Concerned about toxins? Here's how we work to create healthy, non-toxic food for you.
In keeping with last week’s theme, let’s return to high school biology class for a moment. Imagine this question on an exam: What is the connection between your gut – and a chicken’s gut?
If you’re trying to visualize the anatomical structure of a human gut vs. a chicken gut…sorry, you’re on the wrong track! The connection, of course, has to do with food – both the food we eat (chicken) and the food that a chicken eats (grass, forage, bugs, and feed).
Did you know that the food an animal ingests has a direct impact on your health? If you’re wary of the hormones and antibiotics in conventionally raised meat, you’ve probably already considered this.
But even if farmers like us don’t spray chemicals, avoid hormones or antibiotics, and solely rely on organic or non-GMO feed, the environment around us is still causing problems. As farmers, we can’t just eliminate bad practices. We have to implement new practices that will counteract the harms of industrial farming. And that’s what we’re doing on Little Way Farm, with our chickens.
Let’s step back and look at the big picture. You've probably heard much over the years about the pesticide glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. But recently, you may have started hearing about PFAS (per-and polyfluroalkyl substances) and their presence on organic farms. They’re nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down and their contamination is difficult to contain. And most concerningly, PFAS are showing up everywhere.
Like pesticides, PFAS have significant consequences. Not only do they destroy the health and bacterial life of the land, but they also wreak havoc on the bodies of animals and humans. They cause digestive problems, inflammation, immune system suppression, cancer, and liver problems – just to name a few.
This is frightening stuff. But bear with me for a bit.
Because these toxic chemicals have been used in nearly everything (including clothing, food packaging, nonstick cookware, and technology), and sprayed indiscriminately through fertilizers, they’re showing up in our groundwater, our soil, and our food. This also means that, increasingly, they’re present in organic and non-GMO feed, even if the farmer is using 100% organic practices.
So what does this have to do with chickens?
When chickens ingest feed contaminated with toxic pesticides or PFAS, they are absorbing toxins that can’t be digested, broken down, or eliminated from the body. This means that they simply stay there. They’re stored in tissue, and they cause inflammation, which spirals into a range of problems: damaged organs, digestive problems, and a general lack of health.
And if you eat a chicken that has toxic residues stored in its body, that means these toxic residues are in turn passed to your body, where they cause a similar range of serious issues – and where they stay.
In order to break this cycle, we have to remove the toxins from our animals and the land. And that’s exactly what we’re doing on Little Way Farm.
In our chicken feed, we’ve added a product called Organic Gut Solution. Organic Gut Solution is a carbon-based digestive aid that uses carbon’s ability to bind to toxins to eliminate them from animals, the soil – and from us.
How does it work? The carbon in the solution binds to any toxins that a chicken may ingest from contaminated feed. This means that the toxin does not stay in the chicken’s body, but rather is eliminated as waste from the body.
What happens as a result? First of all, the health of a chicken is immediately improved. There’s no toxic build-up, inflammation, organ damage, digestive issues, or stress. This results in higher-quality, more nutrient-dense meat and organs.
Moreover, toxins remain bonded to carbon in both chicken manure and the soil – which prevents further spreading and contamination. So we’re not just improving the health of our chickens, but also the overall health and non-toxicity of our land.
Finally, the elimination of these toxins means that you never ingest toxic chemicals from our pasture-raised chicken. And this returns us to our opening question. If a chicken’s gut is healthy and toxic-free, that means that our guts will remain this way, too, when we consume them as food.
This is just one way that we’re working to proactively create change and combat the issues of industrial agriculture. For us, it’s not just about avoiding bad practices. We want to create practices that will directly negate the toxins in our environment, and result in the healthiest, non-toxic product for you.
Do you still have questions about PFAS? What else have you heard? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.