You've probably heard a lot about salmonella in reference to food poisoning, but the latest outbreak isn't about eating cooked animals – it's about touching live ones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that 93 people in a total of 23 states have been infected with strains of salmonella: specifically, strains known as Salmonella Infantis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Lille. Of those affected, 18 patients have been hospitalized and one death may be related to the outbreak under investigation too.
A large portion – 37% – of the those infected are 10 years old or younger, according to the CDC.
We chatted about backyard chickens live on CNN Newsroom with Suzanne Malveaux this afternoon. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the growing trend.
Q: Will having a backyard chicken reduce the cost of eggs for my family and me?
A: This varies wildly depending on the way you decide to house them (a do-it-yourself coop or pen versus a fancy Egglu) and if you decide to feed them chicken feed, organic chicken feed, kitchen scraps or allow them to be free-range. You should also factor in how many chickens you or your neighbors have, since buying bulk can reduce the cost a tremendous amount.
Watch the Green Solutions in Focus: Eatocracy Edition hour-long special hosted by Tom Foreman on Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm ET and see all Earth Day coverage at eatocracy.com/infocus
What do terms like "free-range," "organic," and "cage-free" actually mean?
"You got to hang out with Toesy? I'm jealous! She's so cool..."
Toesy, as it happens, is a chicken. Mention her name in a throng of Austin food bloggers or chefs, and everyone knows exactly where you spent your morning.
A scant two miles from the beep and thrum of the 25th annual South by Southwest music, film, and interactive conference and festival, a couple of farmers - and their celebrity livestock - are changing the way the city eats, one egg at a time.
Editor's note: Michele Jay-Russell is a food safety and security specialist, and Michael Payne is the Outreach Program Coordinator, both at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS), a program of the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California at Davis.
With more than half a billion eggs recalled and at least 1,300 salmonellosis illnesses linked to eggs in an ongoing investigation this summer, consumers are worried and wondering, "What went wrong, and what can I do to protect myself and my family?"
We study food safety for a living, so our own family members have been quizzing us about which eggs are safest to buy.
The "eat local" movement has driven more Americans to seek out their local farmers' markets, instead of the nearby supermarket chain, for everything from eggs, produce, even meat.
There are a variety of reasons that more people are turning to local food: some just want to support local business, while others have concerns over food safety – from pesticides in produce to the way animals are treated on large farms.
In the wake of an outbreak that has left an estimated 1,300 people sick with salmonella infections, and the recall of more than half a billion eggs, a debate is brewing over whether modern farming methods pose a health risk.
According to the United Egg Producers, about 95 percent of all chickens are raised in an industrial setting. These chickens are confined in small cages, in closely monitored conditions, with tens of thousands of birds in a huge warehouse.
Are free-roaming chickens less prone to salmonella? Is organic safer than inorganic? Did the strain that caused the recent outbreak arise because of factory farms?
CNN Health has the FULL STORY
Judy DeHaas never thought she'd spend her mornings gathering eggs. As a photojournalist for the Denver Post, the Denver resident hatched an unexpected passion for backyard chicken farming when she met a local urban homesteading guru, Sundari Kraft of Heirloom Gardens. Kraft's multi-plot urban farm cleaves close to local terroir, narrowing its focus from Community Supported Agriculture to Neighborhood Supported Agriculture, reasoning that shareholders should be able to walk - not drive - to pick up their allotment of food.
Visiting Kraft's home to work on a story, DeHaas was struck by the lack of fuss and mess she'd been led to associate with urban chicken faming. "You're inundated with propaganda about what you have to have to farm eggs, " she says. "It was amazing how easy it was. Not out of control at all. You just have to feed them good food and keep them warm. You don't have to have a rooster, and you don't have to walk them like dogs."