Many people are turning to chicken as a healthier alternative to red meat, but depending on the wholesomeness of the chicken, that just might not be the case.
It’s all about the quality of the chicken- what they are fed and their living conditions play an important part.
Compassion in World Farming reports that most people think of chicken as a lean, healthy protein. But new studies show up to 96% of chickens may now suffer from muscular disorders, resulting in up to 224% higher fat!
With so much (mis)information and so many confusing food labels out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.
We broke it down, item by item, to help you choose food that’s better for the animals, the planet, and your health.
According to the organization, pieces of chicken that have stripes of white fat running through the meat could be not only bad, but dangerous to consume.
WHAT’S GOING ON WITH CHICKEN?
For the past decade, Americans have been eating less meat overall–but chicken consumption is actually on the rise. To meet the high demand for white breast meat, chickens have been genetically manipulated to grow too big, too fast, while living sedentary lives on crowded, dirty factory farm floors.
The chickens have changed—and the meat has, too.
New scientific studies show that more and more of today’s chickens have muscle tissue disorders, caused by fast-growth genetics and factory farm living conditions. The two most frequently seen disorders are known as “woody breast” and “white striping,” and these conditions seriously impact the quality of meat: we’re talking more fat, less protein, and a tough, gummy texture that can be difficult to chew.
The muscle disorders in chickens are similar to Muscular Dystrophy in humans, which means that affected chickens experience chronic pain and suffering for most of their lives.
Factory farming is a cheap way to produce a lot of chicken, but it has gone too far.
Fortunately, there is a solution. Download our Food Guide to cut through the noise, learn the labels, and identify what to look for at the supermarket. We’re calling on food businesses to offer chickens:
- Healthier genetics
- More space
- Natural light
- Enriched environments to encourage natural behavior
- Compliance with a meaningful third party animal welfare certification and annual reporting
Some companies have already committed to better chicken, such as Whole Foods Market, Panera, Starbucks, and Chipotle–and you can join our Better Chicken Initiative to ask even more companies to change their chicken. Because animals, and consumers, deserve better.
For more detailed information, read our white paper: Declining nutritional value of factory farmed chicken.
Compassion in World Farming released a video on YouTube aiming to educate the public about “white stripes” they may see in raw chicken.