You’ll Never Lose Weight If You Eat That Chicken

You Are What You Eat

When my daughter turned 12 years old we had a great pajama party with four of her best girl friends.

One of the girls, I’ll call her Amy, we didn’t know very well yet.  Amy’s parents came over to personally drop her off and do the parental check-out of the situation.  As older parents can sometimes be, the were a little over protective.  So to help them feel more comfortable I offered to show them around the farm a bit.

I should mention that Amy is really big for her age.  She is large – much larger than my daughter in both height and girth.  Her parents were fairly short, but large around the waist.  From their body size, their skin, and the shape they were in – it was easy to see that they ate mostly conventional food.

Feeding a Growing Body

It just tears me up to see people feeding their kids junk.  Especially the really young children.  How are their little bodies ever going to be healthy and grow properly?  Most people just don’t realize how bad it is, or I am sure they wouldn’t choose to feed it to their children.

It has gotten so bad that the medical establishment fully expects that one third of all children born in the last decade will have juvenile diabetes.

It has gotten so bad that they are starting to screen 6th graders for heart disease.

And from what I’ve seen, the school lunch program is probably some of the worst food on the planet.

Writing Contest Entry: Homemade Baby Food from the Garden

The Art of Breaking Bad News

I usually don’t say anything to people, because the conversation is so… well… it is not uplifting.  And where do you begin?  The entire food supply is essentially toxic.  They are eating it, and they are feeding it to their kids.  How do you begin to tell people that?

But way in the back of my conscience I heard the quiet mantra that always moves me, that gets me out of bed each day, that drives me to keep working so hard…

My personal mantra, “Homegrown Food on Every Table.”

Homegrown Food on Every Table

So, what does that really mean to me?

It means that I get to experience the delightful tastes of fresh, healthy food at each meal in my home.  Food that is rich in nutrition with bright, beautiful colors and striking flavor.  It means that I awake with sheer delight every morning, re-discovering that my body moves freely with agility and strength.  It means that my friends who haven’t seen me in years say, “You look great!  You haven’t aged a bit.”

I want to share this amazing experience with everyone.  And that is what “Homegrown Food on Every Table” means to me.

Audio podcast: How to Find Like Minded Neighbors & Build Self-Reliant Community

Giving My Guests a Gentle Nudge

So, I decided I would try to broach the subject of food with these two parents.  This was going to be a tough sell.  These people did not look at all like they would want to garden.  They seemed uncomfortable just walking around outside.  So where could I begin?

While I do have a few gardens scattered around, I’ve been working more and more towards higher energy and nutrient content through wild foods and edible landscaping.  All around my yard food and medicine are growing – but much of it cannot be seen my most folks unless I point it out.

Well, one obvious thing was a flock of 87 pastured chickens we were growing.  My husband and I do these big batches once or twice a year to fill up the freezer for our family.  We also use them for trading with neighbors, and when our hearts call for it we give them as gifts.

I pointed out the chickens and mentioned to the parents, “Did you know that Tyson Foods is the world’s largest producer of chicken?”  They didn’t know that, of course.  It was just my opening, and I pushed on.  “Yes, it’s a tough business with a very thin profit margin of only about three percent.”

The husband and wife looked at each other, wondering where this conversation was going.

The Perils of Industrial Chicken

I continued, “In the chicken business, the most important, biggest thing, is the weight of the birds.  The total sale amount depends on the total weight.

So a common practice in the larger chicken operations is to add a tiny amount of arsenic to the chickens’ feed.  It’s not enough to kill the chickens; it is just a tiny amount.  But it gets into the chickens’ bodies and causes the cells to swell and retain water.  And voila!  The chickens weigh more.  So a tiny bit of arsenic helps cut down on the cost of feed; and it turns out to be a profitable thing to do.

The thing is, though, when you eat that chicken meat, you get the arsenic in your cells.  Your cells swell and retain water.  It’s too bad – people choose to eat chicken because they’re trying to make healthy eating decisions, right?  But by eating that chicken they will never be able to lose weight.”

Read more: Would You Eat Chicken-less Eggs

Watching Someone Else’s Awakening

The two of them stood there for a moment, thinking.

The husband turned to me and spoke slowly, as if he were still connecting the dots, “They also feed those animals growth hormones to get them to grow more quickly, and we are probably eating that too.  And I’ve heard that they give them antibiotics…”

There was a bit more silence.

And then the wife chimed in enthusiastically, like music to my ears, “We have three acres of land…”

Home grown food on every table.  That’s what I work on, every single day.


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This post was written by Marjory


  • Leana says:

    Horrific, obviously. What I’d like to know is what breed of chickens you raise for eating and what do you feed them?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Leana,

      When we went to order day old chicks almost all of the hatcheries were out of stock… So we got the best we could with black broilers which is a meat breed that is not too manipulated.

      I do want to get to where we are having our own chickens raising the chicks, but for now this is what we are doing.

      We found a non-GMO source of feed – $25 per 50# bag. They are in a pasture area with movable fencing so they catch bugs. And this year, because we got a lot of rains and the pring was cooler than expected we have a bumper crops of oats and rye they are eating in the pasture. That doesn’t happen all the time, but it sure has helped cut down on feed costs.

      Note that our egg production chickens (a flock of a bout a dozen) are completely free range and pretty much survive on their own without much support in terms of food. They raid the compost pile regularly and if it is really cold or hot I’ll give them some grain, but not that much. And I get eggs for my family.

  • Leslie says:

    Marjory, I never thought about how a chicken gets fatter. I’m always learning something from you Garden Jedi Master. You inspire me, keep the information coming!

  • Nancy says:

    Where do the comments go after they gets posted? I’m here on your latest email suggesting we come to the article to post a comment and that “important points that should be shared with the group”, yet I don’t see any comments posted. Thanks for your help!

  • Angie says:

    Had NO idea there was arsenic in chicken. I do know this: I cannot eat most modern foods in supermarkets, it makes me ill. I am allergic to eggs (will throw up) and now I dont even think Tyson is good enough to cook for my chihuahuas. Unbelievable what man has done to our food supply.

  • Lupa says:

    are you serious? you have to be kidding. how can this be v erified? how can i trust what you say versus what anyone else says? how the…

    forget it. i can’t do anything about it. i don’t even have ten dollars to buy the dvds. i don’t have land. i don’t have money to buy compost and peat and containers and plants, and i don’t have the energy to cook. ever. i’m in a dying cycle, and my children are just caught in this stupid crossfire.

    I had no clue. I still have no clue.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Oh Lupa, my heart goes out to you. Yes, this whole situation is a stupid insane thing – and seems hopeless. But you really can do a lot. Start small and try a few things. Please send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a set of the videos at not charge. Most of my systems are based on having almost nothing – because during economic collapse that is the way it will be.

      And yes, I have a teenage son who although I put as much good food into him as possible – he still chooses the junk whenever he can and it drives me nuts. marjory at growyourowngroceries dot com

      1. Leslie Parsons says:

        Yes Lupa, we are all in a dying cycle. The human community has been perverted into self-poisoning. Just by your awareness of the nightmare, you are part of the solution. So, I ask you to feel very good about that. You feel that you are not able to do anything, but you can share what you know with as many people as possible. By doing that you begin to create a community of life. If people don’t listen to you, move on to the next one, because others are out there waiting for your knowledge.

        There are many ways to garden organically for FREE! You can sheet mulch a good size area for FREE. Many stores have cardboard dumpsters in back, take some it’s FREE. You can find a landscape crew that will dump wood chips on your driveway, for FREE. Once this is in place, the earthworms, pill bugs and a massive population of micro-organisms will go to work for you, while you are busy taking care of your responsibilities. If you find the time to do this, your frustration will begin to ease, because you will feel that you are making progress. And, you will be right. If you can afford about $25 for topsoil, you can be up and gardening immediately. If not, Marjory’s gift of her DVD, (Thanks Marjory!) will show you how to develop soil of your own making. All of us can do something. When you join the community of gardeners, you will receive generosity and support. Visit your local gardening club and ask for seeds. You will get more than you could possibly plant!!! You can do this, Lupa.

    2. Jackie says:

      lupa. i am poor too, yet have found ways, friends buy kitty litter in buckets,stores with bakeries will give away buckets from their icings for free, celery will grow from the scrap end just put it in water in a sunny window , buy a garlic bulb and stick it in a bowl with some dirt green shoots will grow you can trim and add to foods for flavor, try these little things first and you’ll be amazed at what you can do instead of mac and cheese, french fries, and chips buy a bag of potatoes they will go farther therefore cost less be more filling because its real food. try the many crockpot meals you can find on line that you freeze yourself ahead of time if you are time constrained to cook. your body will thank you. many blessings and hope this helps

    3. d. henry Lee says:

      Try putting a few tomatoe plants in flower beds around your house if you have them. Some of my best tomatoes are grown that way. The best to you. You will be in my prayers.

    4. Terrace up and pile of logs and sticks as long as you can, about 4 feet wide, level on contour.
      Then go find all the grass clippings, leaves, paper, cardboard and wood chips you can and put them on.
      Then go clean out you neighbor’s barn for all the manure you will ever need (no industrial farms).
      After that, go out into the wood and dig up all the top soil you will ever need for it and then add water.
      Do these steps in layers, like a lasagna; life happens where two things meet and mixing it makes it a brick.
      Now just throw all your table scraps on there , including seeds and see what comes up. Then mulch.
      The easiest thing to do though is to have a pile of grass, or wood-chips dumped in your yard.
      I have volunteer melons in my wood chips from doing nothing but leaving the seeds in the compost.

      All the fruit you want with no meat or starch all morning. Juicing is good for breakfast and lunch.
      Veggies for lunch w/ meat or starch but not both. Never mix meat with starchy foods.
      A hot meal for supper at least 2 hours before you go to sleep. No alcohol.


      1. Ooops, I also meant to say, honey water to drink, hot, cold or on ice but it can sour so drink it up or keep it cool. (It doesn’t mix well cold so I just shake it up in a Snapple bottle at room temperature)

        Seeds can be expensive but they go far, especially in the quality of your food.
        Most folks don’t realize how much plants are a product of their environment.
        The soil that you make at home is really where the magic happens, and your water.
        You want your soil to become it’s own biosphere of interactive micro organisms.
        You can’t do it on an industrial scale. That’s why you can never buy this quality in a store.
        It’s the same thing with free-range, organically fed livestock; the quality comes from the process.

        …or so I have been learning, so it seem to me to be the case.

    5. Mike Stubbs says:

      Lupa, check out free stuff on craigslist and freecycle.com. See if there is a community garden near you or your neighbor might let you use some of their property to garden on. Create your own under cabinet composter and make your own gardening soil from your scraps. Go to gardenweb.com and take a look at the plant swap pages. Look at many of the gardening magazines and find that page where people have seeds to swap or give away. And then there are all the crazies that rake and throw away all the grass, leaves and pine needles in their yards. Ask and you have composting and gardening materials for free. Check out BTE and lasagna gardening. Some of the seeds from the fruits and veggies you buy will produce well if stored well. Someone might let you help in their garden for some of the produce or an older person who can’t garden might let you use their yard for help with flowers. Swap/trade/barter/free – no money changes hands.

  • Nancy says:

    Okay, now I see! I’ve always come to the landing page for each article and so now I’ve gone to the articles accumulation page and can find comments. Please disregard this comment and the one previous. I’ll now post my emailed comment and if it is okay with you please use it. Thanks!

  • Madelynn Frazier says:


    I had no idea arsenic did that to our cells. I knew about the other bad things in commercial chicken but learning that, because of the arsenic, eating it would keep you from being able to lose weight was a real shock.

    Thanks for the info. I don’t eat much meat anyway but because of the price of free range chicken, I’ll pretty much just have to stop eating chicken. What a bummer. 🙁

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Or, start growing your own. They are increadbaly fun to have around. See some of the other posts.

  • Nancy says:

    Did a quick search and found an article dated October 2012:

    Arkansas Farmers Sue Pfizer, Tyson Foods Over Arsenic in Rice

    Seems the rice farmers in Arkansas used the “chicken litter” from the Tyson (and other chicken producers) farms to fertilize their fields and the result was rice that contained arsenic. Seems there was no arsenic in California rice.

    “White rice grown in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Texas generally had higher levels of total arsenic and inorganic arsenic than rice samples from elsewhere (India, Thailand and California combined),” Consumer Reports said.

    Seems if you are going to eat factory raised chicken Foster Farms might be a better choice.

    BTW, I like your mantra, “Homegrown food on every table!”

    Thanks for the email messages. I enjoy them.


    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Thanks for that link and article. Tyson foods is based in Springdale Arkansas – right near Wal-Mart’s headquarters. And all throughout Arkansas are chicken farms which you just don’t want to be downwind of.

  • Sandra Pieper says:

    Thank you Thank You for spreading the word.

    I am doing what I can to awaken people to what they are eating also.

    You might want to purchase a DVD called Generic Roulette. To order 1-888-717-7000 or 641-209-3604. $19.95. It’s really good.


    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      That is on my list of videos to watch.

  • Tom Haynes says:

    Enjoyed your article very much. While I continue to
    research the avenue your article has led me down, I will
    take it with a grain of salt just as I do my chicken.
    Love your site and mission. Thank you for reminding me to be
    mindful of the mouthful of anything and to consider that which
    lives upstream as well as being considerate of those downstream.
    Keep up the good fight, Dear.


  • Juvenile Type 1 diabetes is not caused by what you eat. Type 2 diabetes is caused by what you eat. Please do not confuse your readers with inaccurate info.

    1. Mike Scaroleta says:

      There are several inaccurate statements in the blog.

      Good catch.

    2. Lynnet Bannion says:

      Actually, only a slight misstatement. Children as young as 6 years old ARE being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. This was unheard of until the last few years. Until then, any diabetes in children was Type 1 (technically termed juvenile diabetes). Type 2 used to be called Senile Onset Diabetes, because it only occurred in the elderly.

  • JJM says:

    I honestly would hope that you are fear-mongering when you mention feeding chickens arsenic to increase their water content BUT I would not be surprised with any sick profit attacks. After crock pot cooking a 7# chicken, I am surprised at the amount of ‘liquid’ in the pot when it started off DRY.

  • star says:

    Sory i had a good laugh as I eat chicken plus the skin [ fat ] and I have thyroid problems [ got up to 190 in 2008 from it as it was so bad with a tsh of 41.09 ] and I do not take med for it and I have lost weight and now I m around 140 to 145 lbs not dieting and I eat chicken . so sorry this just doesn’t wash with me .

    1. Jeff says:

      Though our own personal experiences are important, Star, I would strongly encourage you to investigate this ‘arsenic’ issue a little further. In fact, you should broaden your search to include ALL the poisonous additives, growth hormones, and antibiotics that are used to improve the bottom line of most food manufacturers.

      The FDA and other research labs HAVE found proof of all of Marjory’s claims and much more. Much like the cigarette companies did for several decades, Chicken (and other meat) produces DO use trace levels of various poisons. In many cases, the levels are so low that the FDA, USDA, etc approve the practice and claim that such levels should not affect the health of anyone eating those meat products.

      Individually, these poisonous levels may be considered safe; but what about collectively? How often are we warned “Do Not Take With Other Medications” ?? How about feeding these low-levels poisons to an already health-challenged child, or an elderly person, or even someone with a thyroid problem? Many people have existing conditions with their kidneys or liver – ANY LEVEL of additional toxins could be critical to these people.

      I’m happy for you Star, that your practice of eating chicken-skin fat has not had adverse affects on YOUR health. But that doesn’t make it okay to feed poisons to chickens; whether or not “it washes with you”.

      check out

    2. Mike Scaroleta says:


      Calories in versus calories out.

      Congratulations on the weight loss and taking control of your life.

  • Ray says:

    I didn’t realize that some growers put arsenic in their feed and I worked for Tyson Foods for a long time.

  • Ray says:

    By the way, this is in response to your e-mail this afternoon. I can’t see any other comments.

    1. Hay Ray,
      Can you see this comment ?
      How did you put up a picture ? What do thay call that ? A avatar or some-thing ?

  • T. Dianne Conner says:

    I knew that Tyson chicken had additives that weren’t healthy but I didn’t know it was arsenic! Yuk. Glad I haven’t eaten it 30 years. If I had my own land I would grow chickens. God gave us chickens for food. If they are treated humanely throughout their lives, I suppose it’s ok, but I did feel sad to read so many were killed and given as gifts. Different stokes for different folks.

  • Christa says:

    Why can’t I see any comments? And I thought hormones were not allowed to be used on poultry–not that they need to with the cross breeding to get to a 6week chicken.

  • guy says:

    I am very impressed by your breadth of knowledge re: subjects I know next to nothing about. Given my age it is likely too late for me to become self-sufficient. I sold my house & rich mountain acre in 2004
    when I saw the catastrophe coming.

    Given the wealth of prepper info on the Internet feeding my compulsive
    reading habit I have been getting ready for what I fervently hope won’t come to be.


  • Allan says:

    Ok, I stopped eating red meat for various reasons including mad cow disease. Than I realized my fish could glow in the dark if they swam anywere near Fukushima or ate a fish that did. So I stopped eating most fish unless I knew where they came from and even than trying to avoid farm fish etc. So I figured hormone injected chicken was the least hazardous of the lot and now there isn’t much left except the genetically modified vegatables and the organic stuff that I can’t afford. And my yard is the size of a postage stamp and in the shade. Maybe in one more year I can move to the country, but I am stuck in the city for now.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Allan,

      Yes, it is bad isn’t it. Why not start with gorwing a few herbs on a windowsill? Being able to grow food is too important to wiat . There is a whole bunch of good reaons to start right now with what you’ve got and you’ll be surprised at hot big a difference just a few plants can make. Watch this short video on ‘The Power Of Herb’ I put together that will inspire you to get started.

  • Mark H. says:

    Yes, stick with all the non-GMO, free-range, non-antibiotic, non-growth hormone, non-HighFructoseCornSyrup, non-MSG, low-salt, gluten-free, low-lactose, high-fiber beef/chicken/fish/vegetable/fruit products that you can find from and that are not unregulated in China/Thailand/VietNam/Malaysia/US. You’ll probably be eating recycled cardboard from Minnesota, but that’s OK. All humor aside, this is a war that you will have to wage on an hourly basis if you want to win. If you find yourself battling both your jeans and your genes, consider a simple truism from my 300-pound friend’s doctor: If you need 1200 calories per day to live and you’re eating 3000, don’t bother going to the gym to work off an apple. I don’t mean to be flip by saying all this, it’s just that you have to work at and make eating a Life Choice at every meal and everything in-between.

    1. TommyD says:

      That’s right Mark. One has to eat with total awareness, instead of just stuffing food down the gullet.
      Once I found out about all the negatives of today’s commmercial food offerings, I started to look at everything in the store with a jaundiced eye. I used to likd shake and bake coatings. Eeeeek!

  • Dennis Bosworth says:

    I can just imagine the defensiveness you have encountered when you broached the subject of obesity. My beloved wife had a weight problem along with her brother and both parents. The rest of the family (aunts, uncles, cousins) wasn’t overweight; so this had nothing to do with genetics – it was because of behavior and habit – plain and simple! The weight problem was a burden through the whole of her adult life, and it laid a foundation for a number of health problems that eventually ended her life. When I think back, I remember encountering a large, angry wall that she threw up between us when concerns for this problem were expressed. Poor eating habits and obesity is a terrible inheritance to pass on down to our children.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Dennis,

      I was very surprised at some of the private emails – with the anonymity of email – what people were expressing about how much they hate fat people. While there certainly are some personality types and possibly some genetic disposition to be a fat person – the rampant obesity we are seeing now is not due to those causes. I really believe most of the obesity is the food supply and people just don’t know it. There is so little nutrition in it – and there are chemicals put in to intentionally keep you eating more. Uh, MSG for one.

  • judy says:

    I think you are so right I will try to do a garden but it is so hot here. Enjoyed your article.

  • Evelyn Y. says:

    I really appreciate this post. It needs to be discussed. Why do we have to be silent when there is such deception in the food industry? Thank you.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Your welcome. Thanks for your support.

  • Caroline says:

    I’ve been raising my own quail as technically, raising birds for food is illegal in town. It’s easier to hide the quail and they’re much quieter than chickens.

    What’s driving me NUTS is that I can’t find GMO free food for less than $45.00 for 50# in the area I live. It’s insane! I don’t even care if it is organic, I just want GMO free.

    So, if any of you have any tried and true quail feed recipes, I’d appreciate it if you post them. I’ll be more than willing to make it myself, I just don’t know what to put together to keep them healthy. Internet research has been pretty much useless to this point as quail need a higher protein level than chickens, and all I can find are chicken recipes.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Caroline,

      I love you idea of growing quail in a place where ‘food’ isn’t allowed. In my area we can get non-GMO feed at $25 for 50# bag – which is less, but still… I should write an article about the real cost of food.

      How much land area do you have to grow a food source for them? Are there any organic restaurants in town you could get table waste from? Or health food stores you could get the old out of date food from?

      Hmmm I gues I am not totally sure what a quail diet is! LOL.

  • bill says:

    What a load of junk this article is. I just watched my wife lose 25 lbs. eating nothing but chicken, protein bars, and salads. Marjory, you may know how to grow vegetables, but, please leave such sweeping statements to those with the tinfoil hats.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Bill I appreciate your viewpoint. But what else do you think is causing the unbelievable explosion in obesity?

    2. Zipporah says:

      I have been doing extensive research on food for many years now and I have to agree with Marjory. Our food supply is so contaminated with chemicals and things that harm our bodies in so many different ways, it’s criminal!

      Bill, you say your wife lost weight on chicken and I believe this is probably due to eliminating other food sources with junk in them which enabled her to lose weight simply because some of that chemical burden was lifted. I believe that the chemicals in food make it much more difficult to lose weight and very, very easy to gain weight. Changing diet even a bit will enable some people to lose weight, but I wonder if her body won’t get used to her diet and start to gain weight again at some point.

      Another point I must bring up is that even if you lose weight, it does not necessarily mean your body is now healthy.

      Please do more research and look into what our food really contains and what it does to our bodies.

    3. Andi says:

      Everyone’s body reacts differently to toxins. Some people gain weight and some don’t but there is always a cost. Those toxins will damage your/her body. And being thin isn’t an accurate measure of health.

      And for those that don’t know, the litter that the CAFO chickens live in is used to fertilize crops and to feed back to cows so even if you avoid chicken you can still be eating those toxins. Yuck!

    4. Mike Scaroleta says:


      Indeed, it is simple calories in versus calories out and blog posts like this come across and scare tactics.

      Your wife did a great job taking control of her life and making a change for the better. I am disappointed to see everyone scramble to explain away how she did this while eating the pariah chicken.

      The epidemiology of increased obesity rates is complex and not as simply as chicken versus chicken, or sugar versus high fructose corn syrup.

  • Tarja says:

    This is such a remarkable way of seeing the light bulb turn on in others minds & hearts! Way to speak up Marjory. And, I am not able to raise my own chickens, but I support local farmers that do. What about organically raised chicken, same issues with the weight/feed?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Organically raised chickens should not be fed GMO food. Having a relationship with your farmer and knowing how they raise thier birds is key.

      I am completely up for supporting local farmers! I do, I can’t always grow everything, in fact I don’t. So I also depend on others.

  • Kelley says:

    Marjory, I’m so happy you talk about and write about these things.

    First, this topic is necessary, it’s important – and I get tired getting “the look” (the look that says “yer crazy”) when I bring these kinds of things up in conversation. It’s wonderful validation to read your blogs.

    Second… here I think I’m so smart and I’d never heard about chicken and arsenic! Thank you for keeping up, and helping us keep up!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Kelly, you are welcome.

      I often don’t want to say anything just because it is really so bad.

      I was just talking with my husband that to eat well – it really takes a lot of effort. You have to be extremely diligent – yes, even to the point of growing your own food.

      All of the other food is so easy to eat, so cheap, so quick…

  • Farmer Don says:

    I currently have 11 head of chicken maybe only 2 are pullets they are 7 ameraucanas(1 of which is pullet), 1 barred rock(possible pullet), 1 white rock roo.All my little birds come tothe call of”chickity chunk of chinese chicken…have a drumstick and your brain starts tickin. and my family love to watch them play “chicken rugby” when we drop food into their brooder pen. I have owned birds in the past and am rebuilding my flock as I can.

  • Megan says:

    Actually it’s illegal to give hormones to chicken in the USA.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      I’ll look into that Megan. They sure load up every other animal..

    2. John R says:

      Is arsenic a hormone?

      1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

        Arsenic is an element. It is number 33 in the periodic table.

  • Kathryn says:

    If memory serves, arsenic is also accumulates in the body as well…
    so eating commercially grown chicken may cause this poison to pile up
    in your system. I doubt there is a “safe” level for this compound, and
    certainly children would likely be affected more than adults. Scary.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Oh dear. That is a scary thought.

      I suppose there must be some was to detoxify from arsenic? Is arsenic a heavy metal that could be flushed out with a regime of green juices of say, cilantro?

      1. Marvin Weber says:

        I have done it, with lots of cilantro, chlorella powder, clay baths, selenium, sulfur foods, and every other detox product and practice I knew of. It takes time and money, but is doable – and necessary if you have heavy metals in your body. It took me almost ten years to gradually get rid of the metals. I do a hair mineral analysis every year or so to keep track, and also the occasional urine metal analysis. Don’t put the toxins in your body to begin with!!

  • Karen says:

    Hi. I would love to grow my own groceries yes, and come from a farming background. Just that I can’t think how I’d kill anything myself. I even got guilty over killing a fish when I caught it once. Couldn’t go bac to eat all of him! Felt so guilty… so can I survive on vegetables alone?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Karen,

      I understand your reluctance. I was a raw vegan when I started the self-reliance journey. I too struggled with the whole “I am a KILLER”. And found that it is true. I am a killer. If you are going to eat anything, you are going to kill. It is almost imposable to grow and live that diet here in Central Texas – and in most places actually.

      I feel the biggest fear underneath all of it is that once you kill one thing, what is to stop you from killing anything? That is the subconscious or unconscious fear that I found. But it turned out to be groundless. When I walk among the livestock yes, since I’ve started butchering, I am sometimes aware that I have this power. But to them I am a Goddess with so many powers – I magically provide food, I have a snake that brings water, I can make objects fly, I have two large dogs that (mostly) respond to my commands… Of course I could kill them, they always knew that.

      And, paradoxically I have a much greater respect for life now that I ever did.

      In the video set (Grow Your Own Groceries) I have a whole section to home butchering. Having animals in the system is just too valuable for so many reasons, and meat is one of the easiest food sources to grow.

      Whenever I butcher I do it with the utmost respect for the animal and many, many vegetarians have written in saying the even though they didn’t want to do it now, after watching how I did it, they felt they could if they had to.

      Oh, here is a post I just got done with a short video showing Heather talking about her experiences the first time butchering a rabbit.

      1. ecoteri says:

        hey Margory
        I don’t eat red meat but do eat chicken. we have our own, now, and started with a momma broody hen who had been given day old chicks. turns out the darn dog got three of the chicks. I am trying to figure out how many of the remaining 10 are girls – they are only 2 months old so we can’t tell yet. I will get to (have to) harvest most of the boys when they reach 5 months, not looking forward to it but have a young friend willing to come help. Figure I will harvest, clean and freeze – eat another day! Although I don’t raise rabbits (other than ‘bunny’ who is not a rabbit but a pet) I have watched your rabbit butchering video a couple of times. Your respect and kindness prior to killing him, and the manner in which you give thanks, is very important to me. My partner wants to raise rabbits and after watching your video I know that we could do this (although I still likely won’t eat them! 37 years a non-red-meat eater …. I simply feel that it is out of my realm, but do support my partner’s wishes! Thanks for all you do. don’t always agree with you but find you are respectful with those who don’t! 😉

        1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

          Hi Ecoteri,

          5 month old roosters are quite loud – and they start fighting. I always procrastinate when it comes to butchering, but young roosters sort of make it a little easier.

          Thanks for your kind words.

        2. Deb says:

          This is probably too late a reply, but I am just now discovering and reading through many of the posts. But in case the question arises again,.,,
          In my experience anyway, as soon as chicks begin to feather out, a week or so, the pullets will start to grow tail feathers, but the little roosters will not. Seems backwards, I know, but it has worked for me every time in sexing out youngsters. Usually the roosters are bigger right from the start too.

          1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

            Hi Deb, oh, that is interesting. I’ll have to watch for that next time I get a batch of chickens.

  • Don says:

    I enjoyed the article. However, it ended rather abruptly. It would’ve been nice if you would have added some of your thoughts to sum it up or told us where the conversation went from there.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Don,

      Hmm good point. I’ll work on refining that ending. The story is almost verbatim of what happened though. They didn’t say much after the wife realized they had land – they were both sort of quiet as they digested the full meaning of both what I and the wife had said. It was one of those moments when lives change and it didn’t seem to need words at the time.

      It a shock to me how quickly they suddenly saw they could do it.

      But for conveying to other people yes, I think you are right and I should end the story better.

  • Dave says:

    Excellent atricle. We grow almost all our own food and raise chickens. [I buy organic what we don’t produce ourselves] We eat no red meat and my wife and I are 59 with 40 years of marriage and neither one of us is overweight or takes daily medications. Our cholesterol and blood pressure are perfect….just sayin’—-you really are what you eat!

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Dave,

      You’ve hot a healthy situation going on there. Good on you!

      I wonder why you cut out red meat? If it is healthy, grass fed beef? Why not, I am curious?

  • Karen Barnett says:

    Hi Marjory and many thanks for being the messenger. Not always a popular role, but so critical for those who are willing to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. Easy solution to many of these issues is to eat organic chicken which are fed good stuff not infused with pesticides, antibiotics, etc. and are raised in humane conditions. May have to pay a little more for organic, but you eliminate all the pesticide residue that is connected to everything from ADD/ADHD to Parkinson’s disease. We try to buy local produce here in NM and are fortunate to also have organic chicken, grass fed NM beef and lamb available for our table. Friends have organic gardens here and some raise their own chickens fed on fresh veggie cuttings, etc and the eggs are divine…you can really tell the difference. We buy our fresh produce/eggs at our Saturday market.
    Karen in Las Cruces, NM

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Hi Karen, yes that is a good thing too. Way to go.

  • Jenny says:

    So glad this important information is getting out there!!

  • Kim says:

    How can you see other’s comments?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      It takes me a bit to red and approve themn – but I am working as fast as I can

  • John R says:

    Yes Marjory. I used to deliver chicken feed for Tyson. The small amount of arsenic they put in the chicken food will also stop the females from producing eggs. The egg production will slow down their growth. The meat producing houses don’t want any eggs.

    The trucks that deliver the food to the farms that grow chickens for meat are not allowed to deliver food to the farms that produce eggs to repopulate the hatchery. They are so afraid of cross contamination.

    I have been telling people about the arsenic in the chickens for years, but no one believes me. I’m so glad you have spoken of it…

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Thank you John for posting. Apparently the USDA has allowed the use of arsenic for quite a long time. Geeez.

  • Methane Creator says:

    Hate to throw fuel on the fire, but I have heard Texas A&M are developing Dairy chickens. It is rumored their milk products will have less cholesterol and the milk fat will be higher in HDL. The problem is they have grown a third leg, which makes it almost impossible to catch them for milking…..

  • Nikki G says:

    I have lived in Arkansas for 45 years. When we first moved here my family raised chickens for Tysons. We would grow a decent, normal looking bird in 6 sometimes 8 weeks. We no longer grow for them, but I wish you could see the freakish looking birds that come out of those growing houses now! Their combs are bigger than a grown bird and hang down pitifully. They weigh so much their sickly small legs can barely hold the weight. They grow so fast and they are young birds with twice the weight they should have on them. It is sad,cruel and pathetic! I am surprised animal rights folks have not been on them, but money talks we know, so Tyson gets away with this crime.

  • Cindy says:

    Love this story, Marjory. Thank you.
    I know a man who worked in a plant at Angleton that makes the arsenic for chicken feed. It used to be part of Monsanto.

  • NLJ says:

    WOW O WOW _ you certainly hit a nerve. BUT I believe I have actually experienced these problems. One big problem I had was when I left the US for many years I think I first went thru anti-biotic withdrawls and became sick with every little thing that came thru but eventually my system strengthened and I lost weight & at 60+ am healthier than I have been in a long time. BUT since I returned to the the States again I have to fight for especially my digestive health (is it due to all the anti-biotics in our meats)—so I have a limited budget BUT I still look for the non-GMO, grass fed, free range, etc etc.
    It is worth it to EAT less AND eat prime. The body benefits so much more. No repair costs when maintenance is done right.
    Recently I have moved from a place where I could grow my own groceries in my garden with good rains to a small apartment where it is in a drier environment & I can’t really get the sun enough hours to do this.
    I believe you Marjory & you aren’t the only one who has said it BUT if we say it enough more people will hear.

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Thanks so much NLJ. Maybe you’ll find a neighbors yard, community garden, or some other place to grow food?

      Thanks so much for your kind words.

    2. anna says:

      For apartment dwellers, you can grow sprouts. They are power packed with nutrients, proteins, and enzymes. No dirt needed, no direct sunlight, and grow all year round. I have 3 trays on top of my fridge now. Organic sprouting seeds in many varieties and flavor mixes are pretty cheap and the benefit of eating the whole plant – leaf, stem, and root – can’t be beat.

  • Dee says:

    I saw the following posted on another website,and Marjory I have the same questions.

    As a chicken owner, raised only for eggs, I would like to know if the arsenic is added to feed without being notated on the ingredient labels or is it an additive independent of store-bought chicken feeds. In other words, could I be feeding my chickens arsenic without knowing it? And secondly, Does this additive also affect the chicken’s eggs?

    1. Marjory Wildcraft says:

      Oh, good questions. I mostly buy organic feed which I know doesn’t have it in there. And I just looked on a bag of soy rations and didn’t see anything about arsenic on the label. But hmmm, well let me look further into this.

      Anyone else out there know?

  • sara says:

    i think you are a little bit too judgmental.. what about your waist? maybe you might be fatter than this couple.. ughh

  • esavvymom says:

    I recently heard your webinar on the Summer of Survival series….lots of things to think about and plan, but one that jumped out at me was Non-GMO feed for the chickens. I found some!! LOCAL! I don’t know yet how the prices compare, but just having a local source surprised me. The farm itself isn’t that far from me (less than 2 hrs), but local farm stores carry their product! YEAH! After reading this article and a few others, I’m glad to know this information.

    Thank you.

  • Susan says:

    I so appreciate this post. I had my body tested for chemicals and I came up high on arsenic. I was wondering how I was getting exposed to arsenic. Now I have a clue that it could be through chicken I was eating. OK, now I’m converted to eating only pasture raised chicken.

    1. Mike Scaroleta, MPH says:


      Something that serious you might want to consider some more likely causes. Ground water could be a source, as could be your place of work (mining semi-conductors, metal foundry, glass production). Rice is another source of where you could have gotten elevated levels, Texas rice having some of the higher levels if I remember correctly.

      There are many other possible culprits out there, so if that is something you are truly worried about, please do not just assume it is due to some chicken. Your health is well worth the time it takes to do additional research.

      1. Michael Ford says:

        Hi Mike – You seem to be very passionate about this – I think this is your fifth comment on this post.

        May I ask why you think it is unlikely that someone would have been exposed to arsenic by eating chicken? I’m sure you’re aware that from 1944 until 2015, there were in fact several food additives approved in the US for chickens, turkeys, and hogs that contained arsenic. If not, you can read about it on the FDA’s website here: http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ProductSafetyInformation/ucm440660.htm

        1. Mike Scaroleta, MPH says:


          Absolutely, I agree it could be a factor. But the common saying in medicine is that when one hear hoof-beats, think horses, not zebras. Arsenic has been fed to animals, and it is not good, but neither of us know enough to stake it as the cause for this woman’s test results, hence my commentary.

          Chicken could be a factor, but since someone’s health and well being is the issue, I am simply trying to turn the eye to the more likely source of arsenic. If chicken is indeed the culprit, then it is fantastic that Susan is removing it from her diet. But the research indicates that there are many other factors that were not considered, and are more probable causes.

          I am a huge fan of growing what one eats and local food consumption,and have a vested interest in public health. I am simply trying to spread good, accurate information.

          I note you mention arsenic in feed additives, and would welcome seeing data regarding animals fed such meals. I am on board in not believing it is the best option, hence raising my own birds and what not, but still a hard data guy when facing a boogeyman built on blogs.

          I apologize for the long reply, I have not, and will not, adjust to the texting world.

          1. Michael Ford says:

            Hey Mike – No need to apologize for the long reply – Kudos to you for not adjusting to the “texting world.”

  • Mike Scaroleta, MPH says:

    There is a lot of boogeyman and mis-information in this blog.

    People can lose weight eating any sort of diet as long as the basic math works out. Calories in versus calories out. To scapegoat industrially raised chicken in such a strawman fashion is damaging to the small farm movement we’ve enjoyed over the past few decades.

    In the epidemiology of obesity, I have not noticed the consumption of chicken that was fed traces of arsenic. I have seen lack of activity, over eating, density of fast food restaurants, and a number of other factors that correlate with obesity. Eating farm raised food is a fantastic movement, but to bear false witness and apply anecdotal evidence is damaging to your credibility.

    I hope readers are educated enough to consider scientific journals before considering magic bullet solutions of never being able to lose weight eating Tyson chicken. I raise my own birds, rabbits, and have an elaborate garden and do a lot of canning. All this good natural food, and I’ve still got a spare tire.

    If I’m eating the magical chicken, I guess my extra weight is all my own fault? Seems fair.

    Education is key, not anecdotes.

  • Alison says:

    Marjory, this story warms my heart. We live in an age where people don’t always answer a cry for help by offering good hearted help. Some would rather snap a picture or video of the problem and post it on social media with mean captions. You answered the unheard but clearly seen “cry” from humanity and mercifully reached in sought for and figured how to give tangible help.
    May God Bless you.

  • whoah this blog is fantastic i really like reading your posts.
    Keep up the good work! You already know, lots of persons are searching around for this information, you
    can help them greatly.

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