Potty training for a child is one of those things that either goes well, or doesn't. Some kids seem to take off right away and they understand the concept, and everything goes smoothly. Others, well, it is difficult to get a little baby to understand that the crap coming out of their butts is bad, and it should stay in the potty chair and not play with it. The pet dog poops, and that is always fun to play with, and when the neighbor cat poops, the dog loves to eat the tasty little morsels. But conveying the concept of poop is bad to toddlers, is an exercise in frustration at times. Eventually, most grow, and their bathroom duties become habit, and poop is relegated to that one sanitary receptacle in the home where it can be disposed of, and forgotten about. That is, unless your child grows up to be a rancher. Ranchers have a different view of poop. Poop is good food.
Yep, poop, not human poop, but chicken poop. Right now in AmeriKa, about two million TONS of chicken waste are gathered up from the floors of industrialized chicken coops that are used to raise thousands and thousands of chickens; then it is fed to cows. There just seems to be so much of the stuff that using it to fertilize fields is just not a viable option. Well, that and the huge amounts of ARSENIC in the chicken poop from the additives that the chicken farmers add to make them grow faster and attempt to cut down on disease outbreaks (which are EXTREMELY prevalent in CAFO chicken farms). All that makes chicken poop a very poor and risky fertilizer. Just ask the rice farmers in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi that can no longer grow rice on their fields because of the arsenic contamination from using chicken manure for years. Quite a few lawsuits going on right now from those farmers because they are not allowed to sell their crops because the chicken poop used as fertilizer contained so much of the stuff the fields can't be used for crops for human consumption, EVER! But it seems that arsenic laced chicken poop is fine to feed to dairy and beef cattle. Arsenic is not a problem with those that need a cheap feed. Long term degenerative arsenic toxicity is not a problem as steers fed the stuff are slaughtered long before they croak. So what if the meat has traces of arsenic in it, as long as no one dies, and as long as everyone does it, then if you get sick, and your hair falls out from arsenic poisoning, you can't sue any one rancher, because they all feed poop to their cattle.
Chicken manure feed contains a lot of stuff. First off, it contains litter. This is generally a wheat or oat straw that is put on the floors of the huge chicken barns to absorb the manure. Then there is the poop. We'll come back to that. There is also a whole lot of feathers, feed that the chickens dropped while eating, dead rodents, bits of trash and rocks, nails etc. Overall, not a bad fertilizer, except for the contents of the poop itself. Back in the 1940's. someone discovered that if you add some arsenic to the feed of pigs and chickens, then you could crowd them together in smaller spaces, and they would grow a bit faster and get sick a little less. The thing is, if the pigs and chickens have chronic degenerative problems, it doesn't matter, because they are killed and humans eat their meat. Here is the Johns Hopkins report on arsenic levels in chicken meat (Report on Arsenic) I can't ever imagine what the thought processes are for anyone that approves the use of arsenic as an additive for animals that end of being fed to humans. This is from the Feds own website (FEDS and Arsenic) " Chronic arsenic toxicity results in multisystem diseases. Arsenic is a
well documented human carcinogen affecting numerous organs." But yet, the FDA allows it to be used as an additive in chicken feed to this day. Isn't that odd, I thought the FDA was out to protect the health of AmeriKans from toxic additives to food. Well they are, except in cases where big businesses make a lot of money. You can view most of the postings here on my blog to get an idea of the kind of protection that we miserable peons are afforded by the FDA.
Chicken manure also has the wonderful addition of high amounts of antibiotics in it. It is a pretty well known fact that 80% of the antibiotics manufactured in the country find their way into animal feed. One of the main reasons that we have so many varieties of antibiotic resistant bacteria in our world today. It makes them grow a bit faster, and is used as a prophylaxis against the HUGE numbers of diseases that infect animals that are kept confined in small spaces and fed some rather disgusting things instead of real food. Some of the things that chickens are fed include, cracked corn, wheat mill middlings, spent brewers grains, ground spinal columns from cows, ground bone meal and organs from cattle slaughterhouses, hide tanning wastes, canola seed meal treated with lye, and some other grains, notably sorghum and rice hulls. Oh yeah, most commercial rice products also have arsenic in them. Sort of a revolving cycle. The thing is, that because no one wants to admit that the feeding of canola byproducts is what probably caused the huge mad cow disease scare back in the eighties, the Feds have instituted a really unique procedure for keeping mad cow disease out of the general population. It is pretty simple, any cow that is over 30 months old when slaughtered, the brain and spinal column are not to be used for human food. Simple huh? So they grind them up and feed them to chickens. And when the chickens poop it all out, it goes to feed the cows. This is a practice that the USDA says that they shouldn't do to prevent mad cow disease even though they themselves claim no one knows what causes it. (USDA and FSIS on BSE)
January first of this year, Maryland became the first state to enact a consumer protection law that outlaws the use of arsenic in the feed of chickens and pigs. The state is looking at the good of the many over the ability of a few businesses to make money. Wait a second, according to Monsanto, a state can't enact laws to protect their citizens, or at least that is what they want to happen and are desperately trying to get all of their senators and congresspeople to pass a federal law that takes away the state's rights to do that very thing. Somehow, this whole process is just scary to me. I want real healthy food, big business wants to provide food to me that is, well, questionable at best. If I get sick with any number of degenerative diseases from eating that food, I can't sue them, because ALL of the food manufacturers provide that crap to us. How do I single out one specific provider of crap to sue. I can't. I shouldn't have to. Our food system is broken here in AmeriKa. Kudos to Maryland for taking a step toward better health for their citizens. Let's all remember how our representatives voted when it came to protecting us every November. I think that crap is crap, and poop shouldn't be on any menu.