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Sep 27, 2005

Olive Oil Chickens?

medium_olive.3.jpgWe all know the benefits of olive oil.  At DQ, we are now experimenting with feeding olive oil to our chickens to see if we can increase the monunsaturated fats content for a healthier meat.  Some of our customers had complain that our chickens are too dry and tough.  We are doing research now with olive oil to see if we can achieve a chicken with more fat but fats of the right kind.  That juicy, "smooth" chicken sold at the chicken rice stalls is full of those saturated fatty acids that have been implicated in heart disease, and full of omega 6 that have been implicated in many chronic diseases.  See our previous post on Lab Tests.

Here's an article on the latest findings about olive oil:

"A compound found in olive oil called oleocanthal fights inflammation in a manner similar to ibuprofen, inhibiting the cyclooxygenase enzymes involved in pain and inflammation responses. The amount of oleocanthal obtained from daily olive oil consumption would elicit a much smaller anti-inflammatory effect compared to medication, and more research is needed to determine whether olive oil consumption has any clinical effect on inflammation. However, some researchers speculate that the heart benefits of a Mediterranean-style diet, which includes ample amounts of olive oil, may be due in part to the anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil. The inflammation of tissues, such as those of the vascular system, plays a role in the development of heart disease. A great way to add olive oil to your diet is to replace creamy salad dressing high in saturated fats with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. "


10:00 Posted in Chickens | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: Organic Farming

Sep 26, 2005

Preventive Measures - Flu

You have read the news about an impending flu pandemic. The following are some of the measures we are taking or will be taking:
  1. Book with your doctor to be vaccinated as soon as the latest flu vaccine is available. There are some people who are not in favour of vaccination. If so, consider the other strategies below.
  2. Stock up on the human anti-viral Tamiflu. Do it soon as there may be a rush should an outbreak occur. Follow your doctors instructions. Tamiflu works in slowing down viral replication. Therefore you have to take it within 24 hours of first onset. Discuss with your doctor the best strategy. High risk individuals (those who work with poultry, in crowded places, etc. may want to go on preventive dosage for a period of time). If your doctor do not have tamiflu or the vaccine in stock, email us and we will give you the name and number of a clinic that stocks them.
  3. Pick up Qi Gong. Qi Gong can boost your immune system and help to lessen the effect of viral infections. Call Adeline 012 3317173, Alice 03 78776411 or Mandy 03 42571311 for our qi gong classes which are aimed at boosting immune systems. It is FREE for our customers but places are limited. For non-customers, the charges are RM500 per person. Our qi gong classes are divided to 3 stages:
  1. Stage One : Activation and Raising the Qi vibrations.
  2. Stage Two : Moving the Qi – the Orbit.
  3. Stage Three: Shaolin Health Exercises.

We have made arrangement with the local distributor of Qlink for participants to purchase one at a special price for a limited period. The Qlink works synergistically with Qi Gong exercises.

The following tips are by Kathleen Doheny writing in Natural Health (http://www.naturalhealthmag.com/health/13) under the heading, "The Taming of the Flu":

  1. Stay away from crowds. Spend your evenings at home.
  2. Get enough sleep. Do not let your immune system become weak as that’s when the virus will overwhelm you.
  3. Eat well. Stop processed foods. Prepare your body for a battle.
  4. Wash your hands or use sanitizers regularly. There are alcohol-based, non toxic chemical santisers which you should use whenever your hands come in contact with, for example, the doors of public toilets, etc. Do not touch your face, eyes, nose, etc. with your hands without first washing. We keep a bottle of sanitizer in our car at all times.
  5. The following supplements may help prepare your body for a battle. Research have shown promising results:
  • Elderberry  This is a traditional remedy for colds and flu. A study published in The Israel Medical Association Journal found that black elderberry extract activates the immune system by boosting the production of cytokines, which are small protein molecules secreted by immune cells. The Journal of Internal Medicine Research reported a study where patients who took elderberry syrup reported relief four days earlier than those who took a placebo.
  • Zinc  A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that patients who took zinc lozenges reported shorter duration of symptoms, as much as half the time. Zinc lozenges must be taken at the outset of disease to be effective. For dosage and duration of treatment, consult your doctor.
  • Echinacea  This is a classic treatment for throat infection including colds and flu. Though an American study showed no difference between the group taking Echinacea and a placebo, studies in Europe, notably in Germany have shown otherwise.
  • Homeopathy  Homeopathic remedy for flu includes oscillococcinum and dolivaxil. Get the latest preparations from the latest viral strains in the case of dolivaxil.
  • Chinese medicine  There are some standard Chinese herbal preparations for flu. Consult your physician and stock the preparations. Try Tung Shin Hospital, they have a competent TMC unit.
  • Green Tea  Drink hot green tea. Green tea have been found to boost your immune system and there’s nothing like hot green tea when you are down with the flu.

Good luck


19:05 Posted in Chickens | Permalink | Comments (3)

Lab Tests Result

Lab Tests - Can It Tell An Organic Chicken From An Ordinary Chicken?

A customer asked an interesting question – can a lab test tell which chicken is truly “organic”?  Our answer is “yes”.  We had sent some chickens for tests and the difference is quite obvious if you know what to look for.  We took a CERTIFIED organic chicken imported from Australia called Barlil and used it as a benchmark.  Together with this chicken, we had tested two other local UNCERTIFIED “organic” chickens, brands A and B.. 

Here are the results:

                                             Barlil   “Org.”A  “Org.” B


Lauric Acid        (s)                  none      12.5          3.2

Myristic Acid     (s)                  none      12.6          3.4

Arachidic           (s)                  none        0.5          3.3

Palmitic              (s)                  87.8     179.4        59.0

Stearic               (s)                  61.2       76.1      116.0

Palmitoleic         (m)                   8.5       12.8          3.1

Oleic                 (m)                116.2     218.4        86.0

Eicosaenoic       (m)                   0.5          1.0          1.9

Linoleic              (6)                 74.7      126.2        50.0

Arachidonic       (6)                  31.8       75.7        56.0

Linolenic            (3)                    0.4         3.4          1.9

EPA                  (3)                    0.8        none         1.0

DPA                 (3)                    1.2         1.9         none

DHA                (3)                   15.3        1.8          1.5

Total Saturated Fats                  149        281         185

Total Unsaturated Fats              249        441          202

Total Omega 3                         17.6         7.1           4.4

Total Omega 6                         106         202          106

Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio         6            28             24

*Notes: (s) = saturated fatty acids, (m) = monounsaturates, (6) = omega 6 and (3) = omega 3


The first obvious difference is the amount and type of saturated fatty acids.  In the above table, saturated fatty acids are marked “(s)”.

An organic chicken would not be allowed to have vegetable oils included in the feed.  The addition of vegetable oils is standard practice for feed manufacturers in Malaysia to boost energy levels for fast growth.  This will result in high saturated fatty acids.  Both chickens A and B show the typical saturated fats profile for chickens consuming high fats and or high energy diets.  This would seem to imply that both A and B are fed a manufactured compound feed which are non-organic in source.  Grains, whether whole, broken or cracked, will not produce such a high saturated fats profile especially if the chicken is free-ranging.  Further, some of the saturated fats come from certain types of vegetable oils and definitely not from grains or plants.  For example, lauric from coconut oil.  There is always a danger that some of the smaller feed manufacturers may use recycled vegetable oils.

An organic chicken, according to latest international standards must be allowed to free-range in a significant manner and not just a small area just to satisfy use of the term, “free-range”.  Some Standards call for 50 sq ft of space per chicken.  Our own studies have shown that a chicken will need at least 25 sq ft of pasture to allow the chicken to have significant DHA from grasses and plants.  The chicken also cannot be less than 80 days old and must free-range from young to enable the chicken to absorb the omega 3 from grasses and then convert them to DHA.  If the chicken is fed high energy feed with limited range and of young age, then it will have almost no DHA as is seen in A and B.

Chickens allowed to graze grass over an extended period of time will have an Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio of 10 to 1 or less.  Barlil’s have 6 to 1.  “Organic” A and B have 25 and above.  This ratio is at the leanest meat – the breast.  If we include the skin, A and B would have a ratio of 40 and above. 

There is a poor understanding of what constitutes an organic chicken in Malaysia.  It is not enough to avoid feeding the chicken antibiotics and to free-range the chicken in a limited area.  If chickens are fed high-energy compound feed, the chickens will have high saturated fatty acids and will have excessive omega 6.  The danger is that consumers have been warned against red meat and may presume that chickens are a healthy white meat, and therefore may consume chickens very regularly.  If the chickens have these unhealthy fats there is a danger that the consumer may end up in square one as far as his health is concerned as Malaysians tend to eat more chickens compared to, say for beef or mutton. 

Excessive omega 6 in our diet has been implicated in many autoimmune and degenerative diseases. Here’s an article on the effects of excessive omega 6 in our diet:  http://www.geocities.com/dqcleanchicken2/MercolaOmega3Bre...

This study shows that excessive omega 6 have a direct causative link to prostate cancer: http://www.geocities.com/dqcleanchicken2/Omega6Prostate/o...

Chickens A and B are best described as antibiotic-free, free-range chickens, and not “organic”.  B is a better chicken than A as it seems to be free-ranged longer. But both have similar fatty acids profile to broilers and wet market chickens. 

DQ Chickens and Barlil have similar fatty acids profile.  DQ Herbal have even better fatty acids profile than Barlil. 


14:00 Posted in Chickens | Permalink | Comments (2) | Tags: Organic Farming

Sep 23, 2005

Farmer Visitors

20 farmers from Manjung came to learn how we did it naturally and yet have one of the lowest, if not the lowest mortality in the country - less than 3%.

This is a group snapshot (click on picture for enlarged image) :


17:15 Posted in Visitors | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: organic farming

Sep 11, 2005

Which "Organic"?

Many times, customers ask us: "There's a lot of local brands of organic vegetables, fruits and meats now in the organic shops.  Which can we buy with confidence?".

This is our answer:

1 Use your common sense.  Many of us "automatically" drop our common sense defense just because a shop is called "organic".  Remember, the majority of organic shops are retailers and traders, not farmers. Some may not have the time, staff or expertise to check out the farming practices of the various brands.  You must arm yourself with knowledge and use your common sense to make your own buying decisions. 
2. Trust produce that come directly from farmers.  Some of the brands or labels you find in the stores are from marketing companies which organise contract farmers.  Produce from contract farmers should ideally be certified.
3. Buy local.  You not only help reduce the use of fossil fuel, but you are assured of fresher produce.  Fruits are more likely to be tree-ripened, meats are fresh rather than days or weeks old.  Remember, "organic" does not ensure tree-ripened fruits or fresh meats. If you are living in the Klang Valley, buying local means selecting as first preference produce from farms near to the Klang Valley, only after that from up North or South.  For produce from overseas, select those from Australia and New Zealand over those from US, and so on.
4. Are visitors allowed to the farm?  Vegetables and fruit farms have no excuse not to allow visitors or at least allow your "representatives" such as journalists, owners of organic shops, etc. Be sceptical, there may be "show" farms.  These visits should be documented.  Animal farms should have visitor days for journalists and other stakeholders such as owners of organic shops.  Be wary of produce from farms or farmers which locations are unknown and with no means of contacting them. The farming practices should be clearly spelt out.  Remember, "organic" as understood by some farmers in Malaysia may not coincide with what you understand to be "organic" as practiced in the West.
5. Is the farmer known?  Buying "organic" should be a personal relationship.  You must TRUST this farmer who is growing your food for you and for your family.  Is he known? What is his farming philosophy?  Can you trust him?  Ask your organic shop owner who the farmer is and whether you can meet the farmer.  Remember, he is producing for you the single most important thing in the life of your family and you - your food.  What can be more important than that?  It is worth the time and effort to check him out.  Do not leave this responsibility to others.  You must take that responsibility as the health and wellbeing of your family may depend on it. 
6. Pay for Quality Quality do not come cheap.  Trust your instincts and back them up with knowledge.  Know the general prices for a particular item, both organic and non organic, both local and imported. Find out why a certain brand is more expensive than others, or cheaper.  
7. Talks  We at DQ are willing to meet up with our buyers, individually by coming to our office, or in groups as arranged through the shops or retailers or stockists concerned, or even yourselves as consumers.  For groups, we will give a slide presentation and a talk about our farming practices including Qi Farming, and healthy food in general.

02:30 Posted in Chickens | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sep 10, 2005

DQ Chicken and DQ Herbal - the Difference.

We have two range of chickens - they are the "normal" DQ Clean Chicken and the premium "Herbal" range.

The main differences between the Herbal Chicken and the normal DQ Chicken are as follow:
1. All Herbal Chickens are female. The meat therefore is more tender. Most Asian women are brought up to believe female chickens are better for their health when consumed during confinement.
2. The feeding of the Herbal Chicken is carefully controlled to ensure that every chicken has a monitored range of omega 6:omega 3 ratio of around 5:1 or less. The normal DQ chicken may have individuals that have a high ratio due to its preference for grains over grass (we give them 30% grains made up of corn, wheat and soya bean for energy). Each Herbal Chicken is given daily doses of marine algae to ensure consistent omega 3 content.
3. Over 80% of the omega 3 in the Herbal Chicken is DHA whereas the normal DQ Chicken may have most of its omega 3 in the form of ALA, which the human body still has to convert to DHA.
4. Herbal Chickens are given daily doses of certified organic herbs from China. These herbs impart a nice aroma to the chicken and are claimed to give the chickens higher levels of antioxidants and amino acids. Evidence of the higher level of natural antioxidants in the meats lie in the fact that these chickens have longer keeping qualities, especially in our hot and humid weather during preparation. Herbal chicken livers are the only organs we are selling for those who want them.
5. We recommend the Herbal Chicken for those recuperating from illness and during confinement.




23:05 Posted in Chickens | Permalink | Comments (1) | Tags: Organic Farming