When you enter the supermarket, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We are often bombarded by a huge number of different options, and these days there’s two of everything since the organic fad has hit the mainstream. Suddenly everything comes in regular and organic, and we have to decide which direction we want to go. So should you buy organic chicken? Or should you stay with the regular, mass produced type that is usually much, much cheaper? In today’s article we take a look at where you should spend your dollar, and help you make the right, smart choice.
First, let’s look at what the organic label implies. Organic chicken growers are legally prohibited from using sewage as fertilizer, any synthetic chemicals not approved by the National Organic Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and or any genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). This only goes of chickens that are specifically labeled as organic, however. What this means is that the meat will not contain any artificial or synthetic elements that your grandparents would not have been eating when they were kids.
Further, buying organic means that the chickens were raised in humane conditions, which in turn means they were not packed into tight quarters with each other. What this means for you and society at large is that it helps prevent the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria which tend to proliferate in these circumstances. Growers in these conditions tend to pump the chickens full of anti-biotics, but this only makes the bacteria more resistant. “USDA Organic” chickens are allowed to go outside, and are not given antibiotics.
Finally, organic means healthier, in that studies have shown that organic meat contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Omega 3’s are the miracle supplement that helps reduce inflammation, the risk of heart disease and a host of other benefits, while eating organic chickens can also greatly reduce your chance of food poisoning. In 2010, a study found that fewer than 6% of organic chicken products were infected with salmonella, while almost 39% of regular chicken products were.
So which should you buy, regular chicken at half the price, or the more expensive organic chicken? The truth is that from a nutritional point of view there’s not too much difference, but from a health point of view the smart money is clearly on your buying organic, both for your own sake and that of the chicken’s.
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