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Jul 28, 2014 03:21 PM

Get Ready For More Feces In Your Chicken!

Another reason to seek out pastured poultry!

Thanks to the Obama Administration's relaxing of USDA standards, chicken is getting poopier and more chemical laden.

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  1. I usually like the Grauniad... so I'm disappointed that they'd publish this article, which is just FUD. Hopefully they'll give Potts the boot before too long.

    8 Replies
    1. re: drongo

      When you say this article is FUD, I think what you mean is that the article is true, but why should people care? I mean, the feces and salmonella should just all go away when we cook it. The less we know, the better.

      I guess.

      1. re: calumin

        Then there is that pesky little topic of "Humanely Raised"; and the "animal welfare" of one's meat/poultry source.
        For me I think we owe something to the animals we consume, more so than having them live their short lives with a crust of fecal matter instead of feathers in an overcrowded, amonia filled warehouse.

        1. re: ospreycove

          As an old farm boy I feel I owe the animals a great big, "Thank You" and that's about all. They are a crop like corn and tomatoes and raised as such.
          You want a pet cow, pig or chicken I say go for it.
          The end result of winning the war of evolution is that humans get to eat everything else.

          1. re: genoO

            By no means am I condoning turning food animals into "pets"; rather all I am interested in is better tasting meat/poultry/eggs through healthier conditions. There is a distinct flavor difference in heritage breed animals, vs. hybridized, antibiotic pumped, growth hormone fed, (in beef and pork), factory raised meat/eggs. I want animals that are tasty!!!

            1. re: ospreycove

              oh osprey, ya think poultry isn't injected with all that crap too?

              1. re: hill food

                Hill food, well, factory raised chickens are allowed to be blasted with antibiotics but, not growth hormones. That is why I try to seek out pastured, organic meat chickens and hens, (eggs), no antibiotics or growth hormones. Factory raised poultry lead miserable short lives in small cages,(hens for eggs),in batteries stacked 5 high, feathers fall out and are replaced with a crust of fecal matter from the upper story residents; or, (meat chickens), on crowded warehouse floors sometimes over a foot deep of shit accumulates and the stench of Amonia is overwhelming. All the while under 24 hour bright lighting that keeps them eating feed made from feather meal and other chicken by products.
                For me I like the texture of a bird,or any animal that exercises its muscles, personnally I think it adds to the flavor of the meat. Eggs that are laid by pastured hens have a richer almost orange yolk, and again, for my tastes, I believe have a superior taste to factory produced eggs.

                That is my story "and I am sticking to it"

                1. re: ospreycove

                  oh I'm with ya, I have done 'coop duty' for a neighbor on vacation who only has maybe 10 in hers and even they are few, clean and well spaced, in warm weather it still reeks something bad.

            2. re: genoO

              As an old farm GIRL myself, this is why I don't buy factory farmed meat as much as I can avoid it. I refuse to treat a living animal the same as a non-sentient vegetable or weed. And that kind of crass attitude is a part of why our system is so fubar today.

              I can try to respect and honor my food sources without saying I'm turning them into "pets". I can try to let them live a decent live, however short it may be. I don't want to eat an animal that has lived nothing but pain and distress.

      2. Update on the changes to inspections. The "increasing line speed" part of the proposal has been dropped.


          1 Reply
          1. re: ospreycove

            That's an opinion piece by well known foodwriter, but not a news or research article.

          2. Everyone would love safer, more humanely raised meat. The problem is the cost. Not everyone can afford to feed their family organic, free range chicken. Food costs are high and getting higher every day (see the the thread "The cost of groceries is too darn high"). Should meat only be available to the wealthy? Until we can figure out how to reform our food production system to make it cleaner and more humane AND keep costs low, I don't see it happening. Our population continues to grow but as they say, they ain't making any more land, so resources are limited. I say we need to reduce our consumption of beef, the ratio to produce a lb of beef is way too high.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Jerseygirl111

              I'm not so sure food is that expensive. As a percentage of income North Americans spend very little on food. An iPhone, a gas-guzzling SUV or 60" TV is a necessity but sustainable food is a luxury. Our priorities are a bit f'ed up.

              1. re: Jerseygirl111

                That's exactly it :nodding: I'd love to eat safer, more humanely-raised meat, but I think it's only cost-effective depending on where you live. I don't like in an agricultural state, so the cost of, say, CSA shares (no matter the CSA) are prohibitive for someone with my budget. I looked into a couple of CSA meat shares last year and nearly collapsed at the price for a quarter share.

                I'm willing to bet that our prices at farmers' markets are also more expensive than in other areas of the country.

              2. The USDA documents


                "This system allows for FSIS inspectors to focus less on routine quality assurance tasks that have little relationship to preventing pathogens like Salmonella and instead focus more on strategies that are proven to strengthen food safety. More inspectors will now be available to more frequently remove birds from the evisceration line for close food safety examinations, take samples for testing, check plant sanitation, verify compliance with food safety plans, observe live birds for signs of disease or mistreatment, and ensuring plants are meeting all applicable regulations."

                Looks like the USDA is shifting inspectors away from routinely looking for fecal matter on carcasses on the production line, and instead focus more attention on the big picture - on how the plant is run and sanitized. Based on a limited knowledge of QA in other businesses, that sounds like a sane move.