Chicken is one of the most in-demand meats in the market. It is considered healthier, with low fat, fewer calories, and a distinct taste that has an almost universal appeal. But the word healthier becomes a point of contention when discussing where the chicken meat came from and how they raised the chicken. Is it labelled free-range and organic? How much quality is in the actual meat?
Many producers and organic farm owners claim their product is free-range chicken with optimum health conditions. But how do these chickens really differ from your common normal-farmed chicken?
The main difference between normal chicken production farms and free-range bred chickens is the type of environment they are raised in. Normal farms confine chickens in tighter spaces with many other chickens and are more of a mass-produced factory breeding environment. The same goes for chickens bred for their eggs. Their food and conditions may or may not be purely organic as well.
Free-range chickens are free to roam in a less stressful environment, including the outdoors, away from the chicken coop or any regular dwelling areas. This setting allows running around in nature where chickens get ample air and sunshine and no stress.
Ideally, part of this environment is organic chicken feed with strictly zero chemicals or unnatural additions as per USDA regulations. When chickens are raised in such an environment, you can consider them free-range and organic.
Free-range chicken tastes better and contains more protein as a result of optimal breeding conditions. Optimal breeding equals optimal health. Chickens that receive a liberal amount of time outdoors with better exercise, clean air, clean water, and lots of sun are the best source of natural meat products.
The bodies of these chickens are often in great condition, which produces much more quality meat compared to factory production of most chicken farms.
These advantages extend to free-range eggs, and as a result, there is an increase in its inherent nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3, and beta carotene. You’ll also get less cholesterol and saturated fat with these free-range eggs.
Another major factor that puts organic free-range chickens above commercially produced ones is the absence of chemicals and growth hormones in the end product. Commercial productions involve non-organic chicken feed and substances that studies have shown to cause hormonal imbalances and other unseen effects on consumers.
When producers grow chicken for bigger sizes and for numbers on a mass-production scale, the compromise will have effects on the final product.
Chickens hold a sizable share of the meat market in the US and around the globe. Its heavy and steady demand gives it a top priority for mass production, but this way of breeding and producing chickens provides less than favourable results in the quality of the end-product.
This is the reason why more and more farms are raising free-range chickens for an increasingly health-conscious global market. And that quality is more obvious when comparing commercial chicken versus the more preferred free-range ones, even in its eggs.
Northern Raised values free-range organic meats that are made with sustainable farming and organic breeding. We urge you to eat wiser and healthier meat products. Check out our range of real organic meats and you’ll taste the real difference in quality today.