Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Perdue Chicken

I was recently asked about the safetly and authenticity concerning supposedly "all-natural" Perdue chicken. Since I myself did not know the answer, I looked into the issue.

According to Perdue's website, they do not inject their chickens with hormones or antibiotics, and according the packaging label, they do not use artificial preservatives or additives either.

Their chickens are fed corn, soybeans, grains and vitamins and minerals. These chickens are not free-range, but are bred and grown at large farms contracted with Perdue. We can assume from the fact that the poultry is not injected with antibiotics that their living environments and food are relatively clean and safe. However, this does not mean that they are necessarily raised in open barns or farm yards.

According to Jordan Rubin in The Maker's Diet and Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, the best poultry options are always either certified organic or (especially) free-range chicken. The diet of free-range chicken produces additional vitamins and nutrients not found in barn-raised chickens fed solely on corn, soy and grains, even if they are organic. Therefore free-range poultry is always the most beneficial, as are free-range eggs.

However, if your budget does not allow you to purchase free-range poultry, Perdue is at least a better option than other commercially-raised chicken.

In addition, Harris Teeter now offers bags of frozen organic chicken breasts (5 pk.) in their freezer section for $12.99, a very reasonable price for organic chicken. Harris Teeter also carries organic free-range whole chickens in their meat/poultry cooler section.


Fayna said...

Perdue chickens are actually fed the antibiotic Bacitracin (also a growth drug).

"What about chickens labeled ''no growth hormones used''? That is just stating the obvious. Although the Agriculture Department has approved the use of growth hormones in beef, it has not sanctioned their use in veal, pork or poultry. But drugs, as opposed to hormones, are another matter. Bacitracin, an antibiotic that is also a growth drug, is part of the feed of many young chickens, including those of Perdue and Bell & Evans. The Agriculture Department, while acknowledging that bacitracin can be a growth drug, characterizes it as an antibiotic, which processors contend are necessary to eliminate disease."


Organic Fanatic said...

This is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this knowledge with us, Fayna.

It is always so hard to know how to make wise choices when shopping, especially for meat and fowl.

TimP said...

If you really want to eat organic chicken, get to know local farmers. Find the free range egg layers and you can usually buy the chicken quite cheaply after it stops laying eggs. A guy i work with has free range chickens on his land and he sells me chickens for a buck each. Yeah, thats right, $1.00 for a free range, organic chicken. I just have to kill it myself. Have you ever tasted fresh organic chicken?

Monkeyman said...

That article from Fanya is from 1996. Perdue is the second best to organic. Period. They use no antibiotics in their current productions of chickens.