Nicholas Kristof examines two recent studies on corporate factory farmed chicken and discovered that the birds are loaded up with a cocktail of caffeine, Tylenol, Benadryl, Prozac, and arsenic. Researchers were merely intending to test the chickens for the presence of antibiotics, but decided to widen their research because it didn’t cost extra.
While it may sound bad, Keeve E. Nachman, a co-author of both studies and a scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, said they “haven’t found anything that is an immediate health concern” to people.
The National Chicken Council has released a statement about this study saying that Big Ag doesn’t give chickens the dangerous inorganic arsenic, but rather, it’s the naturally occurring organic arsenic present all around us that was found in the birds. And if that doesn’t assuage your concerns about the quality of meat you are eating, well, just know that the NCC didn’t deny or renounce the claims about using Prozac, caffeine, Benadryl, or Tylenol.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone though, right? Don’t be fooled to thinking this only applies to chickens. These kinds of Big Ag methods are probably used for beef, pork and other land meat animals. As shocking as this might be to some, it’s worth noting that when it comes land animal products — really any meat — you really need to weigh the cost versus production method. Cheaper meats are probably contain unhealthy additives, while grass fed/free range meat can break a food budget pretty quickly.
In lean times, I’ve made peace with having to buy poorer quality meat, but when I have the money to splurge I do so without even thinking twice.