Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Year's Resolutions: Part 1

Well, it might be a little late to write about New Year resolutions since January is almost half over, but... oh well. I'm gonna do it anyway! After watching Food Inc., I decided I was going to try to do even better with our family's food supply. Starting with our meat. The information that I learned about how commercial poultry is raised was particularly disturbing to me. So I'm starting there! I used to buy Tyson, Purdue, and other big name brands of chicken. When we started to go more natural with our food, I was delighted that these same brands provided a "natural" alternative! Yay!

But wait. Read the package closely. What makes it "all natural"? When I took a closer look, I noticed that there was nothing on the package that said, "No antibiotics, No growth hormones, Not cloned, ect.". It just claimed to be natural- no more information! Usually these "natural" products were priced a little higher, so I was dissapointed that I was duped by this scam. But you live, you learn, right?

So I set out in search of a better chicken...

We don't have a Trader Joes or a decent co-op in our area. We do have ONE Whole Foods Market, but it is an hour drive, one way. There are some family farms that offer natural, free range chickens, but the price was a little out of our budget. The main source of shopping in our area is Walmart and a few limited grocery stores, which aren't usually stocked with natural foods. However, when you look really hard, sometimes you have some luck!

At our local Reasor's, I found a brand called Smart Chicken. Which claims to be hormone and antibiotic free, and naturally raised. They also offer an organic option. I have not tried this one yet.

At Target, I found a brand called Bare Natural. They have all the necessary requirements on their label as well. I have tried this brand several times when I found it super cheap on sale.

At Walmart, my mom found a brand called HarvestLand. This has been my favorite option, so far. It is truly all natural and it is raised on small farms (where the chickens are allowed to see the sunlight!). And it fits within our budget! I got whole chickens in this brand for $1.98 per pound! Compared to the local farm chickens that are $5.99 per pound, that is a good deal (although I would love to support these local farms, we just can't afford it right now. But I plan to keep looking for a better deal)!

So, I had to do some looking around but I managed to find a naturally healthy chicken that didn't have unusually large breasts for a decent price! Yay! That's one resolution- done!

(I'll let you know what I did with my whole chicken later. I'm a white meat girl, so a whole chicken was a challenge for me. But I managed to use every last bit of it!)

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