Our own health and the health of the members of our family is the number one worry and aim in our lives. In the struggle to preserve or restore it, we constantly choose what to consume, and what to avoid.
We have reached a stage where we realize and understand the importance of natural and foods without chemicals, grass-based meat, and wild sea food. The same principles hold true for chicken, so it’s important that we consume chicken that is given natural feed.
The difference between the commonly produced chicken and naturally fed chicken is huge, the latter being better in taste and quality, of course.
Benefits of naturally-fed chicken
What many of us may not be aware of is that anything that’s labeled “natural”, including chicken, does not have to always fulfill these minimal standards. There can be certain variations.
There are some minimal standards to what products can be called natural or organic. GMO products include any kind of organisms or anything that involves changes due to genetic biotechnology. Those who raise natural chickens cannot use GMO products, artificial chemical additives, or waste water mud as fertilizer.
Reports made after certain research studies conducted in the Netherlands promote that chickens fed on natural feed have their small intestines developing in different way compared to the ones which are fed normally.
The 2 types of groups were also compared in one recent study and the results were quite interesting. It was discovered that 49 genes worked differently in the genetic expression of the chickens. While only 7 genes help process cholesterol, 30 of them were found to be involved.
An interesting view was given in a popular book on the subject as well. Namely, the author states that “natural” should not allow the use and propagation of micro-organisms which are able to fight antibiotics.
At industrial lever, when chickens are reared in confined environments, they are naturally going to be affected by microorganisms and “corporate” farmsteads cannot do without giving antibiotics to their “unnatural” chickens. This leads to the evolution of micro-organisms which become immune to antibiotics.
In addition, naturally-fed chicken have 38 percent additional omega-3 fatty acids, as show by research, which are shown to be good for heart health.
Moreover, traditional chickens contain high level of salt, water, and chemical additives for improving taste and moisture. As a result, they have sodium beyond the level recommended for human consumption.
Another difference is shown in cases of infections; namely, organic food has also been discovered to be helpful in reducing any chances of poisoning. Only 6 percent of naturally-fed chickens are found to suffer from salmonella infection, while 39 percent of traditional chickens are discovered to have this infection.
It is important to know that chickens can take as much as 30 percent of their calories from grass. The kind of food they eat in fact affects their health and bodily composition. When the chicken is pastured, it has fed on grasslands, consuming plants rich in nutrition, bugs, worms and seeds.
So next time you go to buy chicken, make sure that it is “pastured” and not just “natural”. It doesn’t mean it is safe only by the fact that it is labeled as “organic”. “Natural” chickens contain more omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. At the same time, organic/pastured eggs contain more vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventional eggs.
To conclude, for your safety and in order to enjoy most nutritional benefits, always make sure to buy only genuine ‘pastured’ chicken.