This past week, I caught the PBS’ Frontline movie “Poisoned Waters” on TV and I was horrified to learn that the “Purdue” chicken that I eat was poisoning me, my family and millions of people living in the greater DC area. Yes, it is true.
It turns out that most of the chicken that we eat under the brand “Purdue” is raised in and around “Eastern Shores.” The old mom and pop chicken farms that used to house few thousand chickens are now contractors to Purdue raising fifty thousand or more chickens per farm. In the old days, what came out the back side of the chickens was used as fertilizer. With maybe millions of chickens living in Eastern Shores and producing more waste than the human populations of NY, Atlanta, DC and San Francisco combined in one year, nobody knows what to do with it anymore. So it goes in to the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac river that provide us with our drinking water and fish.
Purdue being a very clever firm, had the small farmers sign iron clad contracts. Their contracts, according to Frontline, state that Purdue will give them their own chicks and the feed. The farmer will raise them to a certain point and he/she will give the chickens back to Purdue. The only thing that is excluded from the contract is the “chicken sh..” Purdue wants nothing to do with it. It stays with the small farmer who cannot get rid of it all. So it finds its way into the Bay and our water resources. What nutrients does it add to our water supply you may ask? How about, ARSENIC, FLUORIDE, TRICHLOETHYLENE, MERCURY, COPPER, ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS, and NITRATE. Frontline showed the effects of these chemicals on frogs with 5 legs, and male fish species missing eggs in their bodies. No wonder so many couples have such a hard time conceiving babies these days.
You may say, don’t they filter our water? What about if I use Britta, reverse osmosis, etc. It turns out that our current methods of filtering water are non-effective against these new chemicals. We are yet to develop those new filters. It is not just the chicken farms that are polluting the waters. We are also to blame, which brings me to the topic of my blog. Every time we brush our teeth, wash our bodies with soap, run the dishwasher, we are adding chemicals to our drinking water supply that is slowly poisoning us and our kids. What can you do? Use eco-friendly soaps that are not harmful to the environment. I use the products of Seventh Generation. You can find them at Giant and Harris Teeter. The company is out of Vermont and privately owned. Their name comes from “the Great Law of the Iroquois that states, In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.” We need to live a more responsible life. You can start by watching the PBS Frontline movie here.