We live in a world where the food we eat has become as hip as the tunes in our music library and the infinity scarves around our necks. Our choice of greens and grains says as much about us as the Air Jordans we blew half a paycheck on back in the nineties. Diets track political leanings. We take photos of our kale and chia seed salads and proudly parade them in front of our less-informed online compatriots before tossing them down our gullets and turning them into healthy, well-formed poo.
Miracle foods abound, and for each one of these cure-alls there exists some shadowy counterpart that is sure to be the death of us. Ask one self-proclaimed expert and they’ll tell you the soy milk in your fridge might tack on another five years to your life. Ask another and it might give you cancer.
And yet, through all these shifting alliances and ephemeral trends, one unlikely bird remains resolutely lodged in that space between our hearts and stomachs; the chicken. From the drive-thru to the Michelin starred restaurant, we just can’t seem to get enough of these tasty little turkey cousins.
Now, this is all well and good, but of all the food items we could be so unquestionably committed to, it seems strange to have chosen the chicken, as their meat is laden with pathogens that can land you a trip to the hospital faster than you can say “cluck, cluck.”
A report released last year by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) ranked chicken as the meat product most likely to cause severe illness. According to the report, between 1998 and 2010 chicken consumption was definitively linked to nearly 7,000 cases of illness in the United States alone.
With this in mind, perhaps it’s time we look to a new, less deadly and more wholesome beast to which we can devote our consumptive urges. Lampreys, maybe.
What do you think? Should we abandon the chicken? Let your go-to Pennsylvania caterer, R & R Caterers, know!