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Jan 5, 2014 08:47 PM

Healthy Chicken ~ Sorting through the Lies

No more cheap chicken for me. I want to eat healthy; meaning, no GMO's, hormones, pesticides, plutonium, or whatever foul disgraces that some companies force upon these hapless creatures.

So we have, among other terms: organic, free-range, kosher, all-natural, farm-raised, grain-fed... what does all this mean? Seems like some brands truly deliver on quality, while with others, the soul-less marketing department has latched onto these terms as a way to get top dollar for their crappy products that are loaded with chemicals... and not a care for the health problems that they may cause.

Example: some companies will make a one square meter fencing enclosure, in a parking lot, available to a trailer full of 10,000 birds. Then, call them "free-range," and charge treble the amount.

I've been scouring the Internet, but--no surprise here--I am having trouble finding good information. For me, it's not so much about the labels; it's about the brand.

- What brands of chicken are truly the best?
- What brand have the best reputation?
- What brands feed chickens GMO corn?
- Do any chicken ranches post pictures of their facilities?
- Do any companies import chickens from China, or have farms there?
- Are there specific chicken brands that are known for falsely labeling chickens?
- Are there test kits on the market to check for different chemicals and hormones?
- Can chicken be soaked in brine to cleanse and remove chemicals?


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  1. I don't want to sound like a smartass here, but have you considered not eating chicken.....?
    There are plenty of organic non GMO plant based protein options.....

      1. I suggest spending more time on science. There is very little hard data that should make you as concerned as you seem to be.

        5 Replies
        1. re: brentk

          Find a local farm where you can purchase your birds, fresh or more likely frozen.
          Be willing to pay more. This might mean you eating less poultry less often. Maybe that's a good thing also right?
          Forget ever.
          My former SIL refused to eat farm raised/wild birds. "Too chewy". LOL You can purchase her share.

          1. re: Puffin3

            As previously stated, "local farms/growers" are the answer. I have found a few small time growers of egg hens and meat chickens, standard breeds not the "Frankenchickens" with the huge breasts, which have to be ahrvested by 12 weeks or their hearts give out, (can't support the weight of the bird).
            You will pay more per bird, but it is more than made up in the taste, texture, and your knowing what the birds were fed and how they were raised. I always visit a grower before I buy, weather it is a backyard operation or a for profit small farm. I will only buy pastured chickens, and pastured eggs. Most of the growers that I have met use organic and humanely raised methods, they are very proud of their animals, and it results in a high quality product.

          2. re: brentk

            @brentk you work for Monsanto? No way man... you're not going to convince me to eat the swill that they shovel to the masses. It's engineered for one thing: and it's not the health and well being of the people!

            Must I remind you that all these foods are BANNED in the EU? As is beef with growth hormones? That's because they care enough about their people not to give them cancer.

            Starting with the genetically modified peanut, and its associated deadly allergies, it's been all downhill. My friend just found out that he's got a horrible allergy to almonds. Why? GMO.

            1. re: tangoking

              I don't work in the industry and I eat locally wherever possible. But I have yet to see any scientific studies that show that GMOs are bad for you. In fact, most of what I have seen has said that they have no discernible impact on health.

              1. re: tangoking

                GMOs are not banned in Europe, they're regulated. And where are you getting your other information from? "Genetically modified peanut, and its associated deadly allergies"??? You've seemingly pulled that out of thin air. Same with almonds, which are not genetically modified.

            2. Good luck with your search. I agree with others who suggest finding a local farm whose practices you feel comfortable with. Or a co-op that can source the chicken from such a farm.

              However, my experience is that the chicken I get from the local, more reputable farms is frozen and somewhat more mushy than I would like.

              Taste and texture-wise, I actually prefer certain commercial farms that have less transparent practices, but provide the breeds that I prefer (usually the smaller, more muscular ones).

              I end up usually getting chicken from the commercial breeders for cooking whole, and bones and feet (also eggs) from the reputable farms for soups and stock.

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