There is a growing awareness of people asking what is in chicken meat and more specifically what is in chicken nuggets or other processed meat. There is a rising concern about the way chicken is being raised in large confinement factory farms and is it safe to eat.
What are you buying at the store?
When we pick up a package of chicken at the store do we really know were it came from? Was it even raised in the US? The thing with buying chicken meat in the store is that we don’t really know what that chicken has gone through to get there from the growing to the processing. I will share a few of the many concerns we need to look at to determine if the chicken in the grocery store is as good as it should be.
Look at how a commercial chicken lives.
Most commercial/industrial chicken farms raise the birds in large barns where they are so crowded that each bird literally only has about as much room as a standard sheet of paper. The air quality is poor due to the high concentration of manure and that creates ammonia that the birds are breathing. They typically don’t get fresh air, sunshine, or green grass.
The food they eat.
Because of the inappropriate growing conditions the chickens are fed antibiotics to keep them alive. It is amazing that around 80% of all antibiotics made go into livestock feed and chicken feed gets the highest dose. Why should this be a concern? We are seeing a great increase in antibiotic resistant diseases such as salmonella, Campylobacter, and E. coli. If you keep watching the news you hear about more hard to treat infections all the time.
Another concern is that the grain used to feed the chickens is derived from genetically grown (GMO) plants that have received a high dose of pesticides and herbicides. This shows up in the meat according to independent test labs.
The industrial meat producers have done a great job at making their processing facility’s look humane, clean, and safe but when you take a look behind the scenes you can see many aspects of the processing that raise concerns.
- The kill. processing plants first stun the birds with either electrical shock or gas to knock out the chicken. This doesn’t lead to proper bleed out since the birds organs are not functioning the way they normally do. The most effective way is to place the bird upside down in a cone and use a quick sharp knife slit to the neck artery where the bird quickly looses blood pressure and essentially blacks out while the heart keeps pumping and bleeds the bird out thoroughly. This is the proper kill technique the Bible refers to as well.
- Chlorine bath. Because of the unsanitary growing conditions the chickens go through a series of chlorine baths to disinfect the birds and get rid of the the ammonia smell. Traces of the chlorine remain in the meat and cause digestive problems for consumers.
- Plumping with water. Yes, hard to believe but 15% of your chicken weight that you bought from the store is water that was used to inject into the meat to make it look bigger than it really is. That is why there is so much more shrinkage when cooking store bought chicken compared to naturally grown chicken.
Processed chicken meat.
I see where this is the biggest issue with chicken meat today. The boneless chicken meat that is most commonly in the form of chicken nuggets. Highly processed chicken products have been increasing greatly in the past few years and one of the biggest concerns about this is the processor can use more and more poor quality meat in these products. It makes it easier to use more bioengineering which is genetically altered meat that has been found to be dangerous in independent test that have been done on genetically altered food.
Where’s the meat?
Only half of a chicken nugget is actually chicken meat. So, what is the rest of it made of?
- Fillers like genetically altered (GMO) corn and soy.
- Sugar and not just any sugar but often high fructose corn syrup which is difficult to digest and is also GMO. This makes for a false sense of taste (they do taste good) and makes them addictive and causes you to over eat.
- Artificial colors and flavors and one of the worst is MSG (monosodium glutamate) a known neurotoxin.
What can I do?
The large corporate food industry is doing what it is designed to do and that is make as much low cost food as possible. That may look good on the price tag at the store however large scale food production comes with some heavy unseen price tags. Those unseen cost are health, environmental, animal welfare, economic, and social issue that it creates. Everyone has a choice to make. You can keep buying their inferior products that probably shouldn’t be called food or you can choose to give your food dollars to healthy, sustainable, safe, nutritious, and delicious food that supports life.
What is the alternative?
There is a growing number of producers with a focus on high quality nutrient dense food that is safe and free of the harmful drugs, chemicals and artificial ingredients. The best thing to do is try to buy local as often as possible. When you develop a close relationship with the folks growing your food you develop trust and accountability. That is why we like to have our customers see for themselves how we raise our food. We raise our meat chickens in portable floorless pens that allows the chicken to enjoy fresh grass as we move them daily. They get plenty of sunshine and clean water. Our pens provide plenty of room for them to move around. We use a feed that is free of chemicals, antibiotics, and GMO’s. This method produces superior quality chicken meat. You can see more about what we offer at our store page and if you can’t find a local supplier you can take a look at our page on where to by grass fed meat and see a few hand picked places that you can buy from online. These are businesses I would use if I couldn’t grow our own or buy locally.
So glad you are making steps to understand the health and safety of your food and I hope this informations helps. Please leave a comment below as I enjoy hearing what you have to say whether you agree or not.
Thanks and God bless!