Sunday, September 5, 2010
We Are What They Eat
As with all things we consume and purchase these days it seems as though we have to constantly be on guard. Where did this come from? How was it raised/grown? What's in it? and the list goes on and on....
Us "organic" home gardeners and backyard chicken raisers tend to, I will admit it, feel a little smug but we have to be just as mindful as everyone else. Every time I let my guard down and allow myself to be lulled into a false sense of security I'm jarred back into reality.
This time in the form of arsenic in chicken feed, the feed is claimed to have elevated children's arsenic levels 50% and more above safe levels after consuming eggs from their backyard chickens. The additive at the forefront of this is Roxarsone and I urge everyone with backyard chickens to take 5 minutes and go outside and get the ingredients off of your chickens feed and study it. Although most feed suppliers have discontinued the use of the additive I think you might be surprised just how many ingredients you cannot identify yet alone pronounce.
Ingredients like Ammonium Hydroxide (yep, that's the same one as your floor cleaner), Bentomite (a clay that can be found in cat litter) and the ever popular and broad artificial flavoring category which could and does contain just about anything. I have to ask myself is it necessary for our chickens and ourselves to consume these chemicals? You might find ingredients even more mystifying then these, take a minute to enter them into your google search engine and see what comes up. I wager you might be questioning why you or your chicken needs things like Methionine Liquid.
Lucky for us gardeners we have a happy selection of foods for our chickens to forage and hopefully some not so happy bugs because if we look back to our chickens prehistoric ancestors they certainly weren't living off of corn and soybean meal.