Sunday, 16 May 2010

The pecking order

Having added back fish into my diet, following my veggie experiment, I have now added chicken back in. I have to say the first chicken I had last week wasn't as tasty as I'd hoped but that may have been something to do with the quality.

You see not all chickens are equal. Courtesy of different farming techniques one chicken can be very different to another. Low-cost chickens are intensively farmed, injected with growth hormones, laden with chemicals and pumped full of water and starch. These same hormones have been linked with hormone-related cancers and the manifestation of a 'male menopause' due to increased oestrogen intake. Obviously if there was conclusive evidence these farming practices would be banned altogether however common sense should tell us eating meat pumped full of hormones and antibiotics can't be good for us!

Organic chickens on the other hand must be reared in more humane conditions and will be free of the chemicals and hormones found in non-organic chicken and usually the meat tastes better as a result.

Due to the way it's reared organic meat is more expensive but the price is coming down and Asda seems to offer the cheapest organic meat. Personally if the cost is an issue I think it's better to eat less meat so that you can afford to buy organic. I also look for the 'Freedom' label on non-organic meat which means it's been reared in a humane way (monitored by the RSPCA). Buying organic chicken thigh meat rather than breast meat can be more economical and if you cook it with an electric grill some of the extra fat will drain away.

So do yourself and the chickens a favour and try switching to organic.

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