This post is disturbing, but important to know…

By now you know that chicken breast is a protein-rich food that maintains muscle mass, supports quick recovery after a workout, and keeps you full without a lot of fat. And you might remember we’ve recommended before that you buy high-quality meats to ensure they’re as nutrient-dense as possible. But, today we’re going to move on to a more serious matter, one that is likely to impact you almost every day, whether you realize it or not. That issue is the current state of chicken farming.

When most people go into the grocery store to get their shopping done, when it comes to picking out their protein source, they simply opt for the leanest (and cheapest!) meat available. You purchase your lean beef, fish and chicken breasts and think you’re all set to begin a healthy eating program. What you may not realize, however, is just how harmful the foods you just put into your cart might be. The ingredients are right, but the source is wrong. Chicken is particularly dangerous to consume if you aren’t being especially careful in your selection of it. Let’s go over some of the reasons why chicken farming is not in a favorable state at the moment and why you must choose this source of protein carefully if you want to not only stay lean, but stay healthy and safe as well.

The Use of Hormones

The very first problem to make yourself aware of when it comes to chicken farming is the wide-spread use of hormones. Farmers know that they will get more money back when their chickens are heavier so they inject them with hormones to help them grow. Plus, the faster the chickens grow, the faster they can be sold, thereby starting the cycle all over again – processing their supply of birds more quickly, increasing the total turnover of chickens they farm each year. While these hormones may make a farmer’s wallet thicker, they are putting your health in serious risk.

The two biggest problems associated with these hormones is increased risk for breast cancer (primarily, but not exclusively for women) and for prostate cancer (for men). These hormones have an impact on the natural estrogen levels in the body, and this is what can be associated with the increased risk of cancer development. In men consuming higher dosages of the hormones, it can interact very negatively in the body, shifting natural estrogen-testosterone ratios. Since testosterone is the main male sex hormone, when a man is consuming a high amount of hormones that raise estrogen levels in his body, this can lead to many health problems.

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The Unhealthy Conditions of Factory Farms

Another thing that’s appalling is the conditions of the factory farms where chickens are grown. They are often extremely overcrowded, fencing chickens in far too little space for what they normally need in order to achieve good development. They are also not given nearly the amount of natural light they need. This can really have a big impact on how healthy the chickens are at the time of slaughter. Not only is this going to lead to a less healthy protein source for you to consume, but it’s also a sickening example of animal cruelty.

The Superior Option

So what’s the better option? The answer is to opt for free-range, organic chickens instead. These chickens are grown without any hormone injections, fed much higher quality food, and kept in far better living conditions, much more similar to how they would run around in the wild. This makes for higher quality, better taste, and far safer meat for you. So, you can put your mind at ease about the food that you’re putting into your body. You will pay a slight premium for this chicken; however the cost will be well worth it when you consider all the risks involved with traditional chicken farming. It is important to really think carefully about where your chicken comes from. In many cases the lowest priced chicken is not always the smartest buy. While saving money on groceries is certainly important, there are far safer ways to cut back without opting for unhealthy chicken meat. Choose wisely where you want to spend your money. Don’t compromise on quality and safety in the poultry department just to save a few pennies and you will fare far better.

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