Is all chicken created equal?
By: Dr. Keith Kantor
Chicken has become a staple of the American diet, we grill it, fry it, boil it and even eat it out of a can When the demand for chicken went up (during the fast food era) the farming and processing of chicken changed dramatically for the worse. We have all heard of documentaries like Food Inc. or the book Skinny Bitch that don’t hold back on the gruesome details of the poultry industry. As a consumer, the labels and marketing can be deceiving, learn more about why you should purchase certified all natural products.
There are more humane farming techniques that will cost the consumer a little more money up front but the piece of mind is worth knowing that you are feeding yourself and your family food that is safe and free of dangerous chemicals. Certified all natural chicken has a higher standard then conventional chicken processing.
Certified all natural means that the chickens are raised to the below standards.
- The chickens are raised in conditions certified by the American Humane Association.
- They are not raised with antibiotics, this is preferred because we do not want to absorb the antibiotics through consuming the chicken. Too much exposure especially in children can increase their risk for a compromised immune system and subtle resistance to antibiotics if they get sick.
- They are not raised with steroids or growth stimulants. Since the chicken breast is the most demanded part of the chicken, some farmers distribute growth stimulants to increase the size of the chickens breast, some of these chickens have a hard time walking and even breathing. They will still get killed and sent off to be processed for human consumption. The problem is you could be consuming a sick and diseased animal product, or worse your children or elderly loved ones with weaker immune systems are exposed to this.
- Another problem with growth stimulants and hormones is the rise in “pre-puberty.” If children consume conventional meats that have been pumped with growth stimulants and hormones they too are at risk for speeding up the growth and puberty process. It is no coincidence that our youth appear to be older, developing and even getting their cycles way before the past generations. They are consuming foods that have been laced with chemicals including growth hormone from a young age.
- The animals are not fed- animal by products, instead they are fed an all natural grain and vegetarian diet. When chickens are fed animal by products it decrease the nutrition, vitamin and mineral content and flavor of the poultry.
- Processing and packaging is done without chemicals including saline sodium solution, or dye. Conventional chicken meat is processed and preserved through a slow soak in a saline solution, adding water to the chicken and sodium. This is why the meat shrinks on the grill and it has higher sodium content. Blast freezing the chicken and vacuum sealing it is the best processing method. The meat retains its flavor and there is no additional sodium. Sodium should be restricted to less then 3000 mg per day for healthy individuals and 2400 mg per day for those who have high blood pressure or heart disease.
- Vacuum sealing will save money and more importantly it is an easy method of portion control. An individually sealed chicken breast can be cooked and measured easily, promoting a healthy portion, weight loss and no excessive waste. Buying a pack of chicken in bulk can be complicated to store properly in the freezer, even ruining the chicken breast. Individually wrapped and sealed is also a great way to save money and still buy in bulk.
The impact all-natural has on your health
Our brains and metabolism function at optimal level without and disruptions, exposure to chemicals can put a major strain on our neurological and metabolic function resulting in increased risk for disease, weight gain, and even cancers. Eliminating these substances from our diet can help reduce the risk for chronic disease and neurological disorders.