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Why is There Arsenic in Our Chicken?

As a survivalist you already know that big government is only out for itself and the big businesses it serves – those being agribusiness and Big Pharma, of course. This is likely to be one of the many reasons why you have decided to rely on just God and yourself to feed and protect your family and you. After all, no one else will. Although we should be able to hope that something as basic and necessary as food be safe and secure, too many instances of E. coli and other harmful bacteria found in our food supply have told us otherwise. But did you ever imagine that your chicken could be laced with arsenic? It sounds like a mystery only the CSI team could solve, doesn’t it? Make no mistake; this is no made-for-TV crime drama, but rather a typical case of agribusiness, Big Pharma, and the FDA once again being in bed together.

Several objective and scientifically sound studies have shown that arsenic is present in chicken feed, which means it can easily spread out of their digestive systems and into their muscles to collect and become more concentrated every time the chickens eat. Not only has the FDA not denied this, but it also initially claimed that the arsenic comes back out in the chickens’ feces. However- no surprise – there is no scientific proof to support this fanciful claim. Even with the arsenic-fed chicken now being pulled from supermarket shelves, both the FDA and the National Chicken Council can’t completely admit they made an egregious error, and they continue to insist that this really isn’t a problem and that chicken is still safe to eat. But why is that?

The Ménage à Troi Between the FDA, Big Pharma, and Agribusiness Dates Back Many Decades

The brouhaha all started in June 2011 when one Big Pharma giant announced that it would discontinue selling an arsenic-based drug called Roxarsone (also referred to as 3-Nitroâ). This abrupt promise followed the FDA’s findings that trace amounts of inorganic Roxarsone were detected in 100 broiler chickens that were already distributed to our grocery stores. Broiler chickens are sold both in the U.S. and around the globe.

However, this is hardly a case of, “Oops, how on earth did this occur?” Organic Roxarsone is purposely added to chicken feed, which is then consumed by commercially raised chickens and, in turn, consumed by you and me. In fact, it’s neither accidental nor is it new. The FDA first approved its use in chicken feed back in 1944.

Adding organic Roxarsone to chicken feed, the FDA claims, is four-fold in purpose:

Well, this certainly explains, among other reasons (growth hormones, much?) why your two-month old chickens aren’t nearly as large as the ones sold in the supermarket. It also clears up why after you’ve butchered your homegrown chickens the fat, muscle, and skin are such different colors from the ones sold commercially. And to the question of feed efficiency, it’s not clear whether “feed “is used as a noun or a verb. Although verb sounds plausible, either way, it sounds scary!

But wait a minute, if organic Roxarsone is added to chicken feed, how did inorganic Roxarsone end up in these broiler chickens? If you are feeling as though you’ve had a game of bait and switch played on you, don’t worry! The FDA promises that the arsenic in both forms is in such small amounts that it is not harmful, and you should absolutely continue buying agribusiness chickens. This is why, upon discovery, they immediately pulled the chickens from the supermarkets.

The FDA is at a loss to explain how Roxarsone shifted from its original organic state to an inorganic state. Any high-school level chemistry course will prove that Roxarsone is not stable, and that it easily switches once digested by chickens. So either this was one of the biggest “oopses,” or there is something far more sinister is going on.

The FDA wants you to know a few more things. The inorganic form of Roxarsone is carcinogenic and can cause anything from liver damage to myriad types of cancer, and the organic version is not harmful in any way. Wait! Didn’t I just say that the FDA says that both forms aren’t harmful? You need a scorecard to keep up with their doublespeak!

The FDA Giveth, and the FDA Taketh Away

In typical Orwellian fashion, the FDA not only makes arbitrary decisions that can harm the public en masse, but then it wields its mighty sword to enforce producers of myriad harmless healing and natural substances, such as elderberry juice and raw milk, to jump through hoops or even stand in the way of approval. This is how the FDA prioritizes its responsibilities. To prove the depths of its blatant disregard for humanity, the FDA has stated it will only address the arsenic problem in U.S. chicken meat. However, only if other countries demand they do the same, will it address this issue globally. In other words, they’re perfectly happy allowing cancerous meat to go by unhindered so long as no one says anything. Who wants to bet nothing happens domestically and that agribusiness will find some other Big Pharma producer to emulate Roxarsone.

Now that it’s crystal clear where big government stands and that they continually verbalize how little they care about us, if you haven’t already started, it’s really time to take the power back!

Raise Your Own Chickens

Raising chickens is not as difficult as you might think, and it offers tons of benefits ranging from having full control over what you feed them to being able to eat eggs produced right in your own back yard. Like batteries, arsenic is not included!

If you don’t live in a rural area, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you can legally raise chickens in your backyard. Search for your local chicken ordinances, which should be available on your county government’s site, or call your local government to make sure.

The next step is to find your chickens. Local feed stores may sell young chicks, or you can buy fertilized eggs. Just make sure that whichever source you’re getting the chicks or eggs from is not a standard chicken farm, because the arsenic will likely be in the animals already. The easiest way to mitigate that is to search for organic farms in your area or make sure the feed store is supplied by organic farmers. If you’re fortunate enough, you already know farmers in your area who raise chickens and who are happy to sell you some.

If you aren’t taking the mother hen with you, which is unlikely, remember that it’s cold outside. Chickens are the most vulnerable when they are either still in the egg or have just hatched. If you’re starting with an egg, you will need to get an incubator and make sure it’s kept at a constant 99.5 degrees. You also need to turn the eggs at least three times a day, and make sure there’s some moisture present in the incubator. More detailed instructions will come with the incubator you purchase; however this pdf should give you a general idea of what to expect as all incubators work off the same premise. Provided everything goes well, you’ll get new chicks in about twenty-one days!

Newly hatched chickens should be in a coop. If you haven’t built one by the time they are born, they can temporarily be kept in a sturdy cardboard box or in a rabbit-sized animal cage. It is recommended that you build a coop whether your chickens are going to be free-range or not, as it gives them a safe haven from predators when they sleep. Many chickens prefer to sleep elevated, so running a pole or tree branch through the chicken wire from one end to another (either the width or the length) will give them a perch from which to sleep.

If you are building a chicken coop, it’s best to include nesting bins in your initial designs. This is perfect because in about nine months, your hens will be old enough to brood, and they will be very happy you created a safe and private place to do this. Nesting boxes can always be added later, too. Your chickens will return the favor by giving you many new chicks, and for this second generation of chickens, you won’t have to use an incubator because nothing beats what nature does all on its own. You will need to regulate the temperature for a little while, but as they grow and get hardier, you can steadily decrease the temperature and eliminate this step from the chickens’ daily care. For instructions on keeping the coop the perfect temperature for brand new chicks and mature chickens, this article will be extremely helpful to you. As your chicks mature, this same article will ensure that your egg production doesn’t diminish just because the sun goes down early in the winter.

It’s fine to feed them chicken feed, but just be wary of where you’re purchasing the feed! Again, make sure it’s from organic sources. As the expression goes, “you are what you eat,” and in this case, you are also what your chickens eat. This will help your chickens grow healthy and happy, which is essential to having safe eggs and meat. In addition to feeding them well, once they are grown enough, you will want to fence off a space in your yard and let them run around. This allows their muscles to mature naturally, and they won’t get sick from being locked up in small spaces. Given their size in relation to most livestock, chickens don’t need a large outdoor area to get the needed exercise, so if you have a small back yard, this is fine.

Once they’re grown, chickens require very little maintenance in comparison to other animals you may have at home.

Buy Organic Chicken Meat and Eggs

If your neighborhood forbids keeping chickens in your backyard or you just don’t want to deal with live animals, don’t despair. You don’t have to consume arsenic if you are very selective with the type of chicken you buy. Be sure to purchase chicken products only from organic farms. You can check out what type of organic chicken and eggs are available in your local grocery store, and research those companies online to make sure they’re using safe products. Organic chicken should keep you much safer from arsenic poisoning and myriad other FDA-approved harmful and unnatural additives, as organic farmers are committed to safe practices. They do everything you would do at home from feeding them natural feed to allowing them to run around freely.

We can’t rely on the FDA and agribusiness to protect us. We have to look to a higher power than big government and their bedfellows and do what we can for ourselves. That’s the only way we can protect our loved ones and ourselves in this dystopian modern world.

©2011 Off the Grid News

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