National Chicken Council on Food, Inc.

June 8, 2009

Our friends at the National Chicken Council don’t seem to like the upcoming Food, Inc. movie. They just issued a press release that’s a massive wall of bullshit. I could go through and pick every sentence apart, but that would take all week. So, a few highlights:

The model favored by the makers of “Food, Inc.” – essentially local, small-scale production – is a viable niche in the overall food system, but a very small one. Small-scale farms and ranches simply could not provide sufficient food for 300 million Americans and millions of other people around the world. There is simply not enough land or labor available to make the model work.

Source, please? And why suggest that local food is an all or nothing proposition? Surely, the addition of a strong community of local farmers makes America’s food supply more sustainable and dependable. Would you like more fruits and vegetables grown locally, or less?

Certain animal health products – some of them antibiotics, others not – are sometimes used in raising broilers. Any such usage is regulated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The purpose of these is to maintain good health in the flock or to treat outbreaks of illness.

Nonsense. Antibiotics are used mainly by the broiler industry as a growth promoter. You can absolutely raise chickens without medicating the flock’s feed with antibiotics, but the birds end up smaller, and the chicken farmers make less money. So, the public health is being put at risk to slightly fatten the profits of the chicken industry.

The lighting in a commercial broiler house is kept at levels commensurate with the needs and welfare of the animals. Higher levels are used early in the flock’s life to allow the birds to adjust to their surroundings. Dimmer levels are maintained much of the time to allow the birds to rest while still being able to find food and water.

Translation: We keep our chickens in the dark so they’ll be less active and will thereby convert more food to flesh. They never see the sun. We’re assholes.

I could go on and on. (Via Starkman). Link.

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