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The Zombie Chicken Business

chicken zombie

Story at-a-glance -

  • Almost all chicken farmers (more than 97 percent) work under the thumb of a giant producer, who controls their pay, their farming and ultimately their fate
  • In many rural areas, there’s only one (or maybe two) big chicken companies in town, and they have no choice but to enter into exclusive contracts that, for many, saddle them with debt and little recourse if the relationship sours
  • At one time, there were 1.6 million independent farms in the U.S.; today, there are about 25,000 contract farms that raise most U.S. poultry, with many of them raising upward of a half-million birds annually
  • Contract farmers are paid using a tournament-style system that may deduct money from their paycheck based on others’ performance, pitting one farmer against another

By Dr. Mercola

In the U.S., a Sunday chicken dinner is as all-American as apple pie, but this dietary mainstay is an example of one of the biggest problems facing the food supply: the growing market concentration.


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