Choosing Your Chicken: Organic, Air-Chilled or…Aged?
If you’re buying your chicken based on cost alone, there are many factors that you may be overlooking.
First and foremost, cheaper is almost always not best; often the bargain priced poultry has come from a battery-caged producer whose best interest is not in the health or treatment of their birds, let alone the consequences of eating it will have on you!
We all know that free-range is the way to go, but even then, we have to check to see what the birds ate while they were living out of confinement. Grain-fed and living in a little space outdoor is still a far cry from foraging hens who are allowed to eat what they’d normally eat… and that is not corn!
Once those factors are addressed, we can move along to some other options. Air-chilled? Organic? Even…wait for it… Aged?
Air-chilled conveys that the birds were not chilled in large vat of chlorinated water with other birds, which would then have absorbed some of said chlorine. (Nothing like a little bleach with your jus!). Rather, they dead birds hang from a conveyor in an appropriately cold room. Interesting to keep in mind, also, that if the bird you’re buying is not air chilled, it’s retaining water, so it’s heavier, and as meat is sold per pound, you’ll pay extra for that.
Organic labeling means that the feed is organic and doesn’t have byproducts of other animals (great way to re-use those scraps of other factory farmed animals, isn’t it? Don’t even get me started), doesn’t have anti biotics and has to have access to outside, but how much access is a foggy ground.
Aged? Not like beef. Some producers simply leave the bone and skin on for twelve hours before removing them to then sell as boneless/skinless. (Why not just buy with the bone and skin on, is what I always wonder. It’s cheaper and renders a juicier final product and besides that, chicken skin is delish!).
Sound too complicated?
Well, it is tricky.
But that doesn’t mean you should take the easy way out and not know what you’re eating. Do your homework and don’t risk supporting inhumane practices or eating harmful chemicals!