A Fluoride Update: The Quest for Fluoride-Free Chicken

It is well known that mechanically de-boned chicken is a major source of fluoride, but chicken stock (and chicken skin) are often overlooked in studies of fluoride consumption.

As some of you might remember from my fluoroderma posts, homemade chicken stock was one of the foods that gave me the worst problems.  I first noticed a connection between chicken and my cystic acne when I consistently broke out within hours of eating my favorite meal: roast chicken.

I thought I was buying quality chicken.  It was from Whole Foods –no hormones or antibiotics added –but it was still high in fluoride because conventional chicken feed  contains fluoride-based pesticides that end up in the chicken’s bones, fat, and skin.

Mechanically de-boned chicken gets most of the publicity about fluoride because of its presence in baby food products.  This study in The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry found that baby food made with mechanically separated chicken was highest in fluoride content, followed by chicken sticks, lunch meats, and canned meats.  The authors determined that one serving of chicken sticks would provide half a child’s upper limit of fluoride intake.

Once I realized the acne/chicken connection, I took chicken off the menu until my skin healed. I recently started trying to add it back in (I can’t live without roast chicken forever!).  I started with organic chicken from Whole Foods, but I was disappointed when my skin broke out despite the organic label. I don’t know the exact regulations with regard to organic chicken, but I tried “organic” chicken on multiple occasions and each time I was disappointed when I experienced a subsequent fluoroderma outbreak.

Then I tried organic free-range chicken from a local farm and VOILA!  No fluoroderma outbreak! I haven’t yet tried homemade chicken stock again, but I am so happy to have finally found a source of fluoride-free chicken. Since I moved north, I haven’t yet found a local farm for free-range poultry, but I’m excited to try this Pollo Buono from Epicurean Farms (its a different brand of organic chicken from Whole Foods).  I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes.

So the point of this post is two-fold.  First, I wanted to spread the word that the fluoride content of chicken can be considerable, even if it is labeled organic.  Second, I hope to have triggered your thinking about how the seemingly-undetectable ingredients can make a difference.

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Latebloomer says:

I caught part of a documentary on CBC TV last night about the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland. The documentary also looked back at a volcano that erupted there in 1783 and that caused many, many deaths–people and animals–both in Iceland and the UK. Many of the deaths in the UK were caused by fluoride poisoning; the fluoride (in its natural state) was contained in the drifting clouds of ash that were released by the eruption. Imagine! It really can poison you!


Oh my goodness, an all my research of sources of fluoride exposure, I've never heard of fluoride poisoning through volcanic eruption! I know that certain areas of India are naturally high in fluoride and it causes severe skeletal deformities in a lot of people there. It's very sad to think how easily those ailments could have been prevented.

Alex Lewin says:

Interesting! I didn't know about the chicken/fluoride connection. All the energy we put into avoiding tap water because of the chemicals in it, and then we find out we're getting the same chemicals from our meat…

I would encourage you to continue to try to get your meat from farmers. Farmers' markets often have a farmer or two selling meat.

When we buy things directly from farmers, they get all of the profit; when we buy from Whole Foods (or most other markets), farmers only get a sliver of the profit. We need to support the farmers every way we can, because if they go out of business, factory meat will be the only thing that's left!

Em and Lib says:

This is just another reason I'm thankful to be a farm dweller! I know everything our chickens eat. And Drink. And no Floride. Great Article! Thanks!


WOW! Off to tweet this, and I am going to blog about this blog tomorrow. I did not know this. Wow.

Thanks for the great post!


Great point, Alex. I'm already on the hunt for a local farmer's market in my new hometown. It is a nice feeling to know my money is going to farmers in the area.

Em and Lib –I'm jealous! Once upon a time (not long ago) I wanted to buy a plot of land and raise my own chickens, etc, but it didn't work out. I'm really happy with where I ended up, but I'm saving that dream for a future date TBD.

Thanks for the tweet, Karen! I love when other bloggers help spread the word about fluoride. The subject is so misunderstood by the general population.

Anonymous says:

OMG – I had absolutely no idea about the flouride in chicken and in broth. I don't know if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I can't believe this!


Don't panic! It's bad for the cellulite 😉

Now that you know, it's just one more reason to buy quality poultry. Not only is it more humane to raise chickens organically and on pasture, it's better for the farmer AND better for the consumer. Everyone wins! Yes, it's considerably more expensive to raise (and buy) pastured, organic poultry. But if you buy the chicken whole, you can stretch it into several meals. Here's a great post by Jenny from Nourished Kitchen explaining how she gets 5 meals out of a $30 broiler chicken.

Thanks for your comment!

thinx2damnmuch says:

What about duck and turkey? All in the same foul family, right. I seem to break out from all of them, chicken being the worst and turkey being the least. I’m also way sensitive to purines (damn gout) and so the turkey gets me all itchy on the top of my head though. Can’t win.

Great site! Wish I had this years and years ago. You’re a rockstar.


Yes, turkey contains fluoride too (found that out the hard way last Thanksgiving). I ordered organic duck at a nice restaurant last week and it didn’t give me a problem. I believe the fluoride in the bones and skin comes from the high level of fluoride-based pesticides in the feed, so as long as the animal really was raised organically, fluoride shouldn’t be an issue. I’m currently experimenting with beef stock. Because cows have a different diet and are so much bigger than poultry, their bodies aren’t as affected by fluoride. I’ve been eating beef soup all week and so far so good…

Thanks for your kind comment about the site. Made my day!


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