Factory farming, the process of raising thousands of animals in small, cramped spaces, has become so filthy that farmers not only inject low levels of antibiotics into animals, breeding antibiotic resistance in humans, but they’ve also had to resort to other questionable techniques to prevent e. coli and other bacteria from getting into the food supply. One example: After slaughter, factory-farmed chickens are washed in chlorine baths that contain 30 times more chlorine than an average swimming pool. To mask the chlorine odor and, ostensibly, according to chicken producers, to keep the bird moist while cooking, the chickens are then injected with a solution of water and phosphate, a chemical that can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease, weak bones, and even premature aging.
What to do about it: Opt for organic meat or meat produced by a local farmer. Most small-scale chicken producers don’t bother with chlorine baths, and even in large-scale organic operations, chlorine baths can contain no more chlorine than is allowed in drinking water.
Read More: Backyard Chickens.
Photo: (cc) Joost J. Bakker