used before and after the end of growth promotion. As with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Guidance #213, which phases out the use of the drugs for certain uses, there are concerns that antibiotic use won’t decrease because it will simply be labeled as “disease prevention” in place of “growth promotion.”