If you are still eating non-organic chicken, please keep reading.
In the United States, unlike in Europe and the UK, there are no minimum space requirements for breeding chickens, no rules governing lighting levels in the sheds, and no maximum allowed levels of ammonia (how much urine and fecal matter is present in the shed). To be very clear, there is NO LIMIT on how much poop and pee can sit and rot under and on the chickens that they then electrocute and SELL TO US TO EAT.
If you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you’d be wrong; there’s also nothing to stop farmers from washing US chickens in chlorine.
“Supporters of chlorine-washed chicken point out both the US and European food safety authorities have declared the chemicals used to wash chickens in the States do not pose any risk to human health. Tom Super, spokesman for the US National Chicken Council, said: ‘Its [chlorine’s] use makes the chicken safer. It is not present in the final product, it poses zero health risk.’
But Jaydee Hanson, a senior policy analyst at the US Center for Food Safety, said: ‘These chemicals are basically like the ones we put in our toilets to clean them. The question is why are chickens so contaminated in the first place. And the issue is that we are not doing a good job of raising chickens.'”1
As you can imagine, the disturbing idea of chlorine-washed chickens from the US- where Big Ag and Big Pharma rule the roost- “going on sale in British shops in a post-Brexit trade deal last week sparked an explosive row at the heart of Government.” As well it should.
- Tens of thousands of super-sized ‘Frankenstein’ birds are crammed in vast warehouses.
- The chickens, which weigh up to 9lb, often buckle under their own weight.
- They must live without natural sunlight.
- They often die before they reach maturity and many are left covered in their own feces.
Why on earth would we want to eat something like this? How are people still eating “food” like this?
North Carolina farmer Craig Watts, said,
“The birds are too heavy to stand because they have been bred for breast meat and nothing else so they spend their lives squatting. It’s like two toothpicks sticking out of a grape. They spend 95 per cent of their time sitting on the litter, a mixture of pine shavings and faecal matter from that flock and prior flocks. Their flesh would rot and, when you have them crammed in so tight, they will walk over other birds if they want to get to the food or scratch the others and cause a wound. It is awful.”2
But again, since nearly all American chicken farmers are under contract with big producers who supply them with their chicks, feed, and equipment, the firms get to decide what the farmers can do. They also pay them according to what’s been called a “tournament system” that pits farmers against each other; whoever produces the most meat with the least feed, “wins.” And, it’s been over 20 years since they’ve had an increase in base pay. Seventy per cent of poultry growers live below the poverty level.3
Since 1957, U.S. chickens have more than tripled in size. But so has the waste they bring from the slaughterhouse. And yet, the U.S. poultry industry maintains its birds are healthier than ever.
Case in point. Jim Sumner, the president of the US Poultry & Egg Export Council, said that in fact U.S. chickens are treated humanely and are only washed with chlorine to make them “extra safe” for consumers. He said the process of the chlorine bath isn’t harmful and that the issue is “Sometimes these [animal welfare] organizations do not have a thorough understanding of the process or scientific facts.” 4
See? It’s just our fault for being stupid.
The fact that we have to wash our food in chlorine to make it safe to eat just proves that we aren’t raising our food in the healthiest manner possible.
Eat this stuff at your own risk.