Updated: Jun 14, 2021
Delicious. Mouthwatering. Juicy! And the Go-To Meat. That’s what chicken is for us. Right?
Scores of articles tell you how eating chicken is better than eating red meat. They will convince you that chicken is lower in cholesterol and is healthier. All of that feels good, but hidden amongst such articles, you will find a cogent piece warning about the chicken you buy and its harmful effects on your body.
So, do you ever think about the quality and health of chicken meat before eating it? Evidently, you should - as research surely indicates that.
The first intriguing term is “high level of antibiotic-resistance”.
An article by NDTV Food Desk(1) mentions a study conducted by Center of Diseases Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP), a Washington based public health research organization. It found that “hens grown for meat or eggs in Indian poultry farms have very high level of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, posing a serious health concern.” Rising demand has brought increased breeding of broiler chicken that are administered with growth hormones and antibodies for faster growth, which have toxic effect on humans.
Moreover, the FDA(2) says that chicken is full of arsenic, which is four times more poisonous than mercury. If ingested, it may lead to skin, lung, kidney, liver and bladder cancer.
In the last two decades the poultry market in India has transformed from a backyard farm to a major industry. This is due to rising income levels and exposure to global cuisines. Ah! That reminds me of my favorite reality show that opened up new world of culinary adventure to Indian audience.
But what does all that mean for a chicken lover?
It simply means that growing resistance to antibiotics can be a cause of a pandemic similar to COVID(3). An article in The Guardian(4)says,” the resistance to bacteria is a growing threat and getting worse, they are responsible for at least 700,000 deaths around the world each year.”
Also, Chicken raises your cholesterol level.
Yes, you can read that again.
Broiler chicken contains harmful fats that can cause obesity and raise cholesterol levels. A 2019 report by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition(5) found that “LDL cholesterol and apoB (apolipoprotein B) were higher with red and white meat than with non-meat, independent of saturated fat content…the primary outcome did not differ significantly between red and white meat.”
Phew! All that!! We are yet to talk about the hygiene of chicken breeding and of its meat.
To top it all, names like E-Coli, Enterococcus and Salmonella in chicken meat keep popping up. If you happen to eat undercooked chicken or other food items infected by the contaminated juices of raw chicken then it can lead to food borne illnesses(6).
The next time I am tempted to bite into that juicy chicken wing, maybe all this will make me think twice and drive me into looking for alternatives to chicken.
Plant based chicken could be the healthier option for people like us, who wish to reduce eating chicken, but miss meat. Especially when vegan chicken is as delicious as meat!
3. https:// https://www.theweek.in/news/world/2020/05/31/virus-worse-than-covid-19-could-spread-from-poultry-warns-us-doctor.html#:~:text=In%20a%20new%20book%20that,spread%20rapidly%20among%20human%20beings.
4. https:// www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/oct/13/can-never-eat-chicken-again-antibiotic-resistance
5. https:// academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqz035/5494812