Chicken is a good source of protein. Unfortunately, the quality of conventionally raised supermarket chicken leaves a lot to be desired.
Mass-produced supermarket chickens are typically raised in extremely cramped quarters where they can barely move. These inhumane conditions can stunt their growth, leading to a bland and nutritionally deficient meat. But instead of improving the living conditions in poultry farms to produce better meat, factory farmers use antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones.
Non-organic meat tends to bioaccumulate toxins at a higher degree compared to vegetables. This is because of the widespread use of antibiotics and growth hormones on poultry and livestock and of pesticides on animal feeds.
The stress that poultry endure in crowded hen farms can cause disease, which is why they are given antibiotics. Scientists warn that the routine use of antibiotics in animal agriculture promotes the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can lead to serious consequences to human health.
What’s Inside Conventional Supermarket Chicken?
Conventionally raised chicken is up to 460 times more likely to carry antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out. Antibiotic-resistant infections have become caused more deaths than AIDS and place a $20-billion burden on the U.S. healthcare system.
Chickens normally harbor Campylobacter bacteria that causes abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, and fever within two days of exposure to it. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Campylobacter is the fourth leading cause of food borne illness in the U.S.
Antibiotics don’t completely eliminate Campylobacter from the chickens’ intestinal tracts—the ones that survive become antibiotic-resistant. Infections caused by antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter are becoming more dangerous and difficult to treat. The CDC estimates there will be about 845,024 Campylobacter infection cases in 2011, with 76 deaths and about 8,463 requiring medical attention.
Eat the Right Type of Chicken to Avoid Illnesses
Avoid ingesting toxins and contracting food borne infections from animal products by buying organic meat and dairy. Dr. Mercola recommends organic, pasture-raised chicken as a superior alternative to commercial supermarket poultry. Organic chicken tastes better and is more nutritious — it’s allowed to roam freely and eat its natural diet (instead of feeds sprayed with herbicides or pesticides) and does not contain antibiotics or hormones.
Dr. Mercola also recommends taking a high-quality probiotic supplement to boost your immune system, 80 percent of which lies in your gut. Increasing the beneficial bacteria in your gut is your best defense against harmful bacteria like Campylobacter. You can also enhance you immunity by:
- Avoiding sugar, grains, and processed food
- Eating plenty of organic raw foods
- Exercising regularly
- Getting enough sleep
- Managing your stress levels
Optimizing your vitamin D levels