Pastured vs Organic

 “You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of shaping the world your children will inherit. “                                               Joel Salatin

 

Every good endeavor starts with love. Our search for food that will nurture healthy lives for our children is one that many parents care deeply about.  We raise healthy children and they in turn, raise healthy children.  Two of our ten children were born with severe health challenges. I spent years investigating and developing knowledge on how to help them.  Food and natural high-quality supplements played a major part in their abilities to get better and lead normal lives.

Joel Salatin once said that, “You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of shaping the world your children will inherit.”  I agree! 

Every trend that starts to change the way we grow food as farmers and eat food as consumers starts with individual decisions. But choosing the right food for our families requires information. Let’s talk a bit about chickens today.  It’s a meat we can cook into a great variety of meals. As health-conscious consumers, we often look to organic cage-free poultry, but cage- free has many important differences from Pastured Poultry.

 

The chickenness of the chicken

 

Cage-free chickens are treated with many of the same quality-reducing methods found in conventional chickens as the focus is still on mass production. Chlorine baths to kill contaminates, routine injections of tenderizers and dyes to make the meat more visually appealing in a store, and no access to fresh greens or bugs that are a part of a chicken’s natural diet. These methods result in high saturated fat content and an overall poor, flat taste.

 

When a chicken has access to fresh living greens, is fed non-GMO grain, and processed humanely, it has a profound effect on flavor and nutrition. Pastured Poultry is raised to contain Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for child brain development and mental health and stability.  Intensely farmed chickens are devoid of this powerful ingredient.

 

The effect of a humane environment

 

The love of a farmer, extends past their family’s health to that of their animals. Humane treatment is not just to create great tasting food, it’s part of a worldview that seeks ethical farming practices and takes seriously our role of stewards of the earth and its animals.

Pastured Poultry are raised with fresh air and sunshine and lots of exercise, resulting in a low stress environment that helps them develop fully.  At McKerracher Family Farm, we raise our poultry in mobile shelters that we move daily to provide access to fresh pasture, unpolluted air and protection.

Even if chickens are cage free, that does not mean they are able to roam in a natural habitat. Although not in cages, most are still kept in cramped, stressful and artificial environments where fecal dust and lack of air and sunshine have significant effects on their quality and on the “chickenness” of their lives.

 

We encourage you to look further into the information differentiating conventional and cage-free poultry from Pastured Poultry. The more we learned, the more dedicated we became to providing healthy food for our family and neighbors and good lives for our animals.

 

To learn more about McKerracher Family Farm’s Pastured Poultry, click here.