Big Bird

By Dean L. Jones, CPM

It is increasingly dismal how chicken gets presented to the buying public.  Chicken producers are injecting an enormous amount of broth-like additives to these birds, so much of it that it constitutes more than a fifth of the chicken’s final weight.  Unquestionably, a big bird is their core aim and it does not matter if the end-product is the safest to eat or not, as long as higher profits are attained.

One would think that sufficient profits would come from all of the synthetic growth hormones that they give chickens in their feed.  But, after they rapidly grow to maturity the birds are made yet even bigger from injections of saltwater.  The excuse given is that this helps the birds to have a juicy and flavorful consistency, nevertheless, this process is commonly referred to as “enhancing” or “plumping.”

Plumping solution contains a long list of ingredients, including a high amount of sodium content.  For those people who should minimize salt in their diet really need to stay alert to the amount of chicken consumed.  Chicken producers add what is labeled as ‘natural flavor’ along with corn syrup or other forms of processed sugar and lemon concentrates to help prevent a bitter taste.  Logically, few people would ever expect to consume processed sugar when dining on chicken.  Which is why it seems utterly preposterous to be unable to avoid fattening and heart wrenching chemicals when you have done all you can by peeling the skin and baking the bird, but only finding out that this highly sought after protein contains yet another harmful chemical, sugar!

You can tell if a chicken is plumped when buying it raw.  For example, a typical package of chicken thighs will have on its label that the bird has been enhanced up to 18% with water, salt, lemon juice solids, natural lemon flavor, cane juice, corn syrup and other natural flavorings. That notwithstanding, today’s consumer commonly consumes their chicken at a restaurant or at the hundreds of tasty chicken places, while never even conjuring up a thought about the convoluted saltwater and processed sugar solution.  A possible reason why so much precooked chicken hypes the special sauce on the bird, versus the bird itself.

I only single out the chicken because it is consume everywhere and every day.  Nevertheless, most American grown pork is plumped, and about a third of the beef market.  With the Affordable Health Act currently front and center in the news, minimal attention has be given to the apparent slip in food delivery. News stories softly reported the San Francisco Costco store’s 40,000 pounds of its rotisserie chicken (cooked) and chicken products recall.  Particularly, when this recall was undoubtedly stemming from the three California Foster Farms poultry plants that had salmonella outbreaks, sickening nearly 300 people across 18 states since early March.

www.SugarAlert.com
Dean Jones, Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributes his view on health attributes derived from processed foodstuff items.