If you’re an “average” American, you’ll eat 109.5 pounds of chicken this year, according to National Chicken Council estimates.
The industrial poultry industry brags about that number. After all, that’s what makes companies like Tyson, Cargill, Perdue and others so profitable.
But there are two big problems with that number. First, Americans eat too much meat. Health experts say we should eat meat much more sparingly.
Second, most of the meat we eat, including chicken, comes from factory farms—a failed system that wreaks havoc with human health and the environment, is rife with unhealthy and unfair labor practices, and, quite simply, is in the animal torture business.
And let’s not forget. All of these factory farms are fueled by GMO crops, grown for animal feed—and we all know how damaging these crops, sprayed with atrazine, 2,4-D, Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller and other toxic chemicals, are to human health and the environment.
In this latest article on regenerative poultry and grain production, the authors lay out the downside of our “modern” industrial poultry production system:
Today's system never intended to deliver solutions. It was designed and structured to be extractive, degenerative and profit-driven. Through massive, well-funded campaigns, today's poultry producers create the illusion that they can deliver large amounts of healthy food at very low prices. But the true cost of industrial food is hidden behind the convoluted systems the industry has created.
Some of those costs are obvious, yet we have no legal recourse to demand payment. Who pays for the ever-expanding list of food-related diseases? Or water contamination? Who pays the social cost of pushing food and agriculture workers into poverty?
There’s a better way. But if we want to disrupt the industrial poultry production model and replace it with a regenerative alternative, we’ll have to scale up the successful regenerative poultry and grain projects, such as those piloted by Main Street Project (Northfield, Minnesota) and Granjas Regenerativas, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and build a whole new system. Can chickens lead the way?