Friday, November 14, 2008

Liar, liar pants on fire!

My friend Susi sent me this article today about how Tyson Foods injects their chickens with antibiotics "in ovo" (before they hatch) and, despite that, have been labeling those chickens as raised without antibiotics. Shame on Tyson and all the other chicken producers who use the same practice. Liars, liars pants on fire. We should hang you by a telephone wire.

There are multiple reasons not to eat meat treated with routine antibiotics. The most common one is because, as I'm sure you all know, rampant use of antibiotics reduces their effectiveness. The strongest microorganisms survive the antibiotic treatment and breed, creating superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics. As responsible citizens, most of us try not to contribute to that problem. We don't take antibiotics unless our doctors are positive that we need them. When we do have to take antibiotics, we finish every pill prescribed so that the drug has a chance to kill every bug it was meant to kill. We don't take antibiotics for preventative purposes. So, why would we buy meat that is treated with routine, preventative antibiotics? I can tell you why. It's convenient and it's cheap.

I'll say it again: it's cheap. Cheap, people. Think of the big yellow signs in the grocery store: Buy one get one free! Boneless skinless breasts only $0.99/pound! Cheap chicken feeds our family while making only a small dent in our wallets.

Here are a few other grocery items that are cheap, even when they're not on sale: chickpeas. Lentils. Potatoes. Kidney beans. Barley. Quinoa. Rice. Pinto beans. You can find great recipes for these items in any vegetarian cookbook or on the web. You can buy them dry for under a dollar a pound. Even the organic versions are cheap. Why do you think people in other countries live on rice and beans? They're cheap! Even cheaper than cheap chicken!

It's hard to find good chicken. Healthy chicken. So hard, in fact, that my family and I have only had chicken a handful of times since we changed our eating habits last January. Good chicken is available, but you have to search to find it and you may have to drive a long way to get it. Just recently I was looking for a new source for chicken and found this fabulous farm in South Carolina called Oaklyn Plantation. Of course I was hoping to find something closer to home,but if it's good chicken and it's not available within one hundred miles of my house, I don't really care what state it comes from. The folks at Oaklyn Plantation are honest to goodness farmers who raise honest to goodness meat and poultry. It seems like they've figured out that the only way to make a living through farming these days is to produce a healthy product in a way that is healthy for the environment and healthy for consumers. That's why their chickens are pastured and their beef is grass fed. What makes this farm spectacular is not only the quality of what they're selling, but the price. For the quality of meat you'll get from Oaklyn Plantation, it's a bargain. B-A-R-G-A-I-N. Bargain. The cost of shipping is what will do you in, but that's not the farm's fault, and even with 3-day shipping added the meat is still cheaper (and better) than what you'll find at Whole Foods or Ranch Foods Direct. Come January I plan to order at least one, possibly two, twenty pound boxes of chicken thighs. I miss chicken thighs. We used to eat them once a week in our house. Brynn's favorite main course is skinless, bone-in chicken thighs rubbed with her favorite seasoning and grilled. What mac-n-cheese is to most kids, these chicken thighs are to Brynn.

It is possible to survive, even thrive, without eating supermarket chicken. In the past ten months Scott has lost fifteen pounds (by the way, that is not typical for a thirty one year old man who spends most of his day at a desk and drinks beer every night). Callie has grown about four inches. Brynn is in the middle of a growth spurt, too. In the past ten months my kids have needed to go to the doctor not once, not twice, but ZERO times. In fact, they don't even know their doctor's name. They are eating healthy food. They are getting monthly gentle chiropractic adjustments. Sometimes they even wash their hands. Sometimes they lick the cart at Costco and eat off the floor at Whole Foods. They are not getting sick. I don't think my kids are living in a sterile world. I think they have strong immune systems that fight hard for them. I don't think that Scott is trying to lose weight. I think he seeks out healthy food and refuses unhealthy food. I think that eating healthy food is causing my family to be healthy. And, apparently, a healthy diet does not require Tyson chicken. So don't buy it.

1 comment:

Scott Dickman said...

Help a hubby fatten up by the getting the 20lbs of wings too. Thanks.