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Mar 8, 2009 04:52 PM

Metro's "Traditionally Raised" Chicken

I was on a hunt for not necessarily organic chicken breasts but chicken without hormones and that was potentially grown more responsibly than the typical supermarket chicken.

I was in Metro and came across what they describe as "traditionally raised" chicken. now the term "traditionally raised" is vague at best (given that the current tradition is to raise chickens in overcrowded cages) but what the packaging does say is that the chickens are fed vitamin-enriched grains, that they are not fed any animal bi-products and that they are hormone free.

Does anyone have any further insight into the "traditionally raised" chicken? Is it just anti-biotic-free regular chicken that they charge a premium for?



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  1. I understand that National Grocers line of "Free From" is from Fisher Feed Mill based in Listowel is ABF (antibiotic free). Why they are yellow, I am guessing the feed.
    That being said, I would bet the Metro sources from the same supplier as they produce 90 000 a month. Processing is done up near Holland Marsh.
    Further, I spoke to the butcher at my local Zehrs and asked how their "Free From" line is selling and he indicated that it is performing poorly and they discount and/or throw out too much. I believe the big grocers are having trouble competing with small artisinal markets who can go out and source good products such as a real chicken! Vive le difference!

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Boss

      Put another way, although NG knows no one will pay what boutique meat purveyors like Healthy Butcher charge for a fryer, they are trying to find the elusive buyer who'll pay a modest premium for a drug-free/byproduct-free fed chicken. I suspect production might pick-up sufficiently to bring prices closer to industrial poultry. I see these premium chickens marked down all the time in western GTA Loblaws

    2. I'm confused. I thought hormones weren't allowed in Canada? This is what I understand from another ongoing thread here.

      2 Replies
        1. re: tjr

          Yes, growth hormones are not allowed in Canadian Farming practices. Problem is, if a large company runs out of a Canadian supplier, they look to the U.S. which use growth hormones (not to mention radiation).
          "Traditionally raised" chicken, "free from" between that and new revelations from Rowe Farm eggs (that's another thread), I am very put off. I live in Toronto so there are options for me, I just feel for those living elsewhere where they are at the mercy of NG and Dominion.
          I've done a little test and in my opinion (I always buy a whole chicken and I flatten it
 then bbq it, that is my favourite)
          The best for the price (although he sells out very quickly) are chickens from Vince Gasparro's, 857 Bloor ST W for chicken from the Mennonites at $3.49 a pound.
          Best all round, Butcher By Nature, 520 Annette ($4.99 a pound for certified organic)

      1. It clearly depends on what one considers to be tradition. Frequency of religious exposure, table manners, attitude towards Woody Allen movies, and whether they consider Jerry Lewis to be funny might be relevant.

        Apart from that, though, the preponderance of completely meaningless terms very clearly is confusing those of us who buy food. It would be more meaningful to have industry standards on space, hormones, feed, etc that could be referred to than simple happy words based more on store branding than education. Karmically sound chicken next perhaps? Or Certified Feng Shue Poultry?

        1. A google search turned up this website:

          It speaks mostly about the beef aspect but it seems that all the meat comes from 7 "family farms" out in Peace Country, Alberta.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wontonfm

            The website refers to beef raised by different families in Alberta, but the trademark associated with it was recently transferred to Metro from A & P. Sound more like a brand effort than actual natural farming.

          2. Lol from Metros own website: "For over 40 years, Canada has forbidden the use of hormones in raising poultry." but "traditionally raised" is not mentioned..'

            But from a press release they state: "Farmers ensure that cattle are cultivated without any antibiotics or growth hormones, have room to roam freely, and eat an all natural diet of grains and grasses and consume no animal by-products. The beef is traced from farm to fork to maintain its authenticity, and is independently audited by third parties to ensure that the beef fulfils its promise of natural purity.
            Not limited exclusively to beef, the Traditionally Raised line also includes chicken and pork. Traditionally Raised poultry tastes better because the chickens are fed only quality vegetable grains fortified with vitamins and mineral supplements, and do not ingest any type of animal meal, animal fat or antibiotics. "

            So the Traditionally Raised beef seems to be free run it does not mention anything about the chicken living conditions..

            1 Reply
            1. re: OnDaGo

              ha! i love the bit about the hormones. but i'm guessing the use of antibiotics in chickens is widespread so that people who buy "traditionally raised" products aren't completely being taken for a ride...