Why $4.99 Costco Chicken Is a Massive Problem

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Costco sells rotisserie chicken for $4.99 and will go to great lengths to maintain this ultralow price. The company is opening its own poultry CAFO in Fremont, Nebraska, to have better control over the size of the broilers
  • There are steep, hidden costs to CAFO chicken, including environmental costs, human health costs and ethical considerations
  • Current-day CAFO chickens contain more fat than protein and have lower amounts of omega-3 fats and higher omega-6 than they used to. Previous research has linked diets high in omega-6 to a rise in obesity
  • Another significant hazard linked to CAFO chicken is the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease, specifically urinary tract infections (UTIs), including drug-resistant UTIs, which are on the rise
  • Recent studies have conclusively demonstrated that a majority of UTIs are caused by exposure to contaminated chicken; American, Canadian and European studies have all confirmed close genetic matches between drug-resistant E. coli collected from human patients and those found on poultry

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