For The Love of Chicken....
Before I delve into this post...some information.  I am a Certified Massage Practitioner, Reflexologist, and a Yoga Teacher.  If there is one thing I have learned in the years of my Practice it is how incredibly different each body is.  What works for one body, may not work for another.  This is because, we are all unique.  Each body responds in a unique and different way.  This is why we each need to find out what intrinsically works for our own bodies.  No one thing can be prescribed for every "Body".  I believe the body, is a miracle, and has it's own incredible healing ability.   Now, onto a story...
Wow….this has been an interesting road.  It has taken me one year (probably longer) to discover, my body can no longer tolerate “Industrialized Mass Produced Chicken”.  Or as Jamie Oliver calls it “Factory Farming”.  What I mean by “Industrialized Chicken”  is….Chicken that is super grain fed, Antibiotic fed, chicken raised in jam-packed facilities.  In doing research, I discovered this one company I regularly bought chicken from, did not feed their chickens hormones…, and supposedly no Chickens raised in Canada are Hormone fed (I’m not quite convinced about this one), however, the grains they were fed were regulation feeds, with antibiotics.  Now comes the confusing part…I was told via e-mail from this company, that these birds were taken off the antibiotics at 3 months of age.  However, they are slaughtered anywhere from 3 – 5 months of age…..this is not long enough for the Antibiotics to get out of their systems.  I kept getting sick…..nausea, and horrendous you know what else going on – will not go into detail about that!  So I switched…to another Brand.  I was ok for about a year or so…..then all of a sudden, when I looked at chicken, I though….oooohhh, I don’t think I want this.
When will I learn??? I cooked it anyway, for myself and family.
I have now been sick…..intensely sick, twice…almost immediately after eating this chicken. This is it, for my family.  We will no longer have “Industrialized” chicken in this home.  We have already been eating Hormone Free Beef, Farm Raised Pork and Lamb occasionally, and any fish we eat is always Wild.  Incidentally, I did eat vegetarian for about 1  1/2 years, and found my body did not respond too well, so having gone back to eating meat, my body is much happier.
There is a farm not too far from where we live that raises, Free Range, hormone and antibiotic free chicken.  It’s pricey.  But you know what?  That is the chicken I will buy from now on….my health demands it. What it will also mean, is we will sometimes eat less meat, to try to balance out the extra costs.  There is some fine, dang, good healthy vegetarian meals easily made.... and not expensive, -  future posts down the road.
So….what does all of this boil down to?  Quite likely, money.  In speaking to farmers at one of our local markets who raise free range chickens and organic eggs, they have said their costs just get higher and higher, then add to that stricter government regulations, which makes it harder for some of these smaller scale farmers. In looking at the mass produced chicken industry, what are these farmers dealing with?  Quite likely, some of the same issues.  However, mass production, is mass production, and for me it is about choice.  I will choose the local, smaller farmer that raises pure, free range chicken, free from chemicals.
Another question I have for the Chicken Industry is, what is actually in the feed that makes the birds so big these days?  I never did get a straight answer to that one. These chickens are also confined to small spaces…now comes in the antibiotics, because these birds are living in their own refuse. So for me it is not only a question of what kind of chicken I will eat, but what about those poor creatures, being raised in huge factories, in small jam- packed spaces?  This could not be more unnatural, and honestly…it is down right cruel.
Human beings were not meant to eat chemicals.  My grandfather, and grandmother, ate real food…..what we have today…I now question.  I grow what I can, and if I did not live in a Suburban area….I would not hesitate to raise my own chickens that were not fed grains with who knows what is in it, and Antibiotics.
On page 40 of the cook book, Jamie at Home, Cook Your Way to the Good Life, Jamie writes a page on “The Shock of Factory Farming”.  It is a shock.  And as he puts it, it is not farming.

Have any of you had a similar experience to my own?  I suspect that having undiagnosed Celiac Disease for 30 years makes my system hyper-sensitive….but still, the human body was designed to eat real, whole foods…what has happened to our poultry industry?  And just how did it get to this place?
I would love to hear your thoughts, and, may I ask, will you share some of your own personal stories?  Many thanks, Ina

Ina Gawne


  1. You wondered why the chickens are so big. It is because they are bred (I don't know if genetically modified is the right term or not) to have extremely large breast muscles. Most of them cannot even walk because their bodies are so disproportionate, they can only take a few quick steps before they squat again. My grandpa raised some of these very chickens when we lived at their farm a few years back, and while we of course treated them well, I still felt very sorry for them.

    1. Nikki - that is interesting to know. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Sometimes I think man kind interferes too much with nature, and yes, I feel sorry for them too! Ina

  2. All I know is that I often feel sick when I eat chicken and I have at least 5 antibiotic allergies. Ièll try the good stuff and get back to you!

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May 11, 2010