7 Reasons to Eat Less Chicken

Image Source: Katie Brady/Flickr

Chicken is a big part of most people’s diets.  While many try to limit their red meat consumption due to its well known negative health risks, chicken is regarded as a healthy alternative to red meat.  Campaigns tell you to “Eat More Chicken,” grilled chicken is a staple in most diet plans, and when something “tastes like chicken,” that is usually a good thing.  Chickens take substantially less time to raise for slaughter than other forms of meat, making them the perfect source of quick, cheap meat.  However, chicken is not the wonder meat that the chicken industry would like you to believe.  Here are 7 reasons to eat less chicken.

1.  Fed toxins

In 2011, the FDA admitted that the chicken meat sold in supermarkets contains arsenic.  Arsenic is a known cancer-causing chemical, but is intentionally added to chicken feed to promote growth and give meat a pinkish color.  While experts originally believed that all the arsenic was excreted by the chickens, researchers at John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future recently published a study showing that the chickens fed arsenic have higher than normal levels of arsenic in their meat.  The level of arsenic is lower than the federal standard, but eaten over a lifetime, this additional arsenic has the potential to slightly increase one’s risk of developing cancer.  Roxarsone, an arsenic-based drug fed to chickens, was voluntarily pulled from the market by its producers Pfizer after the 2011 FDA report, but nitarsone, a similar drug, is still being sold.