Jack Middleton, August 4th 2022
If you didn't already know, since 1997, the European Union and the United Kingdom banned the importation of U.S. chickens. The issue? The standard practice in the U.S. poultry industry is to wash the carcasses in chlorinated water to kill bacteria. So if the E.U. and the U.K. banned the importation of U.S. chickens, why are millions of U.S. citizens still eating them?
According to a report from the Adam Smith Institute, “immersing poultry meat in chlorine dioxide solution of the strength used in the United States reduces prevalence of salmonella from 14% in controls to 2%." (Spence, 2020). U.S. regulations call this practice Pathogen Reduction Treatments (PRTs), where once the birds are slaughtered and the carcasses eviscerated, they are examined and undergo a “final washing procedure”, where chemicals are applied as a spray or wash on the processing line. This may seem like a safe idea to reduce the chances of salmonella, but ingesting chlorine causes a lot greater damage.
When chlorine is ingested, the body produces acids, which are corrosive and damage the cells in the body on contact. With a long-term consumption of chlorine, it is likely to impact the human body's overall health, including lung diseases and tooth corrosion.
One of the E.U.'s biggest concern is that "the use of antimicrobial treatments like chlorine washes compensates for poor hygiene behavior elsewhere in the supply chain (for example on farms)" (Glotz, 2020). Because of the way commercial and CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) farms work, the chickens are sitting in their own feces everyday and never see day light. Instead of U.S. regulations ensuring farms are practicing more holistically, they believe spraying the animals with chlorine will suffice. This means every time you eat a grocery store bought chicken, you are ingesting some form of chlorine. This is why it is so vital for the health of the U.S. population to begin purchasing their chickens from regenerative farms!
On regenerative farms, chickens are always moved to fresh pasture everyday. They consume grass, bugs, and receive nature's natural disinfectant, sunlight. Because of how clean these chickens are before processing, there is no need to spray them with chlorine. All these birds do are provide consumers with higher levels of vitamins, minerals, protein, and zero chemicals.
There is no real answer as to why the U.S. allows chlorinated chickens to still be consumed. Even when multiple countries ban them, the U.S. carries their practices on. It is no wonder the U.S. population continues to get sicker. Even when we think we are consuming "healthier" foods, we are not. The human body should never consume any form of chemical, especially from food. The time is now to stop allowing health officials from letting you be guinea pigs and start eating real food, grown holistically on pasture.
Glotz, J. (2020, August 3). Chlorinated Chicken explained: Why do the Americans treat their poultry with chlorine? The Grocer. Retrieved August 4, 2022, from https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/food-safety/chlorinated-chicken-explained-why-do-the-americans-treat-their-poultry-with-chlorine/555618.article
Spence, P. (2020). Why You Shouldn't Give A Cluck. Retrieved 2022, from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/56eddde762cd9413e151ac92/t/59747741bf629a8e3d01a494/1500804930480/Chlorinated+Chicken.pdf.