Folks, This Ain't Normal: A Farmer's Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
Joel Salatin

Ended: March 15, 2012

Most articles promoting this notion greatly inflate the grain-meat conversion ratio, using outlandish figures like fifteen pounds of grain to one pound of meat. I don’t know where these scientists get these figures, but it sure isn’t from a farm. It’s probably from some prejudicial software. The real numbers are about seven pounds for beef, three pounds for pork, and two pounds for poultry.
But again, herbivores would not need any grain, and hogs could run with electric fencing on the nation’s forests. If all kitchens had enough chickens attached to consume the table scraps, egg commerce would not exist. Perennial pasture completely changes these animals from liability into asset. And pasture is land-healing rather than land-debilitating like grains. Furthermore, nobody in the world goes hungry due to lack of food production. It is distribution and other problems that create starvation. Because they can eat perennials that do not require tillage, herbivores are always preferred in impoverished societies. This is why the most efficacious famine-relief agencies I’ve been privileged to work with, like Heifer Project International, are founded on livestock. If you really want to help impoverished people, get them started in animal husbandry.
The poultry industry and its collusion fraternity at the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) allow water chill tank agitators to insoak several percentage points, by weight, of water into chickens. Lots of water gets sold to unsuspecting Americans this way. Because the tissue of factory birds is soft rather than firm, it is extremely absorptive. The tissue is actually spongy due to lack of exercise and lack of a chicken-friendly habitat. As a result, the carcasses soak up lots of water chilling down in tanks of cold water. That water is sold to you at whatever the price per pound is for chicken. Do you want nutrition or water?