If you are like the average person who regularly consumes chicken, you probably purchase it at your local grocery store. According to Agriculture Canada (http://www.agr.gc.ca/poultry/consm_eng.htm) we consumed 31.22 kg or 69 lbs. of chicken per person in 2011. That is up from 16.88 kg in 1980. We eat a lot of chicken!
Why is this important? Most chickens are routinely fed antibiotics on a preventative basis and this can lead to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics also increase weight and allow farmers to bring an animal to market sooner, thereby reducing their costs. Microbes and pathogens are incredibly resiliant to antibiotics and many survive despite our best efforts. Did you know the majority of antibiotics produced in North America are routinely fed to farm animals?
Superbugs, which are resistant to antibiotics, are breeding in our meats, in particular chicken, and are being transmitted to humans in the form of E. coli. The same E. coli that shows up in chicken meat is also being found in human infections! For a short video clip with more details you can watch – http://www.therealfoodchannel.com/videos/the-food-industry/antibiotics-in-chicken-causing-new-infections.html
So, if you are someone who finds yourself on too many antibiotics for recurring infections, you might want to stop and think about where your food is coming from. Of course, there is a lot more to building up one’s immunity than looking at what kind of chicken you are eating, but this could be factor.
So what is a person to do – give up chicken? If that is too extreme for you, please consider purchasing antibiotic free chicken. Presidents Choice has a line of “Free From” meats, including chicken, but you might want to know that superbugs were found in a 2011 sample and the company refused interview requests by CBC’s Marketplace – http://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/2011/superbugsinthesupermarket/loblaws.html
What does that mean? I am not sure – you be the judge.
Okay, that leaves organic chicken, which by definition cannot be given antibiotics. You don’t have to be someone who is always sick to start thinking about your food choices though. I know it is more expensive. What if you were to cut back on your chicken consumption and consider eating vegetarian a few times a week? Maybe then you could afford to go to the natural food market and purchase organic chicken. That could go a long way to reducing your antibiotic exposure, be great for the environment and if you do it right, it could be excellent for your health! I call that a win, win.
Only those, who have lost their health, can truly understand the value of it. The rest of us typically take it for granted, until it is threatened one day. Why wait?
Not sure how to eat vegetarian or even vegan the right way? Get in touch with me and I can help!