Monday, November 26, 2007

On chicken

I've spoken before about the book "Food Revolution", and how it was life-changing for me. Seriously, I can't recommend it enough. While my family doesn't eat completely vegetarian, we're not too far off - we do still eat chicken, once a week. (And the boy can't kick the weekly bacon habit, but we're working on it.)

And that's why I thought it was really interesting when I saw the commercials for Tyson chicken where the kids thanked their mother for giving them chicken that's antibiotic and hormone-free. Because here's something many people don't know: chicken by federal law has to be hormone free. So I was interested that Tyson was pushing this as a marketing tool. And yeah! Great! Educate people! If you're going to promote antibiotic chicken as well, that's even better.

(I'll get back to Tyson in a minute: but here's something else interesting most people don't know: that lots of the feed chickens eat has animal byproducts in it. That's right! The chicken you eat might have eaten other animals! I'm not even getting into the way many chickens are treated, I'm talking about them purely from a consumer point of view. I do not want to eat chicken pumped full of junk, being fed goodness knows what, and I don't want to give it to my family either. And do not get me started on beef: there's a reason we don't eat it. Go read the book.)

So when I'd first seen these Tyson commercials, where the kid stands up on his chair and thanks his mom for caring enough to give him Tyson chicken, I almost wrote a post about it. But then I realized recently I hadn't seen them for a long time, so I did a little research. The commercials were pulled because there is a medication in the chicken feed that is - guess what? - classified as an antibiotic! I give them credit for trying...

Still want to eat chicken? I can totally recommend Readington Farms (we have it in ShopRites in NJ): the chicken has no antibiotics administered, no artificial growth hormones, no animal byproducts, no artificial ingredients, an all vegetable diet, and is free farmed. Plus it costs almost the same as your average chicken that was fed who-knows-what.

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