While many consumers have reduced or eliminated red meat in their diet due to a misperception that it’s less healthy than other meats, chicken and egg consumption increases.
The truth is, chicken is no more healthy for you than red meat. The main determinant on whether any type of meat or eggs is healthy for you is dependent on where it’s sourced from.
Here are five things to consider about chicken and eggs.
Chicken are herbivores
Chicken are naturally intended to eat insects, plant life, and grasses. They are not biologically designed to eat grain or soy. When you force them to eat such, it doesn’t align with their natural digestive function which leads to dysfunction and disease.
Over 50% of U.S. farmlands are designated for growing soy and corn—used mostly to feed factory farm animals. 97% of the U.S. produced soy goes strictly to feed factory farm chickens while the rest is used for fuel. This factoid drives home the reality that chickens are no longer eating their natural diet–which does play a role in food safety.
Food Borne Illness
Although the small organic meat and dairy producers are targeted as being unsafe, it’s really the Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO’s) that are the real threat. As noted in a Food Safety News article, industrialized meat producers can have 50% of its samples test positive for Salmonella, and still get a seal of approval from the USDA. It has to hit 51% to be tagged as “unsafe”. How’s that for “food safety”?
To further threaten the security of our meat, consider that when animals are immobilized (caged) it creates a ton of stress which leads to high chances of disease. Furthermore, the filth that exists within these tight quarters breeds disease as these animals are completely removed from their natural habitat and way of life. They are smothered in each others disease ridden filth, including feces.
This explains why 80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used to keep factory farm animals “healthy” enough for sale to the consumer. Being termed safe by the USDA does not mean what consumers are lead to believe. The reality is that without the loads of injected antibiotics, the majority of these factory farm animals would not be alive.
Not only do the animals build up a resistance to antibiotics, so do humans as the antibiotics carry over to them through their consumption of these factory farm animals.
As many consumer’s awareness has grown they’ve switched to eating “cage-free” eggs, not realizing that “cage-free” eggs are still in cages. The “cage free” label is a facade. It merely means that rather than 6-8 chickens stuffed into a cage the approximate size of a file box, they’re instead crammed in droves into warehouses approximately 490 feet by 45 feet, most without windows.
Each warehouse generally houses 30,000-40,000 chickens. Few of them see sunlight and they’re never allowed to roam. The fatter they get, from just eating and sitting, the higher the profits. This also produces diseased unhealthy chicken (& eggs) not fit for human consumption.
“Pastured” or “pasture-raised” chickens (& eggs) are the only ones not caged. Few consumers can keep up with all the trickery.
Chickens who live a normal healthy life: roaming the fields, eating plant-life and grasses, freely moving, receiving direct sunlight–these are the only ones that are truly safe for human consumption.
Some animals are so constrained they are unable to turn around for their entire lifetime. Seemingly small things often have huge ramifications. This is not about becoming an animal activist but about recognizing what’s on your plate— it’s damaging effects on our planet—that is, on life systems, and the health of you and your family.
In order to maximize profits, chickens are bred to grow such large breasts that they have difficulty standing or breathing. They are so top heavy, they cannot walk. They are basically bred to suffer. Poultry Science Journal, a trade journal, released an article that calculated that if humans were to grow this fast they’d weigh 660 pounds before they were 2 years old.
A chick at 7.5 weeks weighs approximately 5 pounds. Their internal bones and organs cannot keep up with the abnormal growth—leading to deformity and disease.
These factory chickens are so constricted they’re fighting over wing space—barely able to lift their wings. Their beaks are cut off with a hot blade so they don’t peck each other to death. Not because they want to hurt each other but because they’re biologically designed to peck—to forage for food. Non-pasture raised chickens basically live in animal prisons with high levels of abuse—and disease.
At some point, we must consider both the physical and energetic ramifications of eating animals that are unhealthy in every way imaginable. Do we really want to eat animals that are raised in pure torture and are alive only because they are fed 7 times the antibiotics that a human typically receives.
When you witness with your own eyes, the abuse—and disease, it becomes difficult to continue ingesting such foods, and furthermore to continue to support the greed ridden industry.
Check it out for yourself…
Perdue, the large chicken manufacturer declined an interview after video footage was leaked from more than one of their chicken farms. They also agreed to remove the “humanely raised” from their labels. Tyson has a similar record.
The solution is to buy from local farmers whose farm animals graze pastures and eat their normal diet. Worst case buy organic, although there’s really no guarantee there. The food industry has become shockingly insidious as they focus on lower food costs.
Cheap food is not a good thing. The price of chicken has fallen by 3/4’s since the 1930’s—at who’s costs? At the costs of farm animals and humans alike— including the chicken farmers themselves who’ve become indebted by force of the CAFO system rules–to the tune of $250,00-500,000. They only earn about $18,000 a year.
Knowledge is power. When are you and your family going to stop paying the price?
Further Reading: Top 10 Sources of Protein.
The Food Revolution: Wayne Pacelle & Alicia Silverstone