Confused about what all the terms mean on chicken labels these days? Take a look.
Air-chilled: Carcass was subjected to cold air and mist, designed to inhibit microbial growth. The alternative is dipping carcasses in icy chlorinated water, which can cause cross-contamination if improperly managed.
Free-farmed: The American Humane Association verified that the chickens were raised in a healthful environment and had access to enough clean food and water.
Free-range, free roaming: Poultry has had access to the outdoors, even if the means only that the door to the chicken house was left open briefly each day.
Fresh: The bird’s internal temperature has never dropped below 24 degrees F. Still, the chicken may be slightly frozen.
Kosher: The chicken was prepared according to Jewish dietary laws. Salt was added as part of the process.
Natural: No artificial ingredients, preservatives, or colors were added. The bird was “minimally processed” in a way that did not fundamentally alter the raw product.
No antibiotics administered, raised without antibiotics: Don’t assume this was verified unless you also see “USDA organic”.
No hormones: Pointless. The USDA prohibits the use of hormones in raising poultry.
USDA organic: A USDA-accredited certifier has checked that the chicken company followed standards including: chickens were raised without antibiotics, ate 100 percent organic feed without animal byproducts, and could go outdoors (though they may not have).
For more about labels, see. www.eco-labels.org.
- Organic Grown Produce – What Does This Really Mean? (survivalfarm.wordpress.com)