Today I was reading a post by Monica Reinagel at Nutrition Data about chicken. My family eats a lot of chicken, and I thought that paying a little bit more for hormone and antibiotic free chicken was a safe bet. Here is what she had to say about that:
"You might be surprised, as I was, to learn that chickens labeled "all-natural" can legally be pumped full of things like salt, seaweed extracts, broth and other things...none of which are naturally occuring in chickens! Even more shocking, birds fed certain antibiotics can still be labeled "Raised without Antibiotics."
Yes, I sure was surprised, so I clicked on over to the Truthful Labeling Coalition to check out what they had to say. The first thing they talk about is the stuff that gets injected into chicken. Ok, misleading, but what I really want to know about is the antibiotics, and that's under the issue tab. The buzz is ionophores. If you can figure out what those are...please let me know. Their point is not that anything in the chicken is bad, it's that the labeling is not trustworthy.
It frustrates me that I pay more based on what a label promises, only to find out that it's not true. So I took Monica's advice and followed her link to continue the search for a local purveyor of poultry (and other farm produce). It took a bit of browsing, but I found a few farms reasonably local to me that don't require the purchase of half a hog or similar quantities that would take up all the freezer space reserved for ice cream. One farmer invited me to bring the family and check out the farm. I wonder if I can trust a small farmer more than a big corporation?
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