When it’s not cooked well, chicken can be a terrible disappointment. Need we mention the famous “rubber chicken” you sometimes get at buffets on in airplane meals?
But with just a little care and attention, chicken can be an amazingly easy, versatile ingredient in any kind of meal. Chicken sausage, marinated and grilled chicken breast, stir-fried chicken with spicy Asian sauce, breaded Italian chicken cutlets…the possibilities are as varied as they are delicious.
Better yet, chicken is naturally low in fat and calories, so it naturally fits today’s more health-conscious lifestyles. Toss that grilled chicken breast on a bed of leafy greens, and you can sit down to enjoy a meal without worrying about your waistline.
If you eat chicken often – and many Americans do – choosing organic chicken can help you feel even better about your healthy diet. Plus, it can give you peace of mind to know that the animals and the earth benefit from organic farming practices.
Here are five good reasons to buy organic chicken:
1. Tried and true. For the majority of human history, organic chicken was all you could get! It was just plain old chicken, naturally free range – and free of things like synthetic hormones. High-tech industrial farming changed all that. Now, more and more research suggests that we’re better off following the traditions that were handed down through generations of small family farms. Check out the recent report by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production (PCIFAP) regarding the impact of industrial farming practices on public health.
2. 2. Rigorous standards. Organic farms are inspected by a government-approved certifier to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic meats must be certified, too. If you buy chicken with an organic label, you can be assured that qualified inspectors are keeping a close eye on how that chicken was raised and processed.
3. No hormones, antibiotics or GMOs. Organic chickens are never given antibiotics or synthetic hormones. Their feed is organic and vegetarian. Organic farmers cannot raise genetically modified crops or livestock or use production aids that are genetically modified.
4. More humane farming practices. Animals on certified organic farms are raised with special attention to their health and wellbeing. They have access to fresh air, sunshine, and the outdoors. Organically raised animals grow at their own natural pace, with no artificial hormones. By following free-ranging or free-grazing practices, organic farms not only treat animals more humanely, but also improve the animals’ health and reduce stress.
5. Better for the environment. Certified organic farmers do no use most conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, bioengineering, or ionizing radiation. Organic agricultural practices prevent pesticides and other chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us. They also replenish and build healthy soil. Organic farmers emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.