Poultry Products Rarely Tested for Contamination, Cause 1.5 Million Illnesses a Year

Nearly half the chicken products marketed by national brands and sold in supermarkets are contaminated with feces, according to laboratory test results of chicken samples from 15 grocery store chains in 10 major U.S. cities. The testing was conducted by an independent analytical testing laboratory at the request of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

PCRM investigated chickens from Perdue, Pilgrim’s, and Sanderson Farms, as well as 22 other popular brands. Testing revealed that 48 percent of the chicken samples tested positive for fecal contamination, indicated by the presence of coliform bacteria commonly found in chicken dung. The bacterial species E. coli is a type of coliform bacteria and a specific indicator used by slaughter and processing plants to check for fecal contamination of food products and water.

Chicken samples from every city and every grocery store chain tested positive. In Dallas, 100 percent of the chicken bought at the Kroger’s store tested positive for fecal matter. In Washington, D.C., 83 percent of the chicken bought at a Giant store and 67 percent of the chicken bought at a Safeway tested positive. Samples were also tested in Charleston, S.C., Milwaukee, Phoenix, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, and San Diego.

“One in every two supermarket chickens is contaminated with feces,” says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. “Meat packers can’t avoid contaminating poultry products during production, and consumers are cooking and eating chicken feces in about half the cases.”

Skinless chicken breast was particularly likely to have fecal traces, and both “organically produced” and “conventional” products were frequently contaminated.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now considering privatizing poultry inspection. The proposal would reduce the time poultry workers have to inspect each carcass for feces and could result in more contaminated chicken products reaching supermarket shelves.

The results of independent lab tests were as follows:

Fecal Contamination of Chicken Products in 10 U.S. Cities
City Grocery Store Chicken Products with Fecal Contamination
Charleston, S.C.
Harris Teeter
Chicago, Ill.
Dallas, Texas Albertsons
Denver, Colo.
Houston, Texas
Miami, Fla.
Milwaukee, Wis.
Pic ‘n Save
Piggly Wiggly
Phoenix, Ariz.
San Diego, Calif.
Washington, D.C.
* Indicates a store where retesting was performed; retesting found that 60 percent of the samples were positive for fecal contamination.

A 2009 USDA study found that 87 percent of chicken carcasses tested positive for E. coli after chilling and just prior to packaging. Every year, contaminated poultry products cause approximately 1.5 million illnesses, 12,000 hospitalizations, and 180 deaths. However, most people eating cooked chicken feces have no symptoms and are unaware of what they have ingested.


In 1961 Americans consumed 2883 calories per person. By 2000 this had increased to 3817. Combine this with a decrease in physical activity and it’s a no-brainer; in the space of 40 years people got fatter. Not only that – they also got sicker.

What foods made up this 935 calorie increase and what effect might those foods have had on overall health?

Are we eating a lot more animal-based protein? Red meat? Or is it the increase of saturated fats that have made us sicker?


We’ve actually been eating more poultry but less red meat, butter, and eggs. Pork consumption is about the same.

So where did all the extra calories come from? Added sugars, vegetable oils, and cereal grains.

We’ve been told to; eat less eggs, eat more margarine – avoid butter, eat less saturated fat, eat less red meat, eat more grains, use more vegetable oils.

The above statistics would indicate – that to some degree – this advice has been taken to heart.

Strange how more of us are obese than ever before and how diabetes and heart disease rates continue to climb.

Source: http://www.diet-blog.com/07/the_foods_that_made_america_fat.php

cantaloupeU.S. grown cantaloupes are available May until October, with the peak  in July.

One of summer’s favorite fruits, cantaloupe melons were originally named after the commune Cantalupo, in the Sabine Hills near Tivoli, Italy.

In America, the cantaloupe is actually a variety of muskmelon unintentionally brought over by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century. It is believed the melons were carried on ships as food and when eaten in the New World the discarded seeds gained a foothold.

Cantaloupes pack a nutritional powerhouse. A single serving provides 80% of the daily recommended allowances for Vitamins A and C. They are also a source of polyphenol antioxidants, which are known to provide health benefits to the cardiovascular and immune systems. These antioxidants promote the formation of nitric oxide, a key chemical in the prevention of heart attacks. Cantaloupes are fat and cholesterol free and very low in calories – about 50 calories for 1/4 of a small melon.

How to pick a good one?

There are many clues that you can look for to find a melon that is ripe. If you tap the melon with the palm of your hand and hear a hollow sound, the melon has passed the first test. Choose a melon that seems heavy for its size, and one that does not have bruises or overly soft spots. The rind, underneath the netting, should have turned yellow or cream from the green undertones that the unripe fruit has. You should be able to smell the fruit’s sweetness subtly shining through, although be careful since an overly strong odor may be an indication of an overripe, fermented fruit.

Leaving a firm cantaloupe at room temperature for several days will allow the texture of its flesh to become softer and juicier. Once the cantaloupe has reached its peak ripeness, place it in the refrigerator to store. Melon that has been cut should be stored in the refrigerator as well and should be wrapped to ensure that the ethylene gas that it emits does not affect the taste or texture of other fruits and vegetables.


Xtreme appetizers, entrées, and desserts at America’s chain restaurants are making Americans fatter and sicker, and the trendy thing for chains to do is to make already bad foods even worse, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Bacon cheeseburgers come nestled inside quesadillas. Half racks of ribs are promoted as side orders to steak. Golf-ball-size blobs of macaroni and cheese are tossed in the deep-fryer and served with creamy marinara sauce and even more cheese.

“Would you like an entrée with your entrée?” is how CSPI senior nutritionist Jayne Hurley imagines the logic behind items like Olive Garden’s Tour of Italy, where diners can pile Lasagna, Chicken Parmigiana, and Fettuccine Alfredo onto one very large dinner plate. “It’s a race to the bottom, and there’s no end in sight.”

Keep in mind that most people should limit themselves to about 2,000 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat, and 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

And the envelopes please… Read the rest of this entry »










After a two year visit to the United States, Michelangelo’s David has returned to Italy.










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More bad meat

July 8, 2008

The USDA’s monthly Livestock Slaughter report shows May was another record-setting month for meat production. U.S. commercial meat production totaled 4.22 billion pounds in May, up 4 percent from the 4.08 billion pounds produced in 2007.

Pork production totaled 1.82 billion pounds, up 3 percent from the previous year. Hog slaughter totaled 9.06 million head, up 3 percent from May 2007. The average live weight was down 1 pound from the previous year, at 268 pounds. Beef production, at 2.38 billion pounds, was 4 percent higher than last year. Cattle slaughter totaled 3.14 million head, up 3 percent from May 2007.

From January to May, commercial meat production was 21.0 billion pounds, up 7 percent from 2007. Accumulated pork production was up 11 percent, and beef production was up 4 percent.

Cows, pigs and chickens aren’t raised in pretty green meadows. They’re raised in crowded, unfavorable conditions and, especially in the case with dairy cows, are injected with growth hormones. Read the rest of this entry »

Good editorial from the New York Times:

In the past month, two new reports have examined how farm animals are raised in this country. The report funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts calls the prevailing system “industrial farm animal production.” The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists prefers the term “confined animal feeding operations.”

No matter what you call it, it adds up to the same thing. Millions of animals are crowded together in inhumane conditions, causing significant environmental threats and unacceptable health risks for workers, their neighbors and all the rest of us.

The astonishing increase in the number and size of confined animal operations has been spawned largely by the very structure of American farm supports, which always has been skewed in a way that concentrates farming in fewer and fewer hands. As both of these reports make clear, the so-called efficiency of industrial animal production is an illusion, made possible by cheap grain, cheap water and prisonlike confinement systems.

In short, animal husbandry has been turned into animal abuse. Manure — traditionally a source of fertilizer — has been turned into toxic waste that fouls the air and adjacent water bodies. Crowding creates health problems, resulting in the chronic overuse of antibiotics. Read the rest of this entry »

Read between the lines and you’ll discover that what you’re munching on may not be the best choice.

Low fat. Reduced calories. Vitamin enriched. Walk down any aisle of your grocery store and you’ll be bombarded with foods boasting of their benefits. Okay, so wheat bread is better for you than white bread, but is that loaf you have in your hands really the best choice? Sometimes you have to step back and see what you’re buying to really know if it’s healthy.

Here’s a grocery store list of products you should be careful of:

Multigrain Cereal or Bread
You may think that anything that’s labeled seven-grain or multigrain is the best choice. Studies have shown that whole grain eaters have lower rates of heart disease and strokes. Many foods that claim to be rich in whole grains actually aren’t because the fiber and nutrients are stripped away when grains are refined into flour. Make sure you’re getting whole grain by learning the lingo of food claims. Bread that’s 100 percent whole grain contains no refined flour while cereal that’s made with whole grain may have a little or a lot. Always check the ingredients panel. Whole grains should be the first or second ingredient listed. Plus, products that have at least 16 grams of whole grains per serving are stamping their packaging with the Whole Grains Council’s logo, making it easier for you to find whole grain products! Read the rest of this entry »

The “greenest” foods are healthy foods. Whether you eat meat or are strictly vegetarian or vegan, these are the foods that are good for you and good for the planet. In 4 weeks you can make the switch to a diet of delicious, whole, organic foods, local foods, artisan foods with fewer pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified ingredients or chemical additives.

Check out recipes, advice and ideas for a healthy eating plan that’s earth-friendly at The Daily Green, http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating-plans/

Eat more, feed the beast

March 24, 2008

“Food is big business and highly competitive. The US food supply provides each person with 3800 kilocalories a day, nearly twice the average need. With such abundance, food companies have two choices: to induce people to choose their products over those of competitors, or to get everyone to eat more. The industry’s success in encouraging Americans to “eat more” is one reason for the obesity epidemic. It works like any business: food companies advertise, but they also use the political system to pressure government officials, scientists and health professionals that no “eat less” regulation or guideline is justified.”
-Excerpt from Not Good Enough to Eat by Marion Nestle