The modern chicken is a descendant of Red Junglefowl hybrids along with the Grey Junglefowl first raised thousands of years ago in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent. Chicken as a meat has been depicted in Babylonian carvings from around 600 BC. Chicken was one of the most common meats available in the Middle Ages. It was widely believed to be easily digested and considered to be one of the most neutral foodstuff.
It was eaten over most of the Eastern hemisphere and a number of different kinds of chicken such as capons, pullets and hens were eaten. It was one of the basic ingredients in the so-called white dish, a stew usually consisting of chicken and fried onions cooked in milk and seasoned with spices and sugar. Chicken consumption in the United States increased during World War II due to a shortage of beef and pork. In Europe, consumption of chicken overtook that of beef and veal in 1996, linked to consumer awareness of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy or B.S.E.
Modern varieties of chicken such as the Cornish Cross, are bred specifically for meat production, with an emphasis placed on the ratio of feed to meat produced by the animal. The most common breeds of chicken consumed in the US are Cornish and White Rock.
Chicken meat contains about two to three times as much polyunsaturated fat than most types of red meat when measured as weightpercentage. Chicken generally includes low fat in the meat itself (castrated roosters excluded). The fat is highly concentrated on the skin. A 100g serving of baked chicken breast contains 4 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein, compared to 10 grams of fat and 27 grams of protein for the same portion of broiled, lean skirt steak.
Information obtained by the Canadian Integrated Program for Antimicrobial Resistance (CIPARS) “strongly indicates that cephalosporin resistance in humans is moving in lockstep with use of the drug in poultry production.” According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the unapproved antibiotic ceftiofur is routinely injected into eggs in Quebec and Ontario to discourage infection of hatchlings. Although the data are contested by the industry, antibiotic resistance in humans appears to be directly related to the antibiotic’s use in eggs.
A recent study by the Translational Genomics Research Institute showed that nearly half (47%) percent of the meat and poultry in US grocery stores were contaminated with S. aureus, with more than half (52%) of those bacteria resistant to antibiotics.