Eating chickens is the most common source of Salmonella poisoning. A 2014 issue of Consumer Reports published that 97 percent of chicken breasts found in retail stores were contaminated with bacteria that could make people sick, and 38 percent of the Salmonella found was resistant to multiple antibiotics. And, according to a national retail-meat survey by the Food and Drug Administration, about 90 percent of retail chicken showed evidence of contamination with fecal matter.
Viruses may also potentially pose a risk. Might chicken cancer viruses be transmitted to people through the handling of fresh or frozen chicken? A study of 30,000 poultry workers found that those who slaughter chickens have about nine times the odds of pancreatic and liver cancers. For context, the most carefully studied pancreatic cancer risk factor is cigarette smoking, but smoking for 50 years “only” doubles our odds of getting pancreatic cancer.
What about people who eat chicken? The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study followed 477,000 people for about a decade and found a 72 percent increased risk of pancreatic cancer for every 50 grams of chicken consumed daily, which is about a quarter of a breast. When a similar result was found for lymphomas and leukemias, the EPIC team acknowledged that while the growth-promoting drugs fed to chickens and turkeys could be playing a role, it might also be cancer viruses found in poultry.
White meat consumption also appears to be worse when it comes to colon cancer risk. A study of about 30,000 Californians found that those who ate red meat at least once a week had about double the risk of developing colon cancer. That risk appeared to triple, however, for those who ate chicken or fish once or more a week.
And prostate cancer? A Harvard study of men with early-stage prostate cancer found those with more aggressive cancer who regularly ate chicken and turkey had up to four times the risk of prostate cancer progression.
Poultry may also be the most fattening meat. Those eating even one ounce of chicken a day (think two chicken nuggets) had a significantly greater gain in body mass index over a 14-year period than those who consumed no chicken at all. Chickens have been genetically manipulated through selective breeding to now contain two to three times more calories from fat than from protein, and even skinless chicken may have more fat, and more artery-clogging saturated fat, than a dozen different cuts of steak.
Image Credit: Magone / Thinkstock. This image has been modified.
Popular Videos for Chicken
All Videos for Chicken
How Much Lead Is in Organic Chicken Soup (Bone Broth)?
Lead from occupational exposures, shooting ranges, eggs and bone broth is reviewed.
Exclusion Diets for Eczema
Infants of mothers randomized to cut out eggs, milk, and fish were significantly less likely to have eczema even years later.
Best Foods to Avoid for Eczema
Randomized double-blind controlled trials suggest excluding certain foods, such as eggs and chicken, can significantly improve atopic dermatitis.
Treating Advanced Prostate Cancer with Diet: Part 2
What happens when metastatic prostate cancer patients were taught to increase intake of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and beans, and to decrease meat, dairy, and junk?
What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs?
Do the medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil, and the fiber in flaked coconut, counteract the negative effects on cholesterol and artery function?
Where Does the Arsenic in Rice, Mushrooms, & Wine Come From?
Find out what happens when our crops are grown in soil contaminated with arsenic-based pesticides and arsenic drug-laced chicken manure.
Where Does the Arsenic in Chicken Come From?
What was the National Chicken Council’s response to public health authorities calling for the industry to stop feeding arsenic-based drugs to poultry?
Banning Trans Fat in Processed Foods but Not Animal Fat
After the trans fat oil ban, the only major sources of trans fat remaining will be from meat and dairy.
The Role of Burger Viruses in Cancer
Polyoma viruses discovered in meat can survive cooking and pasteurization.
Best Food for Lead Poisoning – Garlic
The benefits of garlic powder for treating mild-to-moderate lead poisoning.
Best Foods for Lead Poisoning: Chlorella, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Moringa?
All plants produce “phytochelatins” to bind up heavy metals to protect themselves from the harmful effects. So, what if we ate the plants?
The Effects of Avocados & Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation
Whole plant sources of sugar and fat can ameliorate some of the postprandial inflammation caused by the consumption of refined carbs and meat.