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6 foods we could lose in an outbreak

By: Shea Gunther on Feb. 15, 2010, 1:26 p.m.

Photo: ZUMA Press

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Today's chickens share a similar history with the turkey — they are a result of generations of breeding intended to make them easier to raise for food. A mere five chicken breeding corporations provide more than 95 percent of the world's birds, and a single breeding male bird can potentially sire up to 2 million chickens. This system works for big food and agriculture corporations that value consistency, but it could be potentially disastrous if a bad strain of virus pops up. As the world continues to lose wild bird species, the opportunity to inject new wild genetics into the breeding lines of food birds slowly slips away.