The truth behind chicken labelling

Your health: Heather McWilliam

Heather McWilliam

Special to The Record

In my last column, we looked at how the various appellations of eggs can be subject to interpretation. The same applies to meat birds.

First of all, poultry can be “organic,” “free-from” or neither of those two options. Organic chickens receive 100 per cent organic feed and are raised under strict husbandry standards. “Free-from” poultry are hormone- and antibiotic-free. But as all chicken in Canada is raised without the use of hormones, the term is a bit misleading.

Other terms used to define poultry generally refer to their living conditions:

• Free-run poultry are kept in large buildings and can roam freely within the enclosure. The most economically viable product, typically birds are smaller and younger when processed.

• Free-range birds have access to the outdoors through a grass, dirt or concrete enclosure connected to a barn. As anyone who keeps chickens knows, however, it doesn’t take long for birds to turn a grassy field into a barren moonscape, so their meat doesn’t receive as much nutritional benefit as pastured poultry.

Pastured poultry live in large, mobile enclosures that allow them to continually eat fresh grass and bugs, in addition to their grain feed, yet still offer protection from predators. Access to fresh grass can increase the dietary benefits of the meat, including more omega-3s, vitamins (A, C and E), beta-carotene and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA, a powerful antioxidant). The fat on pastured poultry actually gets a yellowish tinge because of the extra beta-carotene from all the sun and grass.

Regardless of their label, all poultry producers in Canada must meet care and cleanliness standards and undergo regular audits – so feel free to enjoy some wings this weekend without worry!

 

 

Heather and Allen McWilliam, of Tannadice Farms, produce some of the freshest, most healthful meats on Vancouver Island. To learn more, visit www.tannadicefarms.com or call 250-338-8239.

 

Just Posted

MARS receives the gift of an X-ray machine

Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay donated the machine and processing machine to MARS

Habitat for Humanity opens four more homes in Comox Valley

Area chapter finishes eight homes during one year for first time

Kingfisher Resort unveils spectacular winter light display

A must this winter season is the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa’s… Continue reading

Nearly 200 people participate in annual Jingle Bell Run at Seal Bay Park

The Comox Valley Road Runners held their annual Jingle Bell Charity Fun… Continue reading

Opening day delayed at Mount Washington

Dec. 6 was set as opening day but will now be delayed due to lack of snow.

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

Courtenay council approves third reading for apartment proposal

Courtenay council has approved third reading of a zoning amendment that would… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read