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America's Chickens Come Home to Roost

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Vladimir Putin, in a move much revered by the citizens of his country, has issued a ban on American imported chicken.

"Too fatty, too little taste, Americans raise their chickens on chemicals," reported one Russian grocer.

So, OK, folks, haven't I been telling you not to buy factory farmed meats? Chickens raised in those dark, dank 100,000 bird coops where the poor things never see light can suffocate from being packed in so tightly, and are fed mostly GMO corn which not even a starving chicken should eat.

The European Union has banned the use of birds raised using standard American practices and as a result, the chicken they sell in Europe is more flavorful, more healthy and more expensive.

What does Cheap Chicken Really Cost?

I can tell you this, from my own personal experience. Many of you know that I cook for my dogs every day -- because commercial dog food is made from meats considered unfit for human consumption (now there's a scary thought) -- and I can tell you that my dogs will not even eat cheap chicken. They turn up their refined noses and leave it in the bowl.

What is in that chicken? Well, when they pack the birds into those coops so tightly the conditions invite disease, so the birds are fed antibiotics in the water. The poultry growers want them to get to market FAST, so they pump them full of hormones to encourage fast growth. And if that wasn't bad enough, the birds are fed cheap genetically modified corn to keep the cost of chicken feed down.

If you are buying chicken from any fast food place and many ordinary chain restaurants as well as many supermarkets, you are stuffing your face with this cheap chicken. The results can be dire for your health

You Are What You Eat

Cheap chicken is part of the American smorgasbord of foods that cause obesity, diabetes, heart and kidney disease as well as cancer and a host of food allergies.

Where Should You Buy Chicken

Ideally, find a source for local farm-raised poultry. I know this is not easy. If you can't do that pick out organic birds from the market. Whole Foods has great chicken. You will like the flavor. It has not been laced with hormones and antibiotics, nor has it been fed GMO corn. Murray's is a good brand sold in the East. Out West, there's also locally grown brands of organic chicken. It's worth the extra trouble and the cost. Look up "organic chicken" on the internet for sources close to home.

Once you get it to your kitchen, here's a great recipe from The Silver Cloud Diet to enhance the taste of that bird and help you keep to your low carb weight loss plan.

Easy Roast Chicken Thighs and Asparagus

Simple and satisfying, this one dish dinner goes together in a hurry. And check out the carb count, fewer than 8. Whoo hoo.

Makes 4 servings

2 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
8 organic chicken thighs with skin (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1 teaspoon fresh or dried oregano
12 spears asparagus
Accompaniment: lemon wedges and parsley

Preheat oven to 450°. Mince garlic with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pat chicken dry and coat with lemon-garlic mixture.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and remaining tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat and brown chicken in 2 batches, skin side down, until golden and crisp, then remove to a baking dish, skin side up. Arrange asparagus alongside chicken.
Pour off fat from skillet. Add broth and remaining tablespoon lemon juice and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and oregano, and then pour over chicken and asparagus.
Roast chicken in oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Add a grating of freshly milled black pepper and serve, garnished with parsley and lemon wedges.

Nutritional Readout: 467 calories, FAT 33.3 g., PROTEIN 35.6 g., CARB 7.8 g., FIBER 1.3 g.