Chicken is killing us

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/16/chicken_is_killing_the_planet/
To start, that a chicken was born and bred on U.S. soil is no guarantee of its quality. It is, however, a good indicator of several other things, starting with the bird’s short, miserable life. The vast majority of the eight billion chickens eaten in the U.S. every year are raised in cages too small for them to spread their wings, fed a diet laden with arsenic and antibiotics, and packed into barns so full of birds, feathers, and feces, that, as we learned last week, an employee could literally get shot in one without anyone even noticing.

Don’t be comforted by the fact that chicken was processed in the U.S. either. Between slaughter and nugget-ization, chicken carcasses endure a host of perversions, making chicken less of a food and more of a food-like substance. They are injected with saltwater solutions to add weight and taste. Their bodies are mechanically separated through a processed called “Advanced Meat Recovery,” stripping the meat off leftover bones and turning it into the poultry version of pink slime. The resulting goop will be washed in ammonia to kill its bacteria population. It will then be cooked into something tasty and sold to you, the unwitting customer. And yes, this process does actually impact the food on your plate: According to a 2009 USDA study, eighty-seven percent of chicken cadavers test positive for E. coli, feces’ favorite bacteria, just before they are packaged and sent to a store near you.
But Big Chicken doesn’t just exploit the animals – the environment and its employees suffer as well. According to a 2011 Pew study, modern day chicken farming pollutes the water, the air, and the soil. Chicken manure finds its way into everything nearby, oversaturating the land and water with phosphorous and nitrogen, depleting them of oxygen and killing aquatic life. Industry tycoons Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms have both been accused of outsourcing their labor, turning “what were once good-paying positions” into “near-poverty-level jobs.” Perdue defended its practices to Salon, noting that it “was among the last of the poultry companies” to outsource, and that “affected associates were able to apply for positions elsewhere” within the company. Tyson offered a similar response, adding that outsourcing certain positions is “common practice in the poultry industry.”

But despite all of the problems with our chicken system, the momentum is moving against regulation instead of towards more of it. As Tom Philpott reported for Mother Jones, the Obama administration wants to simultaneously speed up slaughter lines and cut three-quarters of their inspectors. While the USDA currently requires four inspectors at any line killing up to 140 birds per minute, it has proposed cutting three of those inspectors while upping the chickens killed per minute limit to one-seventy-five. This announcement came on the heels of another major shift in American poultry policy: not only will we allow the shipment of chicken cadavers to China for processing, but the USDA has now okayed the import of the resulting chicken products back home.

This change in the chicken market will almost certainly exacerbate that market’s problems, not solve them. Meat is already the No. 1 contributor to climate change. Don’t expect shipping slaughtered chickens seven thousand miles to China and then bringing them back as processed food to lower that carbon footprint. And of course, the Chinese poultry industry has its own dirty laundry, including a current bird flu outbreak, believed to have “evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people,” and already responsible for forty-four deaths; the sale of forty-six year old chicken feet; and exporting tainted dog treats, sickening nearly a thousand American pets.

Even if the Chinese facilities were subject to U.S. poultry farm inspection processes, consumers still could not be guaranteed the products’ safety. But the Chinese factories turning American-raised chickens into American-sold chicken nuggets won’t even have that. According to the New York Times, no USDA officials will be on site – the processors will simply self-verify the source of the poultry being processed. “And because the poultry will be processed,” the Times continues, “it will not require country-of-origin labeling.” While Tom Super of the National Chicken Council assured me that Chinese products will be “subject to increased inspection upon entry into the United States” and a failure to meet U.S. safety standards will result in a revocation of China’s eligibility to export to the U.S., it is unclear how, without onsite inspectors, the chicken industry will reduce the risk of, for example, cross-contamination with China’s own poultry supply. (Not all of Big Chicken is jumping on the China bandwagon – Perdue has “no plans” to move its processing off USDA inspected facilities.)

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that foodborne illnesses sicken approximately forty-eight million people each year, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest puts chicken in the number one spot of its “Risky Meat” list. While Super notes that ninety-nine percent of the chicken consumed in the U.S. is “hatched, raised and processed” here, and “we don’t expect that to change,” cutting the number of inspectors overseeing the process at home and excluding them entirely from new plants in a country already rife with controversial food safety measures seems unlikely to improve those numbers. Super also mentioned that, “some economists have pointed out that they just don’t see how China can do this economically,” considering the logistics. Makes you wonder what corners will be cut to make it worth the effort.

Cue the scary suspense music every time you buy a processed chicken product at the grocery.

Earlier this month, while you were busy sneaking out of your empty office, hoping nobody would notice your starting the holiday weekend early, the USDA was also doing something it was hoping nobody would notice. It was green lighting the sale of Chinese processed American chicken. As POLITICO explained, “U.S. officials have given the thumbs-up to four Chinese poultry plants, paving the way for the country to send processed chicken to American markets.” But while, “at first, China will only be able to process chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other certified countries,” that should not be a comfort to fans of the McNugget, Campbell’s chicken soup, or any other processed chicken product.
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Replies

  • Greenrun99
    Greenrun99 Posts: 2,065 Member
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.
  • StacyReneO
    StacyReneO Posts: 317 Member
    Blech.
  • Mr_Knight
    Mr_Knight Posts: 9,533 Member
    The reason we invented cooking was to enable us to eat foods more safely. A modern factory chicken is, in fact, cleaner and safer than a chicken raised, butchered and eaten in (for example) the Middle Ages.

    This isn't to say there isn't room for improvement, but looking at these issues out of context doesn't do anybody any good.
  • Showcase_Brodown
    Showcase_Brodown Posts: 919 Member
    I feel like the article itself is more processed than the chicken I eat. My BS detector is going off.
  • Minnie2361
    Minnie2361 Posts: 281 Member
    banksy-caveman.jpg
  • whierd
    whierd Posts: 14,032 Member
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.

    I'm not licking a live chicken. I'm feasting on the flesh of it's corpse.
  • BeachIron
    BeachIron Posts: 6,490 Member
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.

    I'm not licking a live chicken. I'm feasting on the flesh of it's corpse.

    Next up: cow houses
  • rml_16
    rml_16 Posts: 16,414 Member
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.

    I'm not licking a live chicken. I'm feasting on the flesh of it's corpse.
    You're totally missing out.
  • MiloBloom83
    MiloBloom83 Posts: 2,723 Member
    http://www.salon.com/2013/09/16/chicken_is_killing_the_planet/
    To start, that a chicken was born and bred on U.S. soil is no guarantee of its quality. It is, however, a good indicator of several other things, starting with the bird’s short, miserable life. The vast majority of the eight billion chickens eaten in the U.S. every year are raised in cages too small for them to spread their wings, fed a diet laden with arsenic and antibiotics, and packed into barns so full of birds, feathers, and feces, that, as we learned last week, an employee could literally get shot in one without anyone even noticing.

    Don’t be comforted by the fact that chicken was processed in the U.S. either. Between slaughter and nugget-ization, chicken carcasses endure a host of perversions, making chicken less of a food and more of a food-like substance. They are injected with saltwater solutions to add weight and taste. Their bodies are mechanically separated through a processed called “Advanced Meat Recovery,” stripping the meat off leftover bones and turning it into the poultry version of pink slime. The resulting goop will be washed in ammonia to kill its bacteria population. It will then be cooked into something tasty and sold to you, the unwitting customer. And yes, this process does actually impact the food on your plate: According to a 2009 USDA study, eighty-seven percent of chicken cadavers test positive for E. coli, feces’ favorite bacteria, just before they are packaged and sent to a store near you.
    But Big Chicken doesn’t just exploit the animals – the environment and its employees suffer as well. According to a 2011 Pew study, modern day chicken farming pollutes the water, the air, and the soil. Chicken manure finds its way into everything nearby, oversaturating the land and water with phosphorous and nitrogen, depleting them of oxygen and killing aquatic life. Industry tycoons Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms have both been accused of outsourcing their labor, turning “what were once good-paying positions” into “near-poverty-level jobs.” Perdue defended its practices to Salon, noting that it “was among the last of the poultry companies” to outsource, and that “affected associates were able to apply for positions elsewhere” within the company. Tyson offered a similar response, adding that outsourcing certain positions is “common practice in the poultry industry.”

    But despite all of the problems with our chicken system, the momentum is moving against regulation instead of towards more of it. As Tom Philpott reported for Mother Jones, the Obama administration wants to simultaneously speed up slaughter lines and cut three-quarters of their inspectors. While the USDA currently requires four inspectors at any line killing up to 140 birds per minute, it has proposed cutting three of those inspectors while upping the chickens killed per minute limit to one-seventy-five. This announcement came on the heels of another major shift in American poultry policy: not only will we allow the shipment of chicken cadavers to China for processing, but the USDA has now okayed the import of the resulting chicken products back home.

    This change in the chicken market will almost certainly exacerbate that market’s problems, not solve them. Meat is already the No. 1 contributor to climate change. Don’t expect shipping slaughtered chickens seven thousand miles to China and then bringing them back as processed food to lower that carbon footprint. And of course, the Chinese poultry industry has its own dirty laundry, including a current bird flu outbreak, believed to have “evolved from migratory birds via waterfowl to poultry and into people,” and already responsible for forty-four deaths; the sale of forty-six year old chicken feet; and exporting tainted dog treats, sickening nearly a thousand American pets.

    Even if the Chinese facilities were subject to U.S. poultry farm inspection processes, consumers still could not be guaranteed the products’ safety. But the Chinese factories turning American-raised chickens into American-sold chicken nuggets won’t even have that. According to the New York Times, no USDA officials will be on site – the processors will simply self-verify the source of the poultry being processed. “And because the poultry will be processed,” the Times continues, “it will not require country-of-origin labeling.” While Tom Super of the National Chicken Council assured me that Chinese products will be “subject to increased inspection upon entry into the United States” and a failure to meet U.S. safety standards will result in a revocation of China’s eligibility to export to the U.S., it is unclear how, without onsite inspectors, the chicken industry will reduce the risk of, for example, cross-contamination with China’s own poultry supply. (Not all of Big Chicken is jumping on the China bandwagon – Perdue has “no plans” to move its processing off USDA inspected facilities.)

    The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that foodborne illnesses sicken approximately forty-eight million people each year, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest puts chicken in the number one spot of its “Risky Meat” list. While Super notes that ninety-nine percent of the chicken consumed in the U.S. is “hatched, raised and processed” here, and “we don’t expect that to change,” cutting the number of inspectors overseeing the process at home and excluding them entirely from new plants in a country already rife with controversial food safety measures seems unlikely to improve those numbers. Super also mentioned that, “some economists have pointed out that they just don’t see how China can do this economically,” considering the logistics. Makes you wonder what corners will be cut to make it worth the effort.

    Cue the scary suspense music every time you buy a processed chicken product at the grocery.

    Earlier this month, while you were busy sneaking out of your empty office, hoping nobody would notice your starting the holiday weekend early, the USDA was also doing something it was hoping nobody would notice. It was green lighting the sale of Chinese processed American chicken. As POLITICO explained, “U.S. officials have given the thumbs-up to four Chinese poultry plants, paving the way for the country to send processed chicken to American markets.” But while, “at first, China will only be able to process chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other certified countries,” that should not be a comfort to fans of the McNugget, Campbell’s chicken soup, or any other processed chicken product.

    Bravo! Fear mongering at it's finest! *golf clap*

    Cook your chicken properly and it won't kill you. Or raise your own like i have.
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 MFP Moderator
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.

    I'm not licking a live chicken. I'm feasting on the flesh of it's corpse.
    You're totally missing out.

    enlighten me please cause I think he hit the nail on the head... I wouldn't lick or eat a raw chicken but if it is cooked to a perfect 170 degree's I'll eat a couple pounds every night, oh wait I do..... lol
  • BeachIron
    BeachIron Posts: 6,490 Member
    So she's gone from sugar troll to chicken troll now?

    That reminds me. I haven't had chicken and waffles in a while.

    Well, breakfast has been decided. Thank you, OP. :flowerforyou:
  • Ghost written by Cluckie.



    tumblr_m2c01jXpHu1rqfhi2o1_500_zpsb308ddd1.gif
  • rml_16
    rml_16 Posts: 16,414 Member
    Watch the movie Food Inc to get an idea of our chicken houses... It shows just how unclean they are (as you mentioned).. everyone wants things cheaper and politicians listen to lobbyist money more than health concerns or environmentalists.. so guess who wins... get the organic chicken if you think it bothers you.

    I'm not licking a live chicken. I'm feasting on the flesh of it's corpse.
    You're totally missing out.

    enlighten me please cause I think he hit the nail on the head... I wouldn't lick or eat a raw chicken but if it is cooked to a perfect 170 degree's I'll eat a couple pounds every night, oh wait I do..... lol
    No, you don't lick raw chicken. You lick live chickens. Duh.
  • rjmudlax13
    rjmudlax13 Posts: 909 Member
    I eat chicken about 4 times a week. I'm doooooooooomed!
  • JDHINAZ
    JDHINAZ Posts: 641 Member
    Only deadly chicken I know it's the one on Family Guy. That chicken must be stopped.
  • blah2989
    blah2989 Posts: 338 Member
    Chicken is not killing us. Im sorry, thats a ridiculous title. Why is it so difficult to buy 4H raised animals? Buy free range, farm raised. So called "organic" chicken sold at the market is typically a big freaking joke. Just look at the basic guidelines to what you can advertise as "free ranged" The chickens are practically worse off then caged chickens. They do have more space and arent in a "cage" more of a kennel- like run, with the maximum amount of chickens they can put in a space like that. Buy farm raised chickens from people you actually know. Thats really the only thing to do to fight the corps.
  • ThickMcRunFast
    ThickMcRunFast Posts: 22,511 Member
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  • michellekicks
    michellekicks Posts: 3,624 Member
    Chicken is making me lean and hot.

    And I even buy it from the USA against recommendations from everyone I know. Boneless, skinless chicken breast here in Canada goes on sale for $4.99 a pound. Across the border, just 20 minutes from my house, I can buy giant packs of it for $1.78/pound. I have no idea why. It's better not to ask questions when feeding a family of 7 on one income.
  • tigersword
    tigersword Posts: 8,059 Member
    I just want to know when Minnie is going to start posting about all the e.coli and salmonella outbreaks caused by vegetables.

    Oh that's right, Minnie's just a biased copy pasta troll, so that side of the fear mongering will never get shown...
  • PikaKnight
    PikaKnight Posts: 34,972 Member
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This discussion has been closed.