Choose Your Chicken

This post is inspired by Noa’s “Meat Free Mondays” post from a few weeks ago!

Ever feel like you can’t dedicate yourself to vegetarianism? I’m on the same page! I, for one, could not give up meat entirely. I love sausage, dumplings, you name it. However, over the years, I have become more conscientious of where my meat comes from and how it’s been raised. Hit the jump to find out how you can be a responsible omnivore!

Here’s an example which chicken breasts. Let’s do this a bit like the Old Spice commercials.

Look at this chicken.

IMG_2506
Generic chicken breast. Photo taken by yours truly.

Look at how much fat there is! Also, look at the size of it: it takes up almost the entire length of the cutting board. Woah. There’s also lots of blood. (Yuck.)

Now look at this chicken:

IMG_2651
Nature’s Promise chicken breast. Photo by yours truly.

Can you spot any differences? For one, it’s a much smaller chicken breast. Also, note the lack of fat. There’s almost no fat on the piece!

These were to chicken samples I bought at the grocery store. One is a generic brand from Kroger and the smaller one is from Nature’s Promise. The Nature’s Promise bag advertises that its chicken is “all natural, no added antibiotics, all vegetarian diet, no added growth hormones or stimulants, 99% fat free.” Now, the packaging never said whether or not this was a happy free-range chicken, but, hey, at least it wasn’t pumped full of steroids. (Still, it probably lived a life similar to the chickens from the cover photo.)

 

 

What can we take away from this comparison? I could go on for a while about food, but let’s just take away two key points.

  1. Chicken that was raised in a healthier manner will be healthier for you, the consumer. Sure, it’s a smaller chicken breast, but there is less fat and it’s small relative to what we’re used to eating. According to Food Inc. (above video), most of the chickens raised today are huge compared to what non-steroid free-range chickens used to be. The only reason they’re bigger is because farmers can sell more meat in a smaller amount of time.
  2. Support practices that treat their livestock well. Many chicken farms, again referencing to the cover photo, keep chickens in close quarters and stuff them silly with corn to the point where they can no longer move. (They even sit in their own waste!) While vegetarianism may not be the perfect fit for some of us, it’s nice to eat with a clean (to an extent) conscience. Free range? Antibiotic free? The more things to check off, the better!

Next time you’re ready to go grocery shopping, consider spending a little extra for that healthier meat, be it chicken or other types. Many people claim to be able to taste the difference between grass-fed beef compared to corn-fed beef. Try to see if you can taste any differences!

Cover image from http://static3.businessinsider.com/

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