Thursday, May 5, 2011


Chicken is the world's leading source of animal protein. Its consumption has more than doubled since 1970! In fact, the average American consumes 59.2 pounds of these delectable critters each year! Since chicken prices have gone down from $2.22 per pound in 1980 to $1.74 in 2004, who wouldn’t take advantage of these blessings:

• Versatile in preparation
• Lean Protein
• Immunity boosting and cancer fighting –
(related to selenium and niacin content).
• Energy producing – (related to Vitamin B6 content).

This all sounds deliciously tempting and health consciously wise until you hear…



According to the UCS, an estimated 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are regularly added to the feed of livestock and poultry that are not sick! The FDA concluded ten years ago that antibiotics in poultry are causing antibiotic-resistant infections in consumers, yet little has been done to end the practice! In fact, the CDC estimates that there will be about 845,024 cases in 2011, with 76 deaths and about 8,463 requiring medical attention.

The CDC and FDA admit that "thoroughly cooked eggs are thoroughly safe eggs" because salmonella is destroyed by heat. So, why spend millions of dollars to vaccinate chickens in an effort to destroy salmonella?


Although I love white meat, I’ve been suspicious about how chickens get to be so voluptuous! The average live weight per broiler nearly doubled to 5.35 pounds from 1934 to 2004, and it reaches that weight in less time! Are they feeding them steroids? Nope! Arsenic!

Arsenic has been used in chicken feed since it was approved by the FDA in 1994. In fact, in order to promote growth, kill parasites, and improve pigmentation so that the bird looks prettier in the cooler, 2.2 million pounds of arsenic-based compounds are mixed in the chicken feed of 70% of the nations 9 billion chickens produced annually!

According to the EPA, long term exposure to inorganic arsenic can cause bladder, lung, skin, kidney, and colon cancer, as well as deleterious immunological, neurological, and endocrine effects. Low-level exposures can lead to partial paralysis and diabetes.

According to EPA estimates, the risk of cancer from 10 ppb of arsenic in tap water is 1 in 2,000, a 50-fold higher risk than that allowed for most other carcinogens. However the standard for arsenic residues in poultry is 2,000 ppb for liver and 500 ppb for muscle! Referring to arsenic-bearing feed, the National Chicken Council concludes that, "There is no reason to believe that there are any human health hazards from this type of use"!

It is no secret that “inorganic arsenic is a Class A carcinogen that has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and declines in brain function. While these large breasted birds may be more attractive in blushing pink, the growth of blood vessels caused by the arsenic in chicken doesn’t stop there. It does the same in human cells, “fueling a growth process known as angiogenesis, a critical first step in many human diseases such as cancer.”


Processing chickens commercially is highly mechanized. Consequently, many intestines are torn during evisceration; as a result, the carcasses become soiled with feces! The American way to deal with this is to “sterilize” the birds with high doses of chlorine!

Although many nations have banned poultry imports from chlorine-using countries, the USDA views chlorine as effective antimicrobial even though it has been demonstrated that 83 percent of U.S. chicken that had been treated in chlorine baths still contained harmful pathogens.

There is a reason why chlorine treated chicken carcasses weigh more than those bathed without it. The known carcinogen is retained by muscle tissue, but especially fats and the liver of chickens! Additionally, chlorine treatment causes respiratory illness, heart disease and thyroid dysfunction.

Sterilized Food

Like most foods in America, poultry has been approved by the FDA to be irradiated. Although we are told that this is to protect us against dangerous bacteria, irradiation damages up to 80% of the food’s vitamins and enzymes. Not only this but, lo and behold, when you combine irradiation with existing chemicals (like pesticides), viola!, other chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde are formed!

So what are our options?

Free-Range/Grass Fed Chicken vs. Conventional Chicken

Probiotics (immuno-stimulant) - Antibiotics (immuno-depressant)
No ammonia vapors (smell) - Hyper ammonia toxicity
No appetite stimulant - Routine appetite stimulants (arsenic)
Small groups (300 or smaller) - Huge groups (10,000 or more)
Clean air, lots of fresh air - Air haze with fecal particulate (damages respiratory tract, stresses liver)
Sunshine & exercise - Limited exercise, practically no sunshine
Fresh daily Salad - No green material
Carefully hand eviscerated intestine - Mechanically eviscerated (prone to breaking, spilling feces over carcass)
Cooking loss 9% carcass weight - Cooking loss 20% carcass weight
Long keepers (freeze more than a year) - Short keepers (freeze only 6 months or less)
Low saturated fat - High saturated fat
No chlorine baths - Up to 40 chlorine baths to kill contaminants
No irradiation - FDA approved irradiation (no label required)(cancer causing
Rich delicious flavor - Low, flat flavor
Omega 3 (good fat) up to three times higher
1.5 percent more protein

Search around for a local farmer near you who raises free-range/grass fed chickens. Don’t be shy about asking questions related to their production principles. We are blessed in Ringgold County to have Sam & Vera Miller @ 2982 US Hwy 169, Redding, Iowa who wisely follow strict standards!


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