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Chicken being fed grain by hand

Antibiotic Free Chicken: History & Use at 518 Kitchen

Over the last few decades,

chickens have undergone a dramatic change in the United States. More demand for white and breast meat has led to a physical change in chickens and their growth process to yield more desirable and profitable meat. In general the growing process is manipulated to bring poultry to its highest weight as quickly as possible. In fact, chickens weighed in 2005 weighed three times as much as the average chicken in the 1960s and 1970s. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in terms of bang for your buck but definitely raises other points of concern for consumers.

According to Consumer Reports, most people are interested in having access to antibiotic free poultry at their grocery store but many are not able to find it. 80% of antibiotics sold in the US are ultimately given to animals that are destined for human consumption. Because conventional chickens are usually raised in very close proximity to each other, sickness can quickly devastate the flock. The logical solution to deter any potential of infection or illness is to simply add antibiotics to all the chicken feed. Additionally, chickens raised on antibiotics seems to grow and gain weight more quickly. This results in highly profitable chickens with large breasts that rapidly grow to market weight. The largest concern associated with antibiotics in meat is the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs in humans. Antibiotic resistance means that bacteria is evolving and mutating to avoid being killed by commonly prescribed medicines. Antibiotics are so commonly prescribed and used that these superbugs have serious implications for the future of healthcare.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported that the average person consumed 64.1 pounds of chicken in 2017 and 93 pounds of chicken in 2018.

With consumption of chicken at an all time high it is imperative that we know where our chicken comes from and maybe even more importantly- what is in it.

Both chicken consumption and antibiotic resistance are high and there seems to be a correlation between the two. Even retailers such as McDonald’s, Tysons, and Subway have elected to reduce the amount of antibiotic fed chicken and poultry they use. 

Chicken and other poultry are simple and versatile ways to incorporate healthy protein in your diet. However, if you consume a lot of chicken or poultry, chances are you’re also consuming the antibiotics associated with the growing process. Poultry raised without antibiotics has the potential to be more costly but the end result is clean meat raised without questionable drugs or living conditions. 518 Kitchen strives to create satisfying meals that include complete sources of protein without compromising on quality. That’s why all of our meals contain meat raised without antibiotics or questionable drugs. 


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