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organic chicken
Old 05-30-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
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organic chicken

My sister signed up for an intensive boot-camp style workout program, and they also emphasize diet.

The diet recommendations include not eating chicken, on the theory that even organic chicken is contaminated or modified in some way. The trainer hasn't been completely clear on exactly what the problem is. Things she's said include:

- "real" chickens are naturally scrawny. Therefore any time you see a large, plump chicken, even if it's marked organic, it's not possible that it's really completely organic

- because chickens have been treated with hormones so long (attempting to make them plump), this has somehow fundamentally changed them, so that pretty much regardless of what "lineage" they come from, it's not what "real" chickens used to be

- even organic farms can't really guarantee that their feed isn't contaminated in some way (such as with hormones), which is why even organic chicken isn't really ok

- One type of chicken that is ok is something like Amish chickens, because they've stayed away from modern farming methods and presumably used more or less the same stock of chickens for decades/generations

She is looking for other opinions about this. Anyone know anything about chicken?
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Old 05-30-2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:00 PM   #3
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Here's a thread where chicken was discussed...mostly about cost, then it got a little weird....

Chicken: Whole or Parts?
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:42 PM   #4
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I'm not a moderator, I am going to talk politics. Don't eat chicken. They are right, natural chicken is scrawny. I grew up on a farm where we had laying hens. We would eat them when they wore out. Tough old birds, we had to grind up the meat. Most every chicken you eat is only a few weeks old and way over fed (even the organic ones) and bred for food. Something about growing animals for food where they live only a few weeks in usually bad conditions is just not right.

If the chicken went to the slaughter house read some about the horrors of chicken slaughter.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:54 PM   #5
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:35 PM   #6
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I'm not a moderator, I am going to talk politics. Don't eat chicken. They are right, natural chicken is scrawny. I grew up on a farm where we had laying hens. We would eat them when they wore out. Tough old birds, we had to grind up the meat. Most every chicken you eat is only a few weeks old and way over fed (even the organic ones) and bred for food. Something about growing animals for food where they live only a few weeks in usually bad conditions is just not right.

If the chicken went to the slaughter house read some about the horrors of chicken slaughter.

Hmmm, how about the free range stuff? Or the "Free Farmed" (tm) stuff?
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
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Hmmm, how about the free range stuff? Or the "Free Farmed" (tm) stuff?

"Free-Range" Poultry and Eggs: Not All They're Cracked Up to Be

Free range doesn't mean much. If you are going to eat chicken, get them from a local farmer and know how that farmer handles them, including slaughter.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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My wife grew up on a beef farm,her dad enjoyed having chickens running around the farm so every spring he'd buy 60 chicks and let em loose in the barn,as the summer wore on the chickens would be everywhere and some could even fly to the lower limbs of trees,he never fed the darn things so they all looked a little lean and come fall the ones that were left would all get slaughtered and given to friends and relatives,not much breast meat on them but huge wings and thighs and they tasted a lot better than any store bought chicken.
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:11 AM   #9
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And don't let her put honey in her organic tea either!

Organic Honey is a Myth
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Old 05-31-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info - that sounds pretty definitive! I think she'll probably just get used to the idea of not eating chicken.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:20 PM   #11
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Pastured poultry is what you are looking for. They have an association and very stringent guidelines. I love the stuff I get from Oaklyn Plantation in Darlington SC, who raises pastured poultry.

Free range means nothing, cage free means nothing.

Organic? I don't really care if they are certified, because the cert process is a bit of a scam in and of itself, and lots of small farmers can't afford to pay for it.
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Old 05-31-2009, 08:36 PM   #12
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While I really don't care about 'organic' labels, we buy our chickens from the Hutterites who live near my brothers' farm. They have a large market garden and let the chickens in to take care of the grasshoppers. We buy them in the early fall, nothing like a grasshopper-fed chicken.
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Old 05-31-2009, 09:21 PM   #13
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Exactly, kumquat. What you want is to know exactly what the chickens are eating and how they really live.
I get chills every time I drive past one of those horrible chicken houses so common in my home state. A terrible life for any animal and very unhealthy.
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Old 06-01-2009, 12:02 AM   #14
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Well, we also buy them because they taste good and are cheap.
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by WM View Post
My sister signed up for an intensive boot-camp style workout program, and they also emphasize diet.

The diet recommendations include not eating chicken, on the theory that even organic chicken is contaminated or modified in some way. The trainer hasn't been completely clear on exactly what the problem is. Things she's said include:
Quote:
Originally Posted by WM View Post
Thanks for the info - that sounds pretty definitive! I think she'll probably just get used to the idea of not eating chicken.
WM - what info was "definitive" for you? I think I missed it - I saw opinions.

Now, if someone chooses not to eat mass-production chickens because they don't approve of the conditions for the animals (including that bogus "free range" label, as Martha points out), that is their choice. If they prefer the taste of wild raised chickens (I've never tried side by side, so I dunno), that is their choice.

But is there any evidence (getting to that "definitive" word) that any of these things (food additives, etc) would be bad for the health of the PEOPLE who eat them as part of a balanced, varied diet? Plants eat manure, rotted plants, and rotted animals - but we seem to be fine with eating vegetables. Maybe "we are what we eat", but I don't think we are necessarily "what the stuff we eat ate".

And you always need to consider the consequences - if you are not eating chicken, what are you going to replace it with- Is there anything "definitive" that it is better? If so, great, but a lot of people seem to be attracted to a lot of "junk science" and look up to the promoters as "gurus", even though "The trainer hasn't been completely clear on exactly what the problem is". He listed issues, but no cause/effect. I'm not impressed.

I suspect that if someone drives a single mile out of their way to buy a special-labeled chicken, they are exposing their well being to more risk in that mile on the road than they are by avoiding the "other" chicken. I can look up per-mile accident statistics, I am not aware of a single person harmed by what was fed a production chicken. IOW, I think there are far more important things to consider in your diet and work-out regime and general approach to risk in your everyday life (condition of your car, your driving skills, furnace, smoke alarms, electrical wiring in your house, etc).

I think it is great that you questioned it, but now I'm curious why you call the input here "definitive".

-ERD50
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:41 AM   #16
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True ERD, but the issue is also animal abuse. A few years ago there was an estimate that several billion chickens were scalded alive in the slaughtering process each year; it was a horror to read about. IIRC, after that the feds came out with a pronoucement that poulty should be treated humanely, even though there are no specific federal rules on how poultry is slaughtered. I am not a vegetarian but I still think that there are things we should and should not do in animal food production. Either find properly raised chickens or eat something else. Beef is better if your consideration is the life of the animal. (I know that there are other considerations as well.) Me, I just don't eat much meat and we get our chicken and turkeys from a local that we know.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:13 AM   #17
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Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma addresses much of what Martha is saying here, and I wholeheartedly agree. We are fortunate to also have pastured pork and beef available here in SC, and farmers who chose to care for their animals in this way are also far more likely to use humane slaughter methods as well.

ERD, I'd say that for me, the central importance isn't what they eat, but how they are treated.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:17 AM   #18
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True ERD, but the issue is also animal abuse.
I understand, and totally agree with you on that front.

The "definitive" questions from me were specifically to the original post, which never mentioned the health or condition of the animals - that post seemed to be totally directed to the health effects on the people. That's where I see a lot of smoke and mirror sensationalism and nothing factual.

I'll again recc The Omnivore's Dilemma to anyone interested in the topic of our food supply. It is an easy read and presented in a great combination of "story", mixed with with data/facts.

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Old 06-01-2009, 09:19 AM   #19
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Ignorance was bliss but I do enjoy tofu. OTOH, I'm sure I could find that link where edamane is excoriated. Reading too much could cause weight loss. Waitaminute, we also have a day-of-the-week thread on that topic.
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Old 06-02-2009, 12:04 AM   #20
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Oh no, I didn't mean to kill this thread; here's a cartoon by Paul Madonna:
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File Type: gif 293_plot-chickens.gif (108.8 KB, 2 views)
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