Choose Sustainably-Raised Poultry

| 7/9/2015 9:40:00 AM

Tags: poultry, Jim Adkins, North Carolina,

Are you aware of what kind of chicken you buy at the local grocery store? Whole Foods?  Or even at your local farmers market? Do you know where it came from and the environment was is grown in? These are all questions that many people are asking. Let me help you.

After working for several years in the commercial poultry industry, I learned a lot about the chicken you eat and the turkeys you buy at Thanksgiving! Many of you have seen documentaries, watched the movie, Food INC or read Michael Pollan’s book, Omnivores Dilemma – it is all accurate when it comes to commercial poultry. There is an alternative, an exciting alterative! First let me tell you the bad news, I want you to learn to discern the difference between good chicken and bad chicken!

In the late forties, some of the greatest poultry geneticists engineered a fast growing chicken known throughout the world as a Cornish Cross. Since then, this bird completely consumes the marketplace, it is serve is almost every restaurant (even the fancy ones!) and even has the wonderful label of USDA Certified Organic on its package.

Fast Growth: This bird grows at an unnatural, abnormally fast rate! In 1950 it gained three pounds in ten weeks, in 1980, it gained four pounds in eight weeks and in 2011, it grew to six pounds in six weeks. Today the average processing age of the Cornish Cross chicken is thirty seven days!  For those of you who have never raised a baby chick, that is way too fast. If we humans grew at this same rate, we would weigh 260 pounds by the time we were two years old! That is not normal. 

Terminal & Genetically Controlled: This fast growing meat chicken was never meant to live for very long! They were meant to be slaughtered at a young age.  They are bred by several “combined breeding lines” with the intention of the end product not being able to reproduce. The genetics of these birds are “owned” by the largest, commercial poultry producers in the world. Their goal is to produce a bird that farmers cannot reproduce, which requires them to continuously go back to the breeding source for more birds. These birds cannot reproduce on small, local farms.  

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