Another Reason to Eat Organic – Arsenic, Caffeine, Antidepressants and Banned Antibiotics are Fed to Chicken

Last year, I put up a post about how arsenic was temporarily banned for use in conventional chickens.

Whether conventional chicken growers actually paid attention to the ban is anyone’s guess, but a column I read yesterday in the New York Times just made me shake my head even further.

In his column, Nicholas Kristof talked about recently released studies that suggest that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and arsenic.

He went on to say that chicken from China showed that it contained an antidepressant whose active ingredient is in Prozac. Yes, chickens are getting antidepressants. Can you imagine?

These animals are fed coffee pulp and green tea powder, so they stay awake longer and eat more often.

Presumably, they need the active ingredients in Prozac and Benadryl to keep them calm and keep them from getting sick, as a result of a lack of sleep.


Reading stories like this don’t surprise me in the least.

Conventional, factory-farmed food is an absolute disgrace and the things that these farmers utilize to increase profits (toxic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic growth hormones, genetically-modified ingredients, etc.) have no business being in our food supply.

Unfortunately, our government is so influenced by Big Ag that they bow to pressure, play ignorant, and allow this nonsense to go on.

At the end of the day, American citizens will be the ones who ultimately pay the price for cheap, risky, compromised, and nutritionally-deficient food.

Please share this post with your friends and family, so we can get more people eating the healthiest food on the planet – organic food.

Organic food strictly prohibits the use of antibiotics, GMOs, toxic pesticides, synthetic growth hormones…..and, yes, Prozac as well.


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  • Edward says:

    Good insight but I doubt the chicken farmers can afford Prozac. Google for the antibiotic article at National and there is an article regarding the percentage of all antibiotics used in U.S., vs. overall antibiotics use. I think it’s like ~75%…or some astonishing number. Mostly used in chicken. But chicken is cheap and 99% of us have been brought up eating it for the last 50 years. Only with the internet we are seeing the picture now….

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  • stephanie haughey says:

    Hello Max,

    I am sharing your post with my Store Team Leader and Meat Leader
    Thank you for your post.

    This topic was covered exhaustively in David Kirby’s book “Animal Factory”, including the fact that the waste from chicken farms — containing high levels of arsenic — is sold to consumers as an ingredient in lawn fertilizer. Someone I know was tested by his doctor for heavy metal exposure (for unrelated reasons) and tested high for arsenic. The only exposure they can think of is the household-name lawn fertilizer he used to spread a couple of times every year using a broadcast spreader (which tends to aerate the fertilizer). They don’t use that product anymore, and are considering going organic for lawn care.

    My point is that you can be a vegetarian/vegan/eating a plant based diet living far from a chicken farm, and still be negatively impacted by industrial meat production. I think we’ve barely begun to understand the devastating impact of these practices. Your post makes it accessible to
    your community of readers.

    I would also add that the chicken’s experience inhumane additional
    stress in large scale poultry facilities being confined in a small space, as well as, being fed caffeine etc. and being forced fed as well.

    All the best,

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for sharing it with your team leaders!

      You bring up some excellent points and thanks for telling me about David Kirby’s book. The reality is that most of the U.S. population has no clue about the food they are fed, and unfortunately, they’d rather not know, even if means that they are putting poison into their bodies.

      I knew you’d like this post because you told me before you’re a fan of Kristof. He does some very good work.

      Live well,

  • stephanie haughey says:

    Hi Max,
    Inorganic arsenic was found in chicken meat as reported by
    Mother Jones in April 2011. Did you see that article?

    All the best,

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      I did not see that specific article but it was something that I reported on last year, as per my link in the post. Thanks for sharing Tom’s article. Another person doing great reporting.

      Live well,

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