The Truth About Store Bought Eggs & Chicken

Store bought eggs and chicken, we never gave them much thought until we began to learn in what kind of conditions commercial chickens are raised.

The modern, commercial/industrial egg farms do provide lots of eggs for people who don’t raise their own hens but the conditions in which they are raised are inhumane, in our opinion.

Chickens were created by YHWH and he declared them to be good. As the King of the Universe and the Creator, He gave these creatures inherent behaviors that help them to thrive and live an enjoyable and healthy life. The principle that we find within scripture is that YHWH cares for animals, that he watches over them and that He expects us to provide for their needs if we take it upon ourselves to raise them ourselves.

 

To Listen to the Audio for this post that was originally broadcast on the Remnant Mama Show at Hebrew Nation Radio, use these links:

The Truth About Store Bought Eggs & Chicken Part One

The Truth About Store Bought Eggs & Chicken Part Two

As recently as 70 years ago, many people across America were closely aquainted with their food. They knew where it came from. Most grew and raised their own food on rural farms. Others, at least knew the farmer, who they purchased their fruits, vegetables, and meat animals from.

The vegetables and fruits were grown from a seed which is how YHWH created them to reproduce after their kind. There was not genetically engineered or modified seed or plants. Grapes had seeds, watermelon had seeds, and you just ate the fruit and spit out the seeds if you didn’t like to eat them.

There was a lot of work required just to eat a meal of meat, potatoes, bread, etc.  The dirt had to be plowed and planted. The seedlings nurtured with water and sunlight and warm temperatures. The plants had to be harvested and stored in root cellars or put up in canning jars. The meat came from animals that they raised since birth. They were feed and watered and cared for when sick or injured.

Today most food available from supermarkets was grown or raised using industrial framing practices. This is BIG business and includes the production and use of chemical fertilizers, herbicides (weed killers), pesticides (insect killers) and synthetic vitamins and minerals, GMO (genetically modified) grains and plants.

Industrial poultry farming has reduced the animals to nothing more than property and property that is treated with profit in mind and little regard to the animals YHWH given needs or the fact that it has nerves and can feel pain.

Brief over-view of the standard industrial poultry farming practices contrasted with their natural tendencies given to them at creation from YHWH Himself.

If you want to learn more about the conditions that commercial chickens are raised in just do a search on the internet about it or watch the movie, Food Inc. for some startling glimpses.

Here are a few more resources;

Animal Factory the book by David Kirby

“Animal Factory is a compelling narrative in the tradition of Upton Sinclair. It isn’t a novel, but it moves along with the urgency of a pot-boiler. What Kirby has done in this journalistic account of animal factory operations across the country is draw back the curtains that have carefully screened from the public the untidy secrets about how meat is produced on a large scale in this country.” THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER

Factory Farm Nation

“Between 1997 and 2007, there was a geographic and economic shift in where and how food is raised in the United States. Even a few decades ago, there were small- and medium-sized dairy, cattle and hog farms dispersed all across the country. Today, these operations are disappearing. The remaining operations are primarily large-scale factory farms that are concentrated in specific regions, states and even counties where the thousands of animals on each farm can produce more sewage than most large cities, overwhelming the capacity of rural communities to cope with the environmental and public health burdens.”

Farm Sanctuary.org

“There are more than 280 million egg laying hens in the U.S. confined in battery cages — small wire cages stacked in tiers and lined up in rows inside huge warehouses. In accordance with the USDA’s recommendation to give each hen four inches of ‘feeder space,’ hens are commonly packed four to a cage measuring just 16 inches wide. In this tiny space, the birds cannot stretch their wings or legs, and they cannot fulfill normal behavioral patterns or social needs. Constantly rubbing against the wire cages, they suffer from severe feather loss, and their bodies are covered with bruises and abrasions.

In order to reduce injuries resulting from excessive pecking — an aberrant behavior that occurs when the confined hens are bored and frustrated — practically all laying hens have part of their beaks cut off. Debeaking is a painful procedure that involves cutting through bone, cartilage, and soft tissue.”

An HSUS Report: the Welfare of Animals in the Egg Industry

An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Intensively Confined Animals in Battery Cages, Gestation Crates, and Veal Crates

Farm Animal Welfare: various white paper pdf documents

EON Environmental Organizers Network this is also who provided the photo of the hens in battery cages for this post.

YouTube Videos:

Pork in Chicken

It is a common practice of poultry processors to use multi-needle injection machines to inject water into chicken meat to make it juicier. These processes can double the size of a chicken breast in 40 seconds. This increases the size of the breast meat and the weight and therefore the price can be increased accordingly. If left alone, most of the water would eventually drain out of the meat and this would defeat the production process. These chicken processing companies had to come up with a way to keep the high quantity of water in the meat and that’s where protein powder enters the picture. The protein powder mixes with the water to become gel-like. This gel helps keep the water volume in the chicken meat.

This water/protein powder injection process changes original the texture and structure of the meat. The chicken breast becomes very different than that of a real farm raised chicken, slaughtered and butchered without the added 1/3 water-gel content. The water injected meat actually becomes a gel-like substance as well.

Where does the protein powder come from? It is made by crushing and processing animal skin and bone. The protein powder is made from many different animals but the most commonly used are beef and pork – because they are the cheapest source.

So when a product is labeled as chicken with water added, there is no mention of the origin of the protein powder. That means that those consumers who do not eat pork for religious reasons may have actually consumed pork in the chicken.  Once a few people began to catch on to this process the manufacturers working with scientists developed a way to destroy the DNA and make it undetectable. What does that mean? It means that under normal analysis, the pork or beef or other animal’s DNA in the protein powder would not be detectible. This is blatant deceit on the part of the chicken manufacturers or those providing the protein powder.

Professor Tim Lang, a Food Safety expert at the City University, London, UK says, “the worry about this is maybe not about safety. It may be perfectly safe but is it moral? Is it acceptable? And is it what consumers expect? Those are the questions. Definitely consumers will not expect when they buy a product that says it’s chicken, to find that it actually has got pork in it.”

This is another way that the enemy is sneaking pork or other unclean substances into our food without us knowing about it. We are truly living in exile and paying the price for it. As we have learned many things over the last seven years we see that more and more commercially available products contain pork. Things that we would never have expected to contain pork, just like the chicken. As my husband Avi says, “Oh Yahweh of Your people Yisrael, I long for the day that a pig is a pig and I can see it is a pig from afar off. A day when a pig is visibly standing out in a field and not hiding in a box of Altoids or in a bag of marshmallows.” And now he can add, “Or hiding in the chicken breast at the supermarket.”

Sources:

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/faq/waterchickenmarch03faq/

http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/waterchickenmarch03.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YiBrLrYfb0&sns=em

Other food labeling information:

http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/confinement_farm/facts/guide_egg_labels.html

https://www.foodanimalconcerns.org/PDF/FACT_egg_release_03.12.08_final.pdf especially page 3

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Meat_&_Poultry_Labeling_Terms/index.asp#8

Halal Poultry & Products

From what I have read concerning the Halal certification for products, the Islamic laws require proper sanitation, no cross contamination with forbidden ingredients or surfaces and humane slaughtering techniques – all very similar to the Kushrut/Kosher regulations. Where I see that believers who are trying to observe or follow Torah may have a problem is with the Muslim religious practice associated with the slaughtering of the animals or with the dedication of the meat to Allah.

Islamic Halal Certification Standards have many rules and regulations, some deal with humane slaughtering methods, no contamination with najis (means filth) ingredients or items, other requirements and the following religious practices that directly affect the slaughter of the animal:

  1. The person doing manual slaughter  or pushing the automated slaughter machine button – must be a Muslim
  2. The person doing the slaughtering must face toward the direction of Kaabah (the square building at the heart of Mecca where Muslims all over the world face during their prayers) this is called Qiblah.
  3. During the slaughter this person must recite Basmalah
    1. Basmalah:  the recitation of Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim (in the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful)

Source:http://www.halalrc.org/images/Research%20Material/Report/Processing%20of%20Halal%20Food.pdf

The practice of dedicating the animal or meat to Allah is a concern to those who are trying to eat Biblically for we are clearly instructed in Exodus 34:12-15 and Acts 15:29 to avoid eating meat that has been sacrificed to idols and or/pagan gods. The intent of the verses discussing this idol meat/wine issue really seems to center around instructing the Torah follower to NOT participate in idol or pagan worship and then in partaking of items dedicated or sacrificed to pagan gods.

During the time of the Apostles, it was common practice for markets to sell meat that had been sacrificed to idols.  I want to quote D. Thomas Lancaster in Hope Egan’s book Holy Cow: Does God Care About What We Eat? about a common misconception that some believers may have.

“Almost all of the arguments and questions over food and drink and eating with Gentiles (in the New Testament) arise from the concern around food sacrificed to idols. When removed from that context, the modern reader misinterprets these passages by assuming the argument was over the eating of clean or unclean animals.”

Holy Cow: Does God Care About What We Eat?, Hope Egan, 2005 first Fruits of Zion Littleton,CO  www.ffoz.org

Many secular people have said that the Halal regulations are very similar to the Kosher regulations and that is true with some differences. The main exception to that belief is when it comes to the dedication of the animal, slaughter or meat to Allah through the Islamic prayer. These same secular people errantly believe the Muslims and Jews and Christians worship the same God as Abraham but the truth is we do not. Mohammed is not another name for the God that we worship. YHWH is the Creator of the Universe and the Melech haOlam the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Until recently torah believers and Jews in America, did not have to be concerned with whether meat was sacrificed to a pagan god but perhaps now we do. Since more and more companies are now preparing meat or food so that it complies with the Halal regulations, as Believers we are once again encountering this dilemma.

Just a few nationally known US Companies producing Halal poultry products

Tyson Chicken

Butterball Whole Turkey (only, to my knowledge)

KFC

Sources:

http://www.zabihah.com/pi.php

http://www.thatsnonsense.com/view.php?id=1437

Some have brought up concern regarding non food products that are manufactured to the Halal standard, such as Tom’s of Maine products like; toothpaste, shaving cream, deodorant and soap.

As far as I can understand by spending over 3 hours, reading Halal certification documents on the internet, there is no prayer or dedication to Allah when these products are produced. That requirement is only for the slaughter of animals or dedication of meat. Purchasing products of this nature that are Halal certified is a personal choice and one should be lead by the Ruach ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) in all things.

Here is a good source to help in selecting clean and unclean foods:

Clean and Unclean Products List

These things are all concerns for us and how we aquire our food and there are no easy answers that fit everyones needs. Some will be able to raise their own laying hens and meat birds. Others will be able to purchase locally sourced and higher priced eggs and poultry that is raised humanly. Still others will feel that these options are out of their reach. A few others will choose to no longer eat animal meat or products. We each must pray and get direction from YHWH (the Lord) as to what we can and should do.

We invite your thoughts and comments.

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