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Benefits of Free Range or Kosher Chicken
What Makes a Chicken a Good or Bad Choice for Your Family?
Not all Chickens are created equal! If flavor and texture are tops on your Chicken prep-list, then you must find out how to pick the perfect bird for your dinner table. There is more to consider than you can imagine. Would you rather eat a chicken that can do a few sit-ups or consume poultry that has been hanging around the coop eating junk food and watching the chicks chat?It is all a matter of what bird you find most appealing to you and your family, and that means knowing the difference between the chickens you have to choose from.
There are many different types of chicken in most every supermarket. Each have been produced in a different manner. Some are mass-market produced (like Tyson) making a good product for an economic price. Two other methods or terms that are associated with chickens are kosher and free-range. These birds tend to cost more due to production methods and a higher standard of requirements. Let's get some information so you can be certain you're buying the right bird for your family.
The quality of the bird is found in the rich flavor...
Chickens that are produced for kosher consumption prove popular in urban areas with large Jewish populations. (We Jews have a deep relationship with chickens!) Laws within the religious regulations demand that the chickens be clean of all impurities and blood. This is accomplished by washing birds in a salt water bath, in essence, a quick-brine. A strict standard of protocol is required when a bird is to be stamped KOSHER. This Kosher stamp is clearly visible on every kosher chicken in your market. Another difference is that this bird is likely to cost a bit more. But, the high quality of this chicken is noticeable and can be found in the rich flavor and firmer (not tough) texture of the cooked chicken meat.
Free-range Kosher chicken is going to cost more!
Free Range Chicken's Offer Naturally Good Taste!
More Chicken Chattin'
The "free-range" chicken is a fall-back to small farm practices. No true definition of the term is available, however most chicken farmers who use this term allow the chickens access beyond the cage door. Many free-range chickens are labeled "organic" or "natural." Again, the definitions can be elusive; however, most farmers who feed only organic meals and do not use antibiotics to treat disease, use one or both of these terms. The free-range chicken may also cost more than your mass-market birds. This may be due to the heavy investments made in developing the livestock gene pool.
Many hundreds of years have been dedicated to the development of the best chickens for consumers. Farmers have studied and practiced many natural paths to genetically superior birds. Because of this dedication and selective breeding we see some of the best build chickens land on our tables today. Each chicken is naturally juicy because of good farming practices; not to mention the years of time and money invested in natural genetic improvement.
Processing practices can add to the high cost of poultry.
Other than poultry gene pool development and kosher poultry processing, a couple of other reasons pop-up when considering the quality and cost of our chickens. Take the free-range chicken, this high quality chicken enjoys the outdoors or a large indoor area for exercise. Which is directly linked to flavor development. The more a chicken moves around the leaner and more flavorful it becomes. The muscles of the chicken become darker with exercise. This is why we get an added flavor boost from a free-range chicken. Big named companies that mass produce chicken for consumption may be more concerned with having a large breasted chicken or other European customer preferred qualities—such as light skin color.
Processing practices can add to the higher cost of our poultry as well. This is because smaller companies have a more rigid method or several extra steps to their chicken processing chores. Many smaller companies "grow out" their chickens to eight or nine weeks (up to thirteen weeks in some countries) instead of slaughtering the chickens at six or seven weeks, as the big named mass marketing companies do. Remember, the older poultry will offer better flavor and muscle tone, but the cost to "grow-out the chickens" will increase as well.
To wrap it up, choosing a chicken for flavor and texture would seem to be well worth the extra money. Remember: Let your taste buds be the judge. Look for the signs of high quality chickens by finding either "kosher," "free-range," or "organic," stamped on the packaging.
- Be certain to check the 'sell by date' the grocer stamps on every package.
- Always choose the date that allows you the best guarantee for the freshest chicken for your family!
Poultry Farming Mass Production Advancements From America's Heartland (4 min. 7 sec. video)
WHAT YOU THINK REALLY DOES MATTER!
Which chicken do you prefer for your family dinner table?
Feathers and Fuel Connection
The poultry business has 11 billion pounds of waste annually. Six million pounds of this waste is feathers. The quills that we can't stuff into bedding are made into an animal feed called 'chicken feather meal'. A team of researchers at The University of Nevada have found an earth friendly method to turn this 'chicken feather meal' into bio-diesel.
To read more on how feathers become bio-fuel, Click here!
"We may not know why the chicken crossed the road, but we may find it traveled via bio-diesel when it did!"