A few brief remarks:
Originally Posted by siduri
But what i don;t understand is that apparently american meat animals are all treated heavily with antibiotics besides hormones, so why, despite this, is salmonella so widespread? I guess the treatments are not geared at making meat safe but at making it more productive. Too many rich interest-groups, and way too much greed.
My understanding is that antibiotics are not used in American chicken. Why, I'm not sure, but I believe it's illegal.
Originally Posted by DC Sunshine
You make many valid points. Here, I am sure the practices follow similar lines. However, I am astounded and perturbed at the size of the birds for their age I have seen on various many food shows.
Without getting on the animal activist bandwagon - the living conditions of many of the fowl is abhorent. They live in the sheds for all of their short lives, in many cases with their bedding never being changed in that time. The hock burns are so bad from the ammonia, and many fowl are squashed to death by the others standing on them due to lack of space and trying to avoid the sting of the bedding. Plus they grow so quickly their legs are not strong enough yet to take their weight. Fast growth + heavy weight per bird = profit.
There are reputable and respected production places out there - it's just when you see the others - it can change your mind about what product you eat.
I couldn't agree with you more. My objection to American chicken is not especially a humane one, though I'm certainly not gung-ho about the maltreatment of animals. My objection is rather that they go to all this trouble doing horrible things to the animals, and the product is stunningly inferior: minimal flavor, high incidence of infection. What's really disturbing, however, is that it appears that humanely-treated organic free-range chickens in America are also teeming with salmonellosis, which means that (as I said) it's basically a breeding problem at this point.
If I were under the gun to eat chicken sashimi in America, I'd make a point of buying free-range and all that, to be sure, but I'd also buy heirloom varieties. In effect, I do this now anyway, because I buy most of my chicken at the Asian markets -- whole, fresh-killed, head and feet on. The flesh is denser, not full of water, and has an excellent chicken flavor -- unlike Purdue and Tyson, for example. And the carcasses make great stock!
If I really had to make chicken sashimi, though, I think I'd order one of those California poulet bleus
, which they've been working on to be essentially poulet de Bresse
. Pricey, but delicious, and also humanely treated, properly fed, and not bred to gain weight without flavor. But I'd still be a bit nervous about it....