The Dr. Oz show yesterday looked at what is fed to industrial chickens that eventually end up in our grocery stores. Focusing on antibiotics and arsenic Dr. Oz zeroed in on antibiotic resistance.
Antibiotic resistance is not a new issue! Over the past several years individuals and organizations have been demanding a halt to the practice of poultry companies unnecessarily feeding antibiotics to their chickens. Does everyone know that approximately 75% of antibiotics used in this country go to animals feeds?
Little help has come from FDA in regulating the practice and some say it’s because of the massive power and influence the poultry industry has over those who would initiate and enforce regulations. Looking at the other side of the coin, the drug industry is making a fortune selling the antibiotics to the poultry industry. Add the power and influence of the drug lobby and it’s not hard to figure out why nothing gets done.
Going back to the subject of continually feeding antibiotics and arsenic to chickens. Why is it necessary to do this? Renowned experts explain it from a scientific point of view on Dr. Oz’s show.
Having been trapped in the world of contract poultry farming for most of my adult life the explanation is more simplistic coming from the Old Farmer Lady’s point of view.
Cramming animals into an enclosed building with less than a square foot of living space each is a sure way to create a gazillion bacteria and parasites. Adding fuel to the fire, these animals live on top of their own urine and feces for their short-lived life. What can anyone expect from this type of living condition?
The poultry industry creates its own health issues through the method described above and then takes the route of let’s feed drugs to combat it. What is more disheartening is that while I was contract poultry farming, feed would be delivered to our farm containing antibiotics before a new batch of baby chicks arrived.
Don’t go blaming the farmers for using the antibiotics and arsenic. A little known fact is that the poultry company that the farmer is under contract with formulates, mixes, and delivers the feed to the farm.
Under the contract the farmer is required to perform the duty of raising the chicken to a marketable weight. The farmers must perform their duty under the guidelines, practices, and in accordance with the company policies. Simply put, the farmer has no say in what is fed to the chickens. Should the farmer not comply with company dictates the contract is terminated.
Consumers are the deciding factor in what they want to eat. If you want chicken on your plate like Dr. Oz describes then keep on buying it. If you want to know what’s in the chicken you eat then find a local farmer who is raising real free range, antibiotic and arsenic free, under the best humane guidelines, and who isn’t afraid to open up the farm gates and let you come on in for a visit!