Do you really know what you’re getting when you buy the beautifully packaged vegetarian fed, organic, antibiotic free, and free-range chicken?
This week I would like to do a little myth-busting. If you look at the description on the packages you buy at the grocery store, you would think that your hard-earned dollars are buying the best, and most nutritious food for you and your family. However, let’s look at the description with a discerning eye.
*Organic, Vegetarian Fed, Antibiotic Free, Free Range Chicken*
- Organic: Did you know that most if not all that organic chicken you buy at the grocery store is from a factory confinement farm? Organic doesn’t mean rolling green pastures or even access to it. It simply means that eat organic feed. They are still over crowded breathing in the fecal dust that hovers right at chicken height. Don’t fall for the clever marketing you see online or on TV. Organic Chicken most of the time is no better than that other slimy mush that big companies call chicken.
- Vegetarian Fed: This is my absolute favorite myth. Read my words very carefully. Chickens are not vegetarian. I repeat, Chickens are not vegetarian. Our Pasture raised chickens eat anything and everything. If there is a bug it’s eaten if it is a mouse its gone. I watch the chickens chase it down with the same ferocity as the T-Rex scene from Jurassic Park. In fact, chickens are direct descendants of the T-Rex and you don’t read about him eating his vegetables. Yes, chickens eat seed, and grasses, and what not. However, chickens cannot digest grass anymore then you and I can. Chickens are omnivores through and through. Here on our farm, we hand make our chicken feed. No, we do not include animal by products in our feed. But we sure hope our chickens are out there hunting and chasing bugs. Remember a happy chicken is a tasty chicken.
- Antibiotic Free: We will keep this short and sweet. In their lifetime, chickens sold at most grocery stores can have antibiotics, so long as within three days of processing the chicken has been off the antibiotics. So, when the label says antibiotic free. Just remember, pasture raised operations do not use antibiotics at all, ever, nada, zilch.
- Free Range: This statement has confused and misled just about every customer out there. According to the National Chicken Council (NCC). There’s no precise federal government definition of “free range,” so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves these label claims on a case-by-case basis. USDA generally permits the term to be used if chickens have access to the outdoors for at least some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not. In practice, most chickens stay close to water and feed, which is usually located within the chicken house. Chicken labeled as “organic” must also be “free-range,” but not all “free-range” chicken is also “organic.” Less than 1% of chickens nationwide are raised as “free range,” according to the National Chicken Council (NCC). Who knew?
I encourage you to do your own research. Food is the most important thing that you can do for your body. Knowing how to make informed food choices not only prolong your life and improve your overall health. But it also just tastes better. Remember if you have any questions or just want to say ‘hi’, give us a call at the farm (828) 702-9929 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will get back with you as soon as the chickens are moved and the pigs are happy.