The Accidental Locavore was having lunch recently with someone extremely involved in the local food movement. As good locavores do, we could agree on the merits of grass-fed beef, heritage pork, farm fresh eggs and raw milk, when the next animal in the food chain came up: chicken. While I’m firmly aware of the benefits of humanely-raised local food and try to eat it whenever possible, I tend to have a problem with chickens. There are good, but not great, local birds and a supermarket rotisserie chicken is tasty, inexpensive and already cooked! If you can’t taste the difference between a $12 chicken and a $20 bird, is upping the budget to (gasp) $35 going to be the sweet spot? It’s a chicken. What do you think?
But my lunch companion is a firm believer in the benefits of a $35 bird, along with raw milk, organic produce etc., etc., until…she gets sick. Then, she’s off to Costco for a $5 rotisserie chicken. And so is born the reverse theory of antibiotics.
When she gets a bug, she heads right off for a processed bird, figuring that all the antibiotics she might need will be in that first bite of juicy breast and because her diet is so pure, maybe she’s right (and the money she saves from a doctor’s visit for antibiotics is offset by those $35 chickens).
Although my diet is nowhere near as pure as hers, maybe my usual cold remedy may also work on the reverse theory of antibiotics, since it involves a bottle of ginger ale and a bag of Cheetos. Work that down the food chain and you get all kinds of chemicals, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup etc, etc. In other words, the polar opposites of a local, unprocessed diet.
And, continuing the theory, maybe that’s why chicken soup is called “Jewish penicillin.” Could it be that commercial chickens have always been raised with chemicals and cooking them for a long time to make stock (or soup) reduces the antibiotics, making them more potent (of course in writing this, I’m thinking that I’m never making stock again with anything but the remains of those pricy birds!).
So, that’s my reverse theory of antibiotics. What do you think?