Organic, Non-GMO, Natural, Free-Range??
Don't be chicken when picking your chicken. Chose with confidence. I'm trying to take more meat out of my diet but in the process of cutting it out, whatever meats I do buy I want to make sure its the healthiest. I'd like to help you distinguish the difference between what I call "fluffer" labels. Fluffer labels are meant to make the product seem more healthy therefore leading us to overspending. Like many people, I used to walk into a grocery store and pick any packaged chicken but now you have all these labels to sort through. Thats a lot of labels and they all sound healthy but I did some research and heres the break down of what I found.
Farmers use antibiotics to keep chickens healthy, but there are other methods that can be used instead of antibiotics. When a chicken has a label of “No Antibiotics,” that means the chicken never ever had antibiotics administered, including while in the egg.
The term doesn't hold much value in terms of spending more for healthier poultry since this is industry standard. Typically the term cage-free is used fHens that lay eggs are typically classified as cage-free
This label means nothing, since this is the industry standard. Most of the time, the cage-free label is only used for egg-laying hens. Also, this doesn’t guarantee that your chicken ever went outside, or even had access to the outside.
Officially, Bird "producers must demonstrate to the Agency that the poultry has been allowed access to the outside". The term free-range is vague and so loosely used. In my opinion another fluffer label
Less than 0.9 percent of the bird's feed can be genetically modified.
All chickens have zero hormones injected in their bodies so this label is a fluffer label
USDA Organic: Every item on the following list needs to be checked off before it’s labeled “USDA Organic:”
No antibiotics (only after the shell breaks open or if it’s deemed medically necessary. Farmers can give chickens antibiotics during their first day of life.)
Access to the outdoors (no specific standards on size of door, size of outdoor area or amount of time spent outdoors—sounds a lot like the free-range definition)
This means every organic chicken is free-range, but again, the opposite is not necessarily true.
This label is useless and misleading. All chickens come from nature, so this just means no artificial flavoring or preservatives were added to the chicken.
This basically means the chicken was fed organic feed (vegetarian diet, no GMOs, no antibiotics, no hormones).
Made In the USA:
Another useless label. All chickens bought in America are patriotic chickens who stay at home. There are a select few Canadian chickens that come to the U.S., and zero chickens are coming over from Asia.
*Not all free-range chickens are organic.