Top 5 Best Organic Chicken Brands [Reviewed]
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Chicken is one of our most versatile foods. Inexpensive but filling, used in dishes around the world, used for the humblest soup and the most complex gourmet cuisine, chicken is nourishing, tasteful, and healthy. Lately, health concerns about pesticides used for chicken feed combined with ethical concerns about how chickens are treated have led to the growing popularity of organic chicken. Just 20 years ago, organic foods were niche, and shopping for them was inconvenient, requiring trips to specialty stores. The cost of organic food also put it out of reach for many families. Fortunately, as the demand for organic grew, more suppliers began producing humane, ethically raised livestock.
You would think that after years of alarms about food safety—outbreaks of illness followed by renewed efforts at cleanup—a staple like chicken would be a lot safer to eat. That's a modest improvement since January , when we found that eight of 10 broilers harbored those pathogens. But the numbers are still far too high, especially for campylobacter. Though the government has been talking about regulating it for years, it has yet to do so. See Viewpoint. The message is clear: Consumers still can't let down their guard. Illustration of chicken under microscope Illustration by Keith Negley Each year, salmonella and campylobacter from chicken and other food sources infect 3.
We tapped Teri Gault, founder of deals site The Grocery Game , for advice on how shoppers can stretch their dollar, despite rising food costs. Here's her guide to the best and worst store-brands out there:. Safeway's frozen lasagna. Safeway's taco shells. These are fresher, crisper and seem to hold up better, said Gault.
If chicken is on your grocery list — which wouldn't be too surprising considering the average American eats over 93 pounds of chicken each year — it might be time to take a closer look at that package label. Many people often have a go-to package of poultry, whether it's skinless, organic breasts, pre-frozen tenders or a whole bird for roasting, but with ever-expanding options lining the poultry aisle, it really does pay to pay attention to what you're buying. Since terms like "healthy" and "all natural" are not regulated by the government or any authoritative industry more on that below , Taub-Dix said consumers should ignore the jargon and look out for the following phrases when shopping for chicken:. While more and more consumers are opting for organic foods, there's a reason they are still pricier than conventionally raised items. Undergoing the organic certification process costs farmers a good deal of money, and those costs are passed on to the shopper. When it comes to food, besides the word "healthy," there is perhaps no greater confusion than what being "natural" really means. It can be a misleading term on snacks, drinks, produce and even meat.
Pretty much anything mild and meaty earns the comparison of "tastes like chicken. Or do we just like to think that it does? Here, we put the labels to the taste test. Does the more expensive organic chicken really taste better than cheaper conventional? To find out, we sat a team of tasters down to 12 chicken breasts, a fork, and a notepad. Springer Mt. Farms About this chicken: Antibiotic-free, cage-free, vegetarian diets What we thought: Good mellow flavor, meaty yet tender, slices well.
The Best-Tasting Chicken Brands
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