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Poultry – Factory vs. Organic vs. Free Range

My plan was to write a short timely article demystifying  some of the food terms we hear today.  I was going to give you a heads up, help you navigate smartly through the minefield of poultry offerings, before Thanksgiving dinner.  After all,  Thanksgiving is  foodie nirvana,  no matter if  you’re the chef or a guest.  Once I started  doing the research,  my little article quickly morphed into a story that has changed the way I think and the way I will spend my money.

The effects of this  sluggish economy has hurt me and millions like me. When I go grocery shopping I want  good affordable food for my family.   Organic food was probably healthier than the store’s brand but I didn’t really know how.  I did know was that it was more expensive.  The manager’s special was always more enticing.   Organics would be an option when the economy and my personal finances picked up.

We have become so far removed from our food and food sources that it is ridiculous.  In order to see just how far we have strayed it is important to understand the food terms being bandied about today. This aint your grandmothers idea of a farm.

Factory or Industrial poultry is the stuff most of us buy.  It’s Perdue or Tyson or the store brand. These birds are cheaper than organic and free range birds and there are a few reasons  why.

From the first day of a chicks life to the time its ready to be eaten, naturally,  takes about eight months.  The average American eats about 200 lbs. of meat  per person a year,  more than any other nation on earth. There are simply to many of us meat eaters to wait on mother nature to do her thing.   So our friends, the big food corporations,  found a solution.  They  developed a system that can takes a bird from egg to market in about six weeks. The methods they use do not resemble traditional farming in any form or fashion. The product they produce is not what it should be.

Industrial or Factory poultry are bred in small lots or structures called CAFO‘s ,confined animal feeding operations. A mid sized CAFO contains about 125,000 birds,with each bird having about 3 feet to move in. They are usually kept in darkness, debeaked and declawed for “safety reasons”. Their feed consists of dead chickens, other animal parts,and cheap feed full of antibiotics.  They are fattened up so quickly that their bones cannot hold their weight. Most can only take a few steps before plopping down.  Their breast is so big that they cannot reproduce normally so all births are the result of artificial insemination.

Handlers must wear masks to enter the COFA as the air is saturated with feces,sawdust, urine, and dirt.  The only time the birds  go outdoors is for the trip to the slaughter-house.  Once delivered they are electrified ,dipped in boiling water to loosen feathers , and throats are slit so the birds can drain.  These unhealthy,  antibiotic laden carcasses then make their way to market and  your family.


  • The overwhelming advantage of the factory farming system to society is economic—satisfaction of the demand for meat at acceptable prices. Factory farming provides the United States with a continuous and relatively inexpensive meat supply.
  • Cons
  • The contamination of more that 99% of supermarket birds by E. coli, and the resultant one million or more cases of food poisoning in the United States each year, is more the result of slaughtering practices.
  • Animal rights activists blame the factory farming system for many animal abuses. They believe that the industry’s emphasis on profits, efficiency, and productivity has contributed greatly to inhumane treatment and sloppy slaughtering of farm animals.
  • Factory farming is increasingly being criticized for adverse effects on the environment. AFOs and CAFOs produce huge amounts of manure and droppings. According to information available on its Web site in 2005, the Sierra Club says that factory farms produce 2.7 trillion pounds of waste each year.

Part II – Organic Poultry – Stay Tuned

Happy eating….

Read more: Farm Animals – Factory Farming – Farms, Corporations, Agricultural, Farmers, Cattle, and Facilities http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2170/Farm-Animals-FACTORY-FARMING.html#ixzz15hVTOI4z

Read more: Farm Animals – Factory Farming – Farms, Corporations, Agricultural, Farmers, Cattle, and Facilities http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2170/Farm-Animals-FACTORY-FARMING.html#ixzz15hVE7qiG

Farm Animals – Factory Farming


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