Over the past thirty years, Americans have made chicken the preferred meat of choice. The yard bird’s success has been nothing short of spectacular, but when you look closely, we’ll see that its efficacy is all a carefully crafted money grab that has made a few rich and a lot of folks sick.
A recent story from ABC News reported that over eight million women are having a hard time shaking bladder infections. Usually, the doctor would give these ladies a concoction of antibodies and send them on their way, but all of a sudden, there is the presence of bacteria that eschews all mortal attempts to kill it. Medical professionals call it a superbug. Pretty scary, huh?
Well, there is really no reason to be scared though there is a reason to kick in the door of Tom Vilsack, the head honcho over at the United States Department of Agriculture. Many are blaming the cause of this nasty outbreak of bladder infection on the cramped quarters in our “state-of-the-art” chicken farming facilities across America.
So how does the poultry industry get away with housing such terrible conditions for chickens, growing and killing chickens in weeks instead of years? Well, if you haven’t seen Food, Inc., Scott Reitz of The Dallas Observer sums it up astutely:
Americans eat too much processed foods and they get fat. The USDA tells them eating lean proteins is a great way to improve their health. The poultry industry takes that recommendation to the bank. They pump up birds with all sorts of weird things and breed them to have the biggest breasts possible. Demand drives prices up and the move works perfectly. Suddenly everyone thinks a grilled chicken breast is the key to a slim waistline and buy bags of frozen chicken breasts as a turnkey dietary solution.
A combination of market forces that implant insecurity in humans — from sexual undesirability to premature death — the poultry industry has raided your grocer’s meat isle with subsidized, stress-out, doped-up chickens, and then we wonder why kids are turning up with record amounts of stress-related diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.
And additionally, and more importantly, we have to stop the demonization of dietary meat fat. In a study released a few years ago, researchers found that consuming skinless chicken breast five times per week raised the risk of developing bladder cancer fifty-two percent. It looks like we need to redefine what it means to eat clean.
Researchers suggest that high levels of heterocyclic amines (HCA) in skinless chicken are the most likely reasons for the strong link between eating these foods and the risk of developing bladder cancer. Apparently, cooking chicken with the skin mitigated the effects HCAs on the body, but it looks like you’ll lose the skin’s protection when you deep-fry, barbecue, or broil the chicken.
Hopefully, The Obama Administration, a major proponent of healthy eating, will jump on this problem and figure out a way to reduce American’s dependence on pernicious chicken.