Friday, August 16, 2013

Free Range Friday ~ Eggs

Store bought vs. backyard. Any questions?

While I can't claim to 'pasture' my chickens - I'd love to let them roam all day, but so would the wild roosters and the hawk who makes a daily swooping food run into the wild flocks in the field next to me - they are in and out as freely as possible with wire covering their outside area.  And the eggs DO taste better! 

This isn't an advert for my eggs; I have more people who want them than I have eggs, but rather to say, if you have access to a local organic egg person's supply or have enough room to have a couple of cluckers yourself, the rewards are well worth the effort made. 

The latest food issue I've read, that is edging me toward not eating anything ever again except my eggs, is about arsenic in commercially raised chickens. Yes, arsenic. 

From the consumer advocacy group Food & Watch, who is suing the FDA over this:

"Beginning in 1944, the FDA approved more than 100 products that contain arsenicals for use in chickens, turkeys and pigs to increase weight gain and make the animals’ meat look pinker, among other purposes. Their use quickly became a standard practice in industrial chicken production, with the chicken industry estimating that 88 percent of U.S. chickens received an arsenical known as roxarsone in 2010.

In 2011, FDA scientists found that feeding roxarsone to chickens increased concentrations of inorganic arsenic in chicken livers. The agency simultaneously announced that Pfizer would voluntarily suspend sales of roxarsone in this country. The FDA did not take any further action publicly, however, and roxarsone and three other arsenicals remain approved for use. Pfizer may return roxarsone to the U.S. market at any time."

Oh, arsenic is in high levels in rice as well. I haven't followed up on that one yet, except for a quick glance from the FDA itself (a group whom I wouldn't trust with my life, for all truth purposes).

“It is critical to not get ahead of the science,” says Michael R. Taylor, FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods. “The FDA's ongoing data collection and other assessments will give us a solid scientific basis for determining what steps are needed to reduce exposure to arsenic in rice and rice products.”

So what should a person who eats rice do in the meantime?

“Our advice right now is that consumers should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of grains – not only for only for good nutrition but also to minimize any potential consequences from consuming any one particular food,” says Hamburg.

Exactly! Eat a wide variety of grains and other chemical laden foods to have a balanced diet. That makes so much sense! Take it from the guy who was a head honcho in Monsanto before coming to lead the Food and Drug Administration. Thank you, President Obama and Michael Taylor. We feel much better now.

But. My eggs are awesome.

Have a find your food freedom Friday. Do something forageable.

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