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Oh No — Another Recall! This Time It’s Tyson’s Chicken Nuggets

A concern over pieces of blue rubber in its chicken nuggets has spurred a recall by Tyson. The company said “a small number of consumers” reported finding the rubber in their nuggets, prompting the recall of 5-pound bags of the product.

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According to Huffington Post, the recall involves 36,420 pounds of nuggets. Earlier this week Perdue recalled 16,000 pounds of chicken nuggets because of undeclared milk allergen on some labels.

Whether it’s from mislabeling or actual contamination, the flood of recalls that have been in the news in the past few months signals that there is a real problem with the food industry today — and that problem largely stems from the Big Ag industrial farming methods used to produce that food.

The thing is, a bit of rubber and a missing ingredient on a label are just fractions of what’s going on in the poultry industry. For example:

• Government data from October 2017 to October 2018 detected salmonella in poultry from producers including Pilgrim’s Pride, Tyson Foods, Foster Farms and many others, from Iowa to Arkansas to New York and California.

• A Consumer Reports study of chicken in the U.S. revealed all the brands tested (Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Sanderson Farms and Tyson) contained “worrisome amounts” of bacteria.

• In an analysis of outbreaks from 1998 through 2008, the CDC revealed that “more deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity.”

You would think that all these findings would spur more regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and their processing plants, especially when it comes to poultry. But instead, federal regulators continue to use inadequate safety measures that virtually allow recalls and consumer illnesses to happen.

This is unfortunate since chicken is portrayed as one of the healthiest protein sources. Another underlying problem is that mislabeling allegens in their processed products is probably one of the lesser problems in this industry — especially when you consider that you may be relying on labels to help you make a purchase decision.

Case in point: A lawsuit was filed in 2017 against Sanderson Farms, alleging that the corporation falsely advertised their chicken as "100% Natural." Remarkably, Sanderson Farms' CEO Joe Sanderson Jr. has actually gone on record saying antibiotics don't cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and that the shift away from antibiotics is nothing more than a marketing ploy to justify higher prices.

When you consider that similar stories continue to happen across the board in the food industry, which seems bent on misleading you on just how “natural” or “organic” their foods really are, the best strategy is to take measures to protect yourself before you open your pocketbook.

Make up your mind to buy only organic or biodynamic grass fed meats and animal products. Remember, nearly all meat served in restaurants and on planes are raised in factory farms and therefore more prone to contamination with potentially drug-resistant bacteria.

And, if you do choose to eat chicken, finding a local grass fed farmer raising chickens on pasture is the safest and healthiest way to go. With eggs, eating organic, pastured eggs is also recommended.

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