Thursday, April 06, 2006

Grossing Out the Family (Almost)

I try not to make a habit of this, but I seriously grossed out my family tonight. As we checked out menus at a SoHo restaurant, I mentioned the latest stomach-turning news about our industrial food system: rampant arsenic residues in chicken. In independent tests by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, more than half the chicken tested carried detectable arsenic, a carcinogen which also may be linked to heart disease, diabetes, and other seroius illnesses. Arsenic in our chicken?! Bet you didn't even know it was used in chicken feed. Well, I didn't either until I started working on Grub. It turns out, arsenic is still widely used in feed on industrial farms in the U.S. to kill parasites and promote growth. (Although, this public outcry will hopefully put pressure on the industry to change, like public outcry did in Europe where the practice is banned). So what's a chicken eater to do? Choose organic-certified. Luckily for my family, the restaurant where we were eating serves only organic meat, so my brother could order the chicken ceasar salad, in arsenic-free peace. --Anna