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90% of our diet consists of corn, extruded and expeller pressed soybeans. The remaining 10 % consists of vitamins and minerals.

Many years ago, we were struggling with a bird health problem. I thought maybe its cause was from mold in the rail car transporting soybean meal. I went to the feed mill and asked the mill operator to open the rail car unloading door to watch it unload and inspect for mold. As the door opened, this odor poured out. It smelled like model airplane glue. I asked the mill operator what the awful smell was. He said that’s Hexane, a cheap efficient solvent to extract the oil and vitamins from soybeans. I immediately made my mind up that anything that smelled like that was not going to be part of our future chicken feed. My next step was a lesson in soybean processing.

  • Soybean extraction/processing – The procedure involved in the separation of the oil and the protein meal from the whole soybean.
  • Solvent extraction (Hexane) – The process where by the oil is leached from flaked soybeans.
  • Pressing process – At elevated temperatures, using expellers or screw presses which utilize a worm shaft continuously rotating with a pressing cylinder or cage to express the oil from the beans after they have been ground and properly conditioned.

What is Hexane?

Hexane is a Petroleum by product of gasoline refining. It is a highly explosive toxic chemical. Hexane is a major air pollutant. In fact it is classified as a HAP- Hazardous Air Pollutant by the EPA. Hexane also steals our vitamin E.

At the end of this separation process the livestock producer buys the protein, and fiber. The oil may be further processed into consumer grade.

My question to you is – how can producers and retailers market chicken as naturally raised when one of the two main components of the diet are processed with a toxic chemical like Hexane?

There is a lot more chicken feed to come.

For further information, please feel free to read the Cornucopia report.