Food Dangers Will Continue

Changes in the poultry business have made the likelihood of a contamination recall very high. You have probably heard of protests over the inhumane conditions in which most commercial eggs and poultry are produced. As regular readers know, I keep an eye on what investigators have found. And what they’ve found has been of no surprise to me.

It also hasn’t been a surprise to many farmers.

“Many of us have watched with alarm the changes in the poultry industry over the past several decades and warned of its likely consequences.”

John W. Boyd Jr.
John Wesley Boyd, Jr. of Boydton, Va.
Regina H. Boone/
Richmond Free Press

That’s from John W. Boyd, Jr., a fourth-generation Virginia farmer who’s worked in the poultry business. He warns that as long as the largely unregulated mega factory farms are allowed to continue to dominate the food supply, we will see more food recalls and scares like the current egg crisis.

Looking at a typical chicken farm one sees row after row of windowless buildings, each containing hundreds of birds, all in cages over troughs that catch and transport the eggs to where they can be gathered and sent for processing. And, while I don’t want to gross you out, think about how much manure is produced in those buildings. How can anything living in that be healthy?

“I have been a farmer for more than two decades and a poultry farmer for the majority of that time. Since founding the National Black Farmers Association in 1995, I have spoken out many times about how the rise of industrial mega-farms has increased the risk of widespread food problems.”

John W. Boyd, Jr., Huffington Post
A typical chicken farm.

Recently, federal regulators have found that much of the salmonella contamination came from the chicken feed. That raises a question: if the eggs were contaminated, the birds must be too, right? That means thousands of animals will have to be destroyed just so a couple of farmers could save a few bucks. I’m all for profitable farming, but this corporate approach is not working. If you care about your food and your family’s food, contact your Congressperson and demand better regulations of the food industry and more money for regulatory agencies. If you don’t speak out, they will continue to listen to the agribusiness lobbyists who give them lots of money for their campaigns.