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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