Friday, July 16, 2010

soapbox - ingredients vs. ingredients

You are aware that I raised some broilers this spring for my husband, well I decided to cook one for him the other night, and here's where the story begins....

Because I was curious and wanted his opinion I wanted to do a side be side comparison, not that I had any doubt that my pastured and organically raised chicken would come out on top, but I wanted to show him the difference, I don't eat meat, haven't in over 20 years, so I could not be the "guinea pig" but I'd heard that home grown meat was a bit tougher; not like shoe leather, just not limp like supermarket chicken. So I cooked one chicken breast from the supermarket and the homegrown broiler and had him try them. He said the home grown chicken was "GOOD!" But the real story and now my soapbox for the day is this. I placed the wrapper to the chicken in the trash upside down (don't worry, it was taken out shortly after) and walked away, back to the cooking chicken. A short while later I threw something else out in the trash and just happened to glance down at the trash and see the back side of the 'supermarket' chicken. I'd never actually looked at it, didn't ever cross my mind that there would be an ingredient list for a package of boneless skinless chicken breast!!!! I pulled it out of the trash to look at and it and read the ingredients for said boneless skinless chicken breast. At the bottom of the list it had a phone number to call with questions, I wonder if that phone number ever gets used, not once have I ever read an ingredient list for chicken but have never called about it either and I wondered if anybody ever had. I've got a good mind to do just that, but how does one tactfully ask "Why is there xanthan gum, carageenan, 'natural flavor', etc. in my chicken breast?" Better yet, how does one truthfully (yeah right from a huge food giant?!) answer that?! Then I was reading Joel Salatin's book, You Can Farm this morning; about raising pastured poultry in fact; and came across a section of the book that said, ..."when TIME magazine reports that roughly 10 percent of the weight of supermarket chicken is fecal soup."... (Guess the big food giant decided to leave that off the ingredient list, likely figuring it might turn people off to eating it huh?) So I decided to show the ingredients from my chicken vs, their chicken and do a side by side comparison for you too.

One organically raised pastured cornish rock cross. (This picture was taken a few weeks prior to harvest.)
Dressed and ready to go, rub down with olive oil, salt and pepper,
Add a sprig or two of rosemary, (grown in my garden of course!) under the skin and in the cavity,

place in rotisserie and cook for appropriate amount of time. Seriously, that's it, nothing else, nothing I cannot pronounce or know what it is, ie. 'natural flavor' if it's natural why is it added to the chicken? Isn't chicken flavor by itself natural and enough? Truth be told I would not be at all surprised if it were MSG.
'supermarket chicken' ingredients, yum!
So there you have it, the story I've been wanting to post for days now but with this ancient computer so near death it's been difficult to do anything with much less blog on and post pictures as well. UGH! I'd love to hear your thoughts on this subject, makes you want to run right out and buy some 'supermarket chicken' huh?


  1. Wow, I think this post has helped inspired me to try the broilers next year. This was the first year we switched off the supermarket "beef" and onto a real "I'll take THAT one" side of steer with amazingly delicious results. If we were able to do it for beef, then we should try for chicken too. Thank you for a post like this!

  2. This is SO ironic. I was JUST talking to my daughter, who is a vegetarian, about the meat in our freezer - beef and pork from a local friend/farmer, and said "the only meat I don't buy locally is chicken, but I COULD start getting it from xxx." As of this moment, I am TOTALLY going to do that. Fecal soup. OMG. GROSS.

  3. they say things happen but chance.... I don't think so...... I'm SO glad to hear you are going to start getting it locally, way to go!

  4. Ok - guess I'll try broilers again next year and we may be eating far LESS chicken than normal this year. BLAH! The more you share - the more I consider going vegetarian. Vegan was tough. ;-)

  5. I guess since I'm the one who got to eat it, I just post something. The chicken was very good. I was worried about texture, but it was not an issue whatsoever. The flavor and lack of any fat made it even better. I've "met my meat" and I like it! Thank you Twistie for raising them for me.


So what's the view from your world about that? I'd enjoy hearing it.