Chemicals injected in Butterball turkey- eat or not eat? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MIL is visiting and wanted to shop for the christmas dinner groceries and cook the turkey. We requested one of the many brands of natural and free range birds they have here in our grocery store. We specifically said "don't get a Butterball, they inject chemicals into it". She brought home a Butterball.

So I was looking into what exactly they inject into it and one of the things is potassium/sodium phospate which is also used as a drug and is a Class C for pregnancy. Grrrrrreat. It says there is 2% in the injected solution- but I have no idea how much "solution" they injected into the poor bird.

To eat or not eat?
I always avoid processed foods and additives and especially do so now during pregnancy. I don't know how much bad stuff is in there and I hate the thought of even a bit of nastiness getting to my babe when I generally am so vigilant about it. Also, MIL is not the greatest cook (think Griswold family Christmas turkey...extra crispy) and the turkey (being a factory farm Butterball) will taste extra not good ANYWAY. On the other hand- MIL is, let's say, a "special case" and will not react well to me not eating her turkey for any reason.

Yey....it's Christmas.

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#2 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 04:36 AM
 
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Probably not a good person to answer but my dh works for Butterball and I ate it through all three pregnancies and probably at least 3 times a week because it's free.....
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#3 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 04:54 AM
 
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Honestly, it's just not a big deal, IMO. It's one meal. Just eat a few bites and say you've had an aversion to turkey since you got pregnant or it gives you morning sickness or whatever, if you're worried about it.
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#4 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Honestly, it's just not a big deal, IMO. It's one meal. Just eat a few bites and say you've had an aversion to turkey since you got pregnant or it gives you morning sickness or whatever, if you're worried about it.
Yeah. I'll probably just push it around on my plate and hope no one notices. I wouldn't say it isn't a big deal to casually take class C drugs during pregnancy without even knowing the amounts you're taking. Seems like a big deal to me. And it's also a big deal to me since this is the first holiday turkey dinner dh and I have had in 5 years- we used to live in Asia where you couldn't find turkey anywhere, or if you did you had to pay a few hundred dollars for it. So blah, another year without turkey when I was soooo looking forward to it.
There's always next year!

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#5 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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Seems like you found your own answer.

Maybe when you mentioned "Don't get the Butterball", all she heard was "Butterball" and got it. (I know if I tell my children something like that they tend to only hear part of what I say and may only remember main words.)

Hope you have a merry Christmas anyways. (And perhaps you could get another small turkey of your choice for just you and DH for New Years.)

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#6 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 10:29 AM
 
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Honestly, I wouldn't eat it. But it would probably be more about the antibiotics that giant factory poultry farms tend to pump into their birds and the conditions in which they are raised more than the injected goodies (which are kind of gross enough if you ask me). I tend to avoid any meat of unknown origin.

I'm sorry, that would really bum me out My DH would flat out tell my MIL that she screwed up big time if it were us, but my passive aggressive method would just be to go buy another one, cook it, serve it right along with her Butterball, and not even mention it past a "oh, we wanted to make sure there was enough for leftovers"

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#7 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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FWIW, the "class C" drug thing is misleading. The sodium phosphate given as a drug is the stuff patients drink to clear out their system before a colonoscopy. The risk is kidney failure, from so violently purging your system. For this to happen, patients drink very large volumes of it-- I'm sure you'd have to eat dozens of turkeys in a single sitting to get that much. So anyway, for anyone else who's wondering about their Christmas turkey... just don't break into the butterball plant and drink cupfuls of the injection solution.

As a food additive, I had some in my Cream of Wheat this morning, and it is in Annie's organic mac & cheese, among other things.
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#8 of 19 Old 12-24-2009, 02:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by expat-mama View Post
I wouldn't say it isn't a big deal to casually take class C drugs during pregnancy without even knowing the amounts you're taking. Seems like a big deal to me.
Well, you did ask. If you already had your mind made up, then you didn't really want anyone else's opinion and I'm not sure why you asked.

However, those solutions usually make up something like 12% of the bird by weight. It might be up to 20%, but I'm pretty sure it's arond 12. Therefore, it would be 2% of that 12% (or whatever the percentage is). It's not even close to the same thing as "casually taking class C drugs during pregnancy". Unless you plan on eating the whole turkey by yourself, the amount you'd be ingesting wouldn't be anything near to qualifying as having the therapeutic action of a drug, which is why they're allowed to include it in small amounts.

Again, it's one meal. If you're uncomfortable with it, then that's obviously fine. There's nothing wrong with that. However, it's ridiculously off the mark to suggest that I think nothing of "casually taking class C drugs during pregnancy without even knowing how much you're taking" because I said that a few bites of turkey with non-therapeutic, tiny amounts of a potentially unhealthy ingredient is not a big deal in my opinion. That's hyperbole.
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#9 of 19 Old 12-25-2009, 06:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Well, you did ask. If you already had your mind made up, then you didn't really want anyone else's opinion and I'm not sure why you asked.

Again, it's one meal. If you're uncomfortable with it, then that's obviously fine. There's nothing wrong with that. However, it's ridiculously off the mark to suggest that I think nothing of "casually taking class C drugs during pregnancy without even knowing how much you're taking" because I said that a few bites of turkey with non-therapeutic, tiny amounts of a potentially unhealthy ingredient is not a big deal in my opinion. That's hyperbole.
: No need to suggest she was advocating taking class C drugs during pregnancy.


I also think that Butterballs are gross, just in the amount of antibiotics and other crap pumped in them which would worry me more then this stuff. I think that your MIL was wrong to ignore your wishes especially if you offered to pay for the more expensive (and more tasty, in my opinion) free range turkey. But why not just say something when she came home with it? It seems like you or DH could have brought it up if it's so important to you. If it will make you disgusted to eat a turkey then obviously do not eat it. Personally, I dislike turkey and eat roasted chickens or seafood for Christmas. Turkey is a thanksgiving food in my opinion. Maybe you can make something else that will satisfy you.

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#10 of 19 Old 12-26-2009, 04:03 PM
 
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I'm late here & your Christmas meal has been had but I can't help myself, I have to chime in! I personally never ever eat factory farm raised animals. They are so, so unhealthy for your body. They also are raised completely unsustainably, pollute the planet terribly, and are raised inhumanely. Factory farmed animals are all around just not food.

I can relate though. I've never eaten factory meats, my mom has ALWAYS known, yet she brought home a nasty package of factory beef from the grocery store just after I had my last baby. As if I'd eat that toxic blob! I had to politely as possible tell my mama that she's welcome to eat it, but my family would refrain. She brought it back to the store.

Anyway. I'm done with my chiming.

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#11 of 19 Old 12-27-2009, 10:06 PM
 
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Please be respectful when posting and keep the thread on topic (chemicals in turkey during pregnancy). Thank you!

ETA- I have removed some posts from this thread.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#12 of 19 Old 12-27-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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Take a small serving, have a bite or two (or pretend to have a bite or two)...

And don't sit right next to your MIL...

Most likely no one will notce unless you make a big deal of it.

I would NOT say anything to MIL...

Just don't eat it if you are not comfortable with it.

My MIL tried to serve me swordfish twice during my second pregnancy...

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#13 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 01:35 PM
 
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I work at P&H Foods, the plant that makes Butterball turkey's. First off I'm not a mother, so I don't know anything about the pragnancy thing. But I can tell you that it's about 5% of the turkeys weight that they use in the injection, and you have to remember there is butter in it along with brine. I have never heard of whatever Class C drug that you guys are talking about, or what it does, but I have also never heard of it being injected into them, I guess if you read it, it must be true, but with all the butter/margerine and brine that goes into it, the amount of that drugs would be minimal, and safe. And if you want to get into detail, it's margerine that is in Butterball, and butter goes into PC turkeys, doesn't make much sence does it? lol I don't know anything about this class C drug, but if I was pregnant, I would worry about all the hormones in foods, and I can tell you that none of our turkey's have hormones in there vaccines

Just giving my two cents.
And for anyone who thinks they are too salty, they are starting to cut back on the salt.

Thank you
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#14 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 03:20 PM
 
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The USDA does not allow the use of hormones in poultry. It's the mondo doses of antibiotics the mass-produced birds are given when they're being raised, the conditions that they are raised in, and the unnecessary processing in general that keeps me from eating them.

Em, married to Alex, mom to Samantha (11 yrs) and Cullen (5yrs) and Maybe (5/16/2010) Trying to grow 4,000lbs of produce on .2 acres. See my blog!
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#15 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 03:59 PM
 
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Yeah, i wouldn't worry about the potassium/sodium phosphate at ALL (as someone who did research already mentioned, its in medicinal doses that this becomes a problem. not in food doses.)

I would worry about the fact that it is mass produced... but not something that many foods (including healthy ones) have in perfectly safe doses.

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#16 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 04:11 PM
 
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Well I'm of three opinions:

1) More research...sounds like this might not be a problem afterall

BUT

2) Go with your instincts. I don't think any mama should need affirmation to avoid something she thinks is dangerous while pregnant. If you don't want to, bottom line, don't.

3) Taking the easy way out w/ ILs can't be beat It's not that hard to take a big serving, chop it up, maybe eat a bite and pretend you're full.

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#17 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by emnic77 View Post
The USDA does not allow the use of hormones in poultry. It's the mondo doses of antibiotics the mass-produced birds are given when they're being raised, the conditions that they are raised in, and the unnecessary processing in general that keeps me from eating them.
I guess the OP might be surprised, since there was perhaps a misunderstanding about my original responses, but I don't usually buy mass-produced meats, either (if DH goes to the store OTOH, there's no telling what he's going to bring home, lol). It's just my personal opinion that eating some sometimes, while not optimal, isn't going to kill me or my fetus. I'm much more worried about the environmental impact of factory farms than I am about what effects eating ff meats occasionally will have on my own body. I eat at restaurants, too, and who knows where they get their meats. I try not to think about it; others don't eat out. Different strokes...
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#18 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 07:28 PM
 
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I guess the OP might be surprised, since there was perhaps a misunderstanding about my original responses, but I don't usually buy mass-produced meats, either (if DH goes to the store OTOH, there's no telling what he's going to bring home, lol). It's just my personal opinion that eating some sometimes, while not optimal, isn't going to kill me or my fetus. I'm much more worried about the environmental impact of factory farms than I am about what effects eating ff meats occasionally will have on my own body. I eat at restaurants, too, and who knows where they get their meats. I try not to think about it; others don't eat out. Different strokes...
Well sure, to each their own ...I'm very much a "vote with your fork/money" kind of person and straight up won't eat or pay money for meat of unknown origin. But, I was responding to the idea that StacyD mentioned that hormones were an issue for pregnant women eating poultry, and that's not the case as hormones simply aren't permitted in USDA stamped poultry or pork. This thread is so old I just had to go back to see what the OP had even posted.

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#19 of 19 Old 01-30-2010, 08:29 PM
 
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Well sure, to each their own ...I'm very much a "vote with your fork/money" kind of person and straight up won't eat or pay money for meat of unknown origin. But, I was responding to the idea that StacyD mentioned that hormones were an issue for pregnant women eating poultry, and that's not the case as hormones simply aren't permitted in USDA stamped poultry or pork. This thread is so old I just had to go back to see what the OP had even posted.
Oh, I was actually just agreeing with you about why I personally don't like factory farmed meats. I wasn't disagreeing in any way, shape or form.
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