01 November 2010

The chicken fallacy: poultry not as healthy as you think

Looking to make changes in your life and eat healthier? Easy right? Avoid red meat and eat plenty of chicken that must be the answer. It’s white meat and it must contain lower amounts of artery clogging cholesterol? Wrong, chicken and turkey actually contain as much heart damaging cholesterol as red meat.

In the 1970’s chicken consumption averaged 27lbs per person, in modern day that number has risen to 59lbs. With the explosion of chicken farming the goal of the modern day farmer is to raise large meaty chickens fast. In the 1950’s chickens lived 90 days until slaughter. Today chickens are slaughtered in 40 days. Pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics the modern chicken lives a bleak life. Most are kept in polluted dark sheds with as many as 25,000 birds per shed, these birds suffer many of the same ailments as battery hens, such as being de-beaked and being forced to live in a toxic environment. These animals live in this confinement for 40 days without ever seeing sun or being allowed to roam through grass. Genetic engineering of broiler chickens and turkeys often results in a bird too heavy to stand or walk. They suffer from pain in their legs and sores on their feet that are induced by their extreme, unnatural size.

What can you do?
  • Reduce or eliminate chicken and chicken products from your diet.
  • If you purchase poultry buy local and from pastured, organic farms. These animals are treated better, given access to outdoors during the daytime, and it will send a message to factory farms.
  • Support legislation that improves the quality of life for farmed raised poultry.

For more info read the article by Dr. Gina Shaw.

John Himmelberger | @johnhimm
John lives in Maryland where he works as a sales manager. John and his wife Eileen’s pursuit to achieve optimum health combined with a desire to send a strong message to factory farming, inspired them to examine what they put into their bodies. Now a vegan, John has great admiration for groups like Farm Sanctuary and hopes to influence others by sharing his positive experiences. Follow John on his blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary