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

Additional funds allocated to over-budget Cumberland fire hall design

Council approved the addition of $125,000 for pre-construction work

Local musicians inducted into Comox Valley Walk of Achievement

Seven local musicians have earned their spot among some of the Comox… Continue reading

North Island Hospital Comox Valley looking for funds to open fourth operating room

One of the priorities of the Comox Valley Hospital is to significantly… Continue reading

Increased accessibility an uphill battle for former Courtenay resident

Brian George wheeled himself up Ryan Road as part of his Halifax Oddesy Tour

Average Canadian family spends 43% of income on taxes: study

Fraser Institute’s consumer report shows taxes accounting for larger chunk of income each year

Big bucks for painting of small B.C. town

A 1965 painting of Ashcroft by E. J. Hughes exceeded its pre-auction estimate at a recent sale.

Column: Mother orca’s display of grief sends powerful message

The grief of this orca mother may not be visible anymore, but we must not forget.

Seven people with ties to Red Scorpions gang arrested in B.C. drug bust

Delta police have secured 94 charges against seven people, including drug and firearm offences

Second measles scare this summer at YVR

An infected traveller flew out of Vancouver’s airport three times

Judge OKs Weinstein suit, cites casting couch’s history

Actress Kadian Noble can sue disgraced Hollywood mogul for violating sex trafficking laws

Employers to raise salaries 2.6% on average next year: report

Firm points to factors such possibility of more trade protectionism, rising interest rates

B.C. school’s pledge to ban sex outside of heterosexual marriage now optional for students

Community convenant of Langley’s Trinity Western University has been centre of rights debate

Better Business Bureau open for Torch Award nominations

Deadline to nominate an amazing business or employee is Aug. 31

Most Read