Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Eggs Are Free of Manure & Road Kill, Who Knew There Was an Option?

If you haven't taken the opportunity to stroll around the natural/organic foods area of the grocery store, I highly recommend that you do. This is how we began to learn about the poor food quality of most processed foods and every day foods like eggs, meat and dairy products. There you will find statements on labels such as, "non-GMO, no high fructose corn syrup, grown naturally, pesticide free, no artificial flavorings or dyes, free-ranged, grass-fed or ethically raised."

Right around the time of a major egg recall, I remember noticing on a carton of eggs that the chickens were not fed animal byproducts.

Two thoughts finally occurred to me:
1. What are animal byproducts?
2. Why are other chickens fed this?

So I did some research and discovered that animal byproducts are items that can be fed to chickens, pigs and cows. Animal byproducts are a variety of items fed to these animals that range from road kill, carcasses of their own species, manure, blood, dirt, euthanized cats and dogs, poultry litter, other animal body parts and dead horses. I am seriously not making this up!

Then, to make matters worse, the conditions that the animals are raised in are so horrific and unhealthy that the animals themselves become ill very easily and have to be treated with antibiotics in their feed. This has contributed to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can affect not only animals, but humans as well. And we wonder why we are developing antibiotic intolerance in America these days?

So the question remains - what is in your food? When you read a label, do you really know what all the ingredients are? What are the animals from your meats, eggs and dairy products eating? How are they raised? Cheap food is cheap for a reason. The solution? Eat meat and dairy from grass-fed cows, eggs, chicken and pork from free-ranged chickens and pigs and read the labels of anything you buy to ensure that it is made with a minimal amount of ingredients that sound like a good recipe, not a science experiment.