Monday, September 16, 2013

More Mystery Chicken

Unless you follow the "food" news closely you might have missed the little news release just prior to the long Labor Day weekend. It seems the USDA has relaxed the rules regarding Chinese chicken. It is now OK for chicken processed in China to be sold in the U.S. Since the rules still require the chickens to be raised and slaughtered in the U.S. and food to be cooked there is no requirement for said chicken to be labeled as such. In other words, unless you know the actual source for you chicken then you will be eating Chinese processed chicken without knowing it.

Most of the cost of getting chicken to the American table in all its forms is in the post slaughter processing and the big food companies can save a few pennies by having U.S. chickens shipped to China, processed, and then shipped back to be used in all the varied pseudo-food that now makes up the average American diet. Soups, nuggets, frozen dinners and entrees and even pet food are going to be even more suspect than they are now. The Chinese have a terrible track record when it comes to food safety and especially with poultry. Remember all the dogs that died from tainted treats? Chicken was the culprit. Remember the tainted baby formula? The list is long and ugly.

Chicken is cheap animal protein and an important source of nutrition for a lot of folks in this country and the fact that some of it is going to be coming from a suspect source is not going to stop them from feeding the McNuggets to the little ones, especially if there is no way they can tell if the stuff is from China or not.

The good news here is that this Chinese chicken is going to be cooked/processed which means it is going to show up in prepared foods and convenience foods so it will be easy to avoid. Don't buy processed foods, which BTW, is a good rule any time. If you buy chicken buy it raw and cook it yourself. Try and buy locally raised and processed chicken if possible.

Remember always that the best way to control what you eat involves growing your self or knowing who grew it and cooking it yourself from scratch.

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