There are killers out there!

 

When grandmother tells you that chicken soup is good for you, she is correct.  But the modern chicken is a very different bird to the one your grandmother was referring to.  The modern chicken has been bred to grow fast and heavy.  In the process, the modern chicken that we eat is a nutritional disaster!

 

The Cornish Crosses are very fast growers.  They can hit 2 kg in weight in just about 40 days.  Some of the “colored” feathers varieties grow almost as fast.  The brown feathered bird favoured by the Chinese chicken rice shops can reach 2kg in 60 days.  Compare this with Grandmother’s chicken which took 4 to 6 months to reach 1.5kg.

 

The fast growth rate means that the chickens have high energy requirements.  There are only two sources of energy for chickens – grains and fats.  If a farmer tells you that his chickens eat only vegetables, he is telling you a lie.  Vegetables provide very little energy and the poor chicken will die from hypoglaecaemia (lack of energy or sugar) within days.  A high energy bird needs up to 80% of its diet to be from grains and or fats.  Without this, his weight gain and health will be affected. 

 

The high consumption of grains and fats will result in a very high omega 6: omega 3 ratio in the meat and the skin.  Chickens available in the market have been tested by us to have ratios as high as 30 to one (30 omega 6, one omega 3) in the meat.  The same chicken will have ratios as high as 40 to 60: 1 if we include the skin.  These ratios are nutritional disasters if consumed over the long term.  And like it or not, most of us eat chicken 2 or 3 times a week, year-in, year-out.

 

Some farmers include fats in the feed to improve growth rates.  The addition of fats will produce another nutritional disaster.  Two “organic”, free-range chickens that we tested have high lauric and myristic acids in the meat.  Note, IN THE MEAT.  Chickens will produce these two saturated fats naturally but they are generally deposited on the skin to protect it against insect bites and the cold.  While the jury is 50:50 on the harmful effects of lauric acid, it is generally accepted that high long term consumption of myristic acid can contribute to coronary problems.   These two “organic” chickens are as bad for your heart health as red meats since we consume chicken more frequently than red meats, and in larger quantity.

 

These farmers obviously have a simplistic understanding about “organic”.  To them “organic” means no antibiotics and free-ranging.  But the end result is a nutritional disaster as they are encouraging the birds to grow faster with not only a high grain diet, but with the addition of either coconut oil or animal fats to fortify the energy levels of the feed.  Since the birds have high omega 6 and saturated fats, it means they have been given a high energy diet to maximize their growth rate.  Chickens that grow this fast will be bland in taste.  To have some taste, fishmeal is added. This is evidenced by the presence of certain fatty acids found only in ocean fish in the meat.   This is not allowed in so far as organic standards is concerned.

 

Because our modern chickens are a different animal from our grandmother’s chickens, we have to “slow” down their growth.  DQ chickens take up to 4 months to reach the weight that other producers are achieving in 70 to 75 days. Chickens need that long to absorb and convert the omegas and phytochemicals present in grasses and plants to beneficial fats, amino acids and antioxidants in their meat.

 

To sum up, this is what we have found through our lab tests done on chickens available in the Klang Valley:

 

  1. Most of the “ayam kampung” or “choi yin kai”, including two “organic” chickens have lauric and myristic acids in their meats just like red meats such as beef and mutton.  DQ chickens do not have lauric and myristic acids in their meats.
  2. Most of the chickens in the market, including two “organic” chickens have high omega 6 to omega 3 ratios in their meats and skin.  The ratio in the skin is especially bad, as high as 60:1.  DQ chickens have low ratios in their meat and surprisingly, even lower in their skins.
  3. Most of the chickens in the market incorporate fishmeal in the feed. This includes the two “organic” chickens.  This is done to enhance the taste as the chickens are made to grow too fast resulting in a bland taste.  We estimate that these chickens have reached our Roaster size in 75 days.  Ours take 120 to 150 days.
  4. Most of the chickens in the market, including the two “organic” chickens have either coconut fat or animal fat (meat and bone meal) in their feed to enhance energy.  This is shown by the comparatively high presence of lauric and myristic acids in the meat.
  5. As you are aware, fishmeal has many toxins including dioxin and is not permitted by all organic standards.  Meat bone and blood meal is also not permitted by all organic standards.
  6. From the lab tests, it would appear that there’s no local true organic chicken in Peninsular Malaysia.

 

The lab tests are available for inspection by appointment only.  Call HS Wong, 019 3328213.