Friday, May 24, 2013

Traditional Chicken Farming versus Modern Poultry Farming Part 2

Free range chicken, searching for scraps from ...
Free range chicken, searching for scraps from a buffet dinner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Modern Farming methods negate Low Fat benefits of chicken

Once heralded as the gold standard of healthy meats, chicken can no longer claim the health benefits that once made it king of healthy meals. Nutritional studies once placed chicken at the top of the list for nutrition and low fat sources of protein. Modern farming methods have not only destroyed the health benefits once found in chicken but have created new health risks.

Chicken low fat no more

Chicken was once the Golden Child for people who wanted low fat high protein diets now it is more of a Golden Ram. The little fat that was traditionally found in chicken was primarily made up of Essential Fatty Acids that our bodies and minds needed to function properly. Modern farming methods have changed that.

Recent studies have found that today's chicken is not only higher in fat but that the composition of that fat is no longer of a healthy type. Traditionally farmed chicken, allowed to free range, provided us with long chain amino acids. Very high in DHA, essential to proper mental function and cell development. Free range chicken was considered a true brain food.

A farmer on Martha's Vineyard moves a mobile p...
A farmer on Martha's Vineyard moves a mobile poultry coop of a type called a "chicken tractor." (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Modern farming methods now provide us with chickens that have a fat composition made up of Low Density Cholesterol (the bad kind) and oily fats void of nutritional value. More calories now come from the fat content of a chicken than from the lean protein.

DHA Importance

Chickens loss of DHA content has greater health implications than may be apparent at first. DHA plays many roles in our bodies. It is a powerful antioxidant (Omega 3 fatty acid) and protects us from cell breakdown. This is of major importance in regard to such diseases as Cancer and Alzheimer's.

The human brain uses DHA at a very high rate. A Low DHA level has been tied to clinical depression. Patients suffering with this condition show better a than 70 percent improvement rate. Patients suffering from Chronic Insomnia show similar recovery rates. By coincidence these mental disorders have been steadily rising at a rate that closely mirrors the rate that both chicken and salmon production has been modernized.

DHA also plays a major role in our hearts health and the functioning of our immune system. The implications of low DHA levels for our entire body are at a minimum horrific.

Review Traditional versus Modern Chicken

Chicken when raised more in attune with its naturally environment, allowed to free range and forage is low in fats and the fats it does contain are beneficial to our health both physical and mental. Chicken raised by modern farming methods contains more calories from fat that it does from protein and the fats are saturated fats rather than the beneficial fatty acids it should contain. At a time when obesity has become a major player in the health risk game and true low fat alternatives are vanishing from our grocery shelves I can't help but agree with this from "Public Health Nutrition" as reported by The Cambridge Press "This type of chicken husbandry needs to be reviewed with regard to its implications for animal welfare and human nutrition". You have to love the British knack for understatement.

For more on the comparison of these two farming methods please watch for part 3.

To view "A Chickens Life" the first article, in this series, please follow the link below.

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