Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hormone Free and Free Range Chickens

It is a common misperception that our poultry is laden with growth hormones. In the US, hormones have been banned from poultry (and pork for that matter) since 1959.

In other words, all chicken and turkey is "Hormone Free" whether it is labeled that way or not.

The distinction should be made between Hormone Free and Antibiotic Free. Antibiotics are given to animals for at least 2 reasons--1. to cure an illness and 2. to promote growth!

Most of our chickens do not live a long life...less than 2 months. I'd prefer if I'm going to eat chicken to eat one that had a healthy life and one that grew up without any outside "help"! I was not aware of this distinction until recently, but you can bet from now on I will look for Antibiotic Free poultry.

Another thing that suprised me was the "Free Range" label...I thought it was a great label. That's when I learned that fryers only live 6-8 weeks and they are so weak and vulnerable for the first 5 of those weeks they have to stay indoors.

I still think that "Free Range" is important for eggs. And eggs are a great food for those of us watching our waistlines.

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