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You may have heard wonderful things about how chicken and eggs are healthy sources of protein. But did you know that while the egg industry can label their products “nutrient-dense,” the USDA has warned them against using the labels “nutritious” or “safe” because they could be violating labeling laws in so doing.

When you think about it, there does always seem to be some new outbreak of salmonella in the news. To date, salmonella poisoning has taken the lives of 380 people. In industrial animal agriculture, chickens are considered commodities and as such are treated like machines, constantly producing eggs or being forced to grow exponentially for meat. The average American eats 60 pounds of chicken and 250 eggs year. To meet these high demands the animal agriculture industry has developed highly inefficient methods to produce the most meat and eggs possible in the shortest period of time.

While this might seem great for the poultry-producer, the speed at which these products are churned out actually leads to some not so great consequences. Since the agriculture industry would probably not be too keen on telling consumers about these consequences, we went straight to the source … the chickens. Here’s what they have to say about the chicken industry.

1. Say hello to superbugs!

According to a test done by Consumer Reports, approximately 97 percent of all the chicken breasts contain strains of salmonella. Further, The Center for Disease Control found that 85 percent of urinary tract infections in humans are linked to strains of E.Coli found in chicken. So how does this bacteria make its way into chicken? Well, when thousands of chickens are forced into tight, stressful conditions, they are highly susceptible to infections and disease. In an attempt to quell the large amount of bacteria present in chicken production facilities, animals are pumped with antibiotics. However, after a period of time, bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics, creating superbugs. The bacteria that is transferred from chicken products to humans have become antibiotic resistant which makes them all the more dangerous to people. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are responsible for 25,000 deaths annually.

The Scary Reasons Why You Should Keep Protein From Chicken and Eggs off Your PlateAnimal Rights Advocates/Flickr

2. Chickens are deliberately fed arsenic.

A study done by the USDA found that chicken may harbor as much as 430 parts per billion of arsenic. How does the arsenic get into chicken? Their feed, of course! Yes, that is right, chicken feed contains arsenic additives to “improve pigmentation” of chicken breasts. You know that pink color raw chicken has? Thank the arsenic.

The Scary Reasons Why You Should Keep Protein From Chicken and Eggs off Your PlateAlcambronne.com

3. There’s no place as bad as home!

Chicken “warehouses” are often home to more chickens than there is actually room for. They are packed in so dense that they have little to no room to turn around, or space to flap their wings, nest, roost or dust bathe. These sheds, called “grower houses,” can have up to 20,000 chickens packed at a density of approximately 130 square inches per bird. Many chickens will die getting trampled, eaten by other chickens, killed in a fight for dominance or due to malnutrition. The sheer amount of waste and bacteria present in these tight areas makes for terrible air quality which only expedites the spread of disease.

The Scary Reasons Why You Should Keep Protein From Chicken and Eggs off Your PlateUSDA/Wikimedia Commons

4. Eggs are not really all that…

What do smoking and eggs have in common? They both cut your life short, but cigarettes might just be the healthier option! Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that the daily consumption of the cholesterol found in a single egg appeared to shorten a women’s life by as much as if she had smoked 25,000 cigarettes!

The Scary Reasons Why You Should Keep Protein From Chicken and Eggs off Your PlateWikimedia Commons

5. Bleached chicken, yum my favorite!

Because arsenic wasn’t enough,the USDA introduced a new set of regulations on how companies can streamline chicken production by completely cutting out measures that require them to test for E. coli and salmonella. However, to combat levels of bacteria (which we just learned runs rampant in chicken products), chicken producers are allowed to dip chicken in “anti-microbial” substances, included chlorine and hydrogen peroxide. Yay, that will teach you nasty bacteria!

The Scary Reasons Why You Should Keep Protein From Chicken and Eggs off Your PlateWikimedia Commons

Lead image source: Bosque Village/Flickr

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150 comments on “The Scary Reasons Why You Should Avoid Chicken and Eggs as Sources of Protein”

Click to add comment
Thomas Dunlop
3 Years Ago

1. Majority of raw food products contain salmonella 2.FDA been removing the right to use it

Maureen Field
3 Years Ago

and you

Cecilia Ferreira
3 Years Ago

arsenic and chloride : lovely! I am glad I have been using small organic family farmers who promote healthy practices and positive environments for the animals only for many years

Mary Vegan-Mouses
3 Years Ago

I haven't eaten this crap for 10 years now and guess what? I don't miss it at all and I haven't been sick (not even a cold) for at least 8 years now!!!

Michele Losse
3 Years Ago

In the UK it's easy to buy organic free range eggs where the hens have roamed outdoors. So urging people to ban eggs altogether might be a bit extreme!

David J. Santos
3 Years Ago

Eggs that come from chickens which are caged 24/7 and never see the color of a tree or the sun are very bad for your health.....most dangerous is if you have growing young children.You should avoid given it young kids because is when need the best and most natural food there is to grow healthy.

Justin Tappan
3 Years Ago


Colin Drayton
3 Years Ago

Fast getting sick of this site and it's bullshit propaganda

Anthony Mako
3 Years Ago

So, really..... all you need to do, is stop buying caged/battery hen products. Buy free range or organic only.

Matthew Jordan
3 Years Ago

You can tell it pseudo science because citations are non existent/misquoted or misrepresented. Don't be fooled by eco warriors.


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