Shoppers are starting to really fine-tune their diets and closely critique the things that they put on their plates. Organic has become a bit of a buzzword, it is important to note that there is not a lot of strict regulation as to what qualifies as organic and what doesn’t, but there are inherent advantages to buying organic chicken that you should know.
The reasons to buy organic chicken over non-organic, GMO chicken are many, even when you discount the opinions as to which ultimately tastes better. You should buy organic chicken if you care about: your health, the chicken’s health before slaughter, and the environment’s health.
We’ll break each one of these health concerns down and how they compare between organic and non-organic chicken.
Again, the organic label isn’t a comprehensive test that all farmers must pass in order to use the label, which is why you often see class-action lawsuits for those who try to be sneaky about their claims. What it does do, though, is set a standard for farmers to follow, which encourages healthier practices for their business. After all, organic eaters are accustomed to higher-quality food.
There isn’t any extensive research to prove organic chicken is nutritionally healthier, but the fact that organic farmers use more nutritionally dense feed, which produces better meat, automatically means that more nutrients are being absorbed over grain-fed chickens.
Antibiotics and Hormones
In order for non-organic chicken farms to exist in their perpetual growth and “factory farm” conditions, they have to utilize large amounts of antibiotics and growth hormones in tandem. The antibiotics are required to keep the chickens from getting sick and dying off of, literally, their own feces and their neighbors who live 2 inches away from them on all sides. It’s an unnatural system that calls for unnatural solutions to keep the money flowing.
Like the hormones that keep the chickens plump and fat to the point of absurdity, the antibiotics that are constantly flowing in the chicken’s blood will ultimately end up on the dinner table and in our own system. These drugs only provide a training ground for bacteria to play in and become resistant to. The vast majority of antibiotic-resistant bacteria comes from the meat and poultry industry.
The USDA explicitly prohibits the use of both growth hormones and antibiotics for organic meat and poultry. One of the major reasons behind the push for organic labeling over the past decade.
Organically raised chicken produce a lot of waste. We’re talking tons and tons of waste, which is mixed into a hellish cocktail of antibiotic and hormonal drugs that either end up in the ground water, rivers, lakes, or the oceans. Now, illegal dumping is strictly prohibited, but the idea of investigating, let alone penalizing the agricultural industry is frightening, or even laughable to some. The only way to make an immediate impact on the pollution and contamination created from industrial farming is to go organic.
Organically raised chicken not only forgoes the environmental impact of contamination, it also sets a standard for ethical treatment of life. Chickens that live in non-organic spaces are sentenced to live in a cage that is only large enough to allow them to breathe, essentially. Organic farmers must abide by USDA standards that allow chickens to go outside every day to groom and exercise.