Because struggling poultry farmers need to do something with the 100 million egg-laying hens they kill each year. The government buys a percent of them, helping keep the farms from going under, and then they need to use them in some way: they chose school lunches. Other uses for spent hens include composting and pet food. Not only is this meat too tough and stringy for most food-makers to use, but because the hens are kept in unsanitary conditions for so long, they sometimes have an increased risk of salmonella. The only good news is that the government is cutting back the amount of spent-hen meat they are willing to buy, from 30% to 10% of the total.
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