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Chicken: the Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food Analysis

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In Steve Striffler’s book, entitled Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America’s Favorite Food, he focuses on the corruption behind the consumption and production of chicken, mainly in the United States. His writing reflects the inhumane practices Americans partake in the production of food, emphasizing not only the animal cruelty that goes unseen but the health disadvantages that come with such behavior. Insightfully, the book is written through the perspective of a farmer, factory worker, and consumer, allowing the reader to gain a well broader view of the controversial issue.

Beginning with the production methods in the poultry industry, the methods conducted are almost unbelievable. Steve Striffler, being a poultry processing plant worker, provides his audience with first hand information into the unjust practices the food industry uses. With the technological investment in our global economy, maximizing production is possible, creating more with less. The same principle applies to the food industry; with the help of growth hormones and advanced technology, more poultry products are available to consumers and consequently create more jobs for immigrants. Not only are the costs of poultry products lowered but the production time is a faster and more efficient. All of these factors sounds appealing, however, the methods used to achieve these outcomes are where the major problem lies. Diseases, health risks, unsanitary living conditions, and animal cruelty are just a few of the problems associated with the production of poultry products, resulting from the choices of major food corporations. On farms, typically called broilers, chickens are raised in confined farmhouses, often cramming hundreds of chickens.

Forcing these animals to live in their own filth, health factors become a major concern. In the span of four to six weeks, chickens are raised in their own feces, an environment clearly inadequate for an animal to live in. Considering that chicken is one of America’s favorite meats, hence the title of Steve Striffler’s book, he focuses on an alternative solution to changing the system behind the food industry, which he points out will require a lot of recognition and support in order to make a difference. Numerous factors determine the holdback of changing the corrupt management of poultry production in today’s world, one of the most important aspects being money. When it comes to processing the chicken in factories, major corporations are more concerned with quantity instead of quality. Opening the book, Striffler points out an important aspect in the food industry, particularly factories, hire many immigrants. Culturally, the food industry is an incentive for migrators to come to the United States, knowing that jobs are available and background checks are rarely enforced, enabling illegal workers.

The main goal of Steve Striffler’s writing is not to verbally bash the food industry but to focus on changing it, offering American’s quality meat, without unjust treatment of animals and better employment strategies. The controversy that goes unseen in the food industry is rapidly unraveling, bringing in more attention that will hopefully cause change in the near future for consumers like us.

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