Do you think that all CHICKENS are the SAME?
Why Eat Natural, Organic, and Hormone-Free Chicken
Chicken is a healthy and nutritious food, and the average American eats over 90 pounds a year. Given how much of it we eat, paying attention to how chickens are raised and produced can have a big impact on our own health. We are what we eat, and when the chickens we eat are raised in natural and healthy conditions, we are the ultimate beneficiaries.
Over the last century commercial chicken farming has gone through many big changes. Family farms of the past slowly disappeared and were replaced with gigantic, factory farms, maximizing efficiency and production. Along with this came other developments in the breeding of chickens, creating faster-growing breeds and reducing the number of varieties of chicken being produced for commercial markets.
But there was a cost to this efficiency, and nutritional value and flavor declined as the factory farming of chickens expanded. Fast production methods and low-quality chicken feed also introduced contamination from pesticides and chemicals into the final product and reduced the nutritional value of the feed. Along with this are ecological and ethical concerns generated by factory farming.
Consumers and farmers alike are now moving in a new direction, demanding and bringing back better tasting, nutrient-dense chicken raised in natural and humane outdoor conditions using high-quality and organic feed. The result is an increasing selection of healthy, organic, and naturally raised chicken available in supermarkets.
Raising Chickens Naturally without Hormones or Antibiotics
Chickens have been the breed for the qualities people enjoy in the final product. Tender, white meat is what most people prefer, and this is exactly the kind of chicken producers have developed using standard breeding techniques. The result is the Cornish-Cross chicken, able to reach final harvest size in as little as five weeks.
This amazing growth is not due to modern genetic engineering but instead is the product of good, old-fashioned breeding methods. These chickens do not need any help from additional hormones to grow this quickly.
Farmers who raise chickens the old-fashioned way also raise Cornish-Cross chickens, but they do so by giving their poultry access to outdoor pastures where they can forage and move about in the sunshine and fresh air.
In addition, naturally raised chickens are given high-quality and organically grown feed, carefully designed to provide all of the nutrients chickens need. With high-quality feed, diseases are less common and treatments with antibiotics become rare or unnecessary. If birds are treated with antibiotics, they are removed from production until all traces have disappeared.
Why Natural and Organic Tastes Better
When chickens are raised on outdoor pastures and given nutritious clean feed, fresh air, and exercise, you can taste the difference in the final product. It is that simple, and it makes sense.
Natural and organically raised chicken tastes better and has a better nutritional profile than their factory-raised counterparts because everything that went into producing that chicken was higher in quality.
The growing trend in natural and organic chicken is also reviving small, family-operated farms. Raising chickens on pastures is labor intensive, and family farms have an advantage over big farms when it comes to paying attention to the small but important details of caring for chickens.
Natural and organically produced chickens are naturally free from growth hormones, antibiotic residues, and other contamination. Instead, they are filled with complex, delicious flavors and healthy nutrients. Try for yourself, and you will taste and feel the difference.