Tuesday, September 4, 2012
The food I eat comes up in conversation routinely. For starters, I'm eating in a school cafeteria, which means that the food I eat is foreign to a lot of the students. At the teachers' table, I eat quite differently from many of the other teachers. There are a variety of levels of healthy eating at our table. We tend to notice what the other is eating, what smells good, etc. Two of the people I regularly talk food with and swap clean eating ideas are great company. I'm pretty sure the rest of the staff thinks I'm nutty for my choices, but let's be honest, we're all middle school teachers and therefore all nutty. One of these people is a chicken farmer. I was talking to him about meat, because that's what I feel like I know the least about in embarking on my 30 days on the plate goal. I'm trying to research, but what with teaching full-time and working on my masters full-time, I'm a tad bit busy. :) Anyway, I was talking to this chicken farmer about meat.
Maybe I just totally missed this, but it's illegal to feed chickens (or inject chicken with) hormones. So, when you're at the grocery store, and the only difference in the chicken on sale for 1.98/ lb and the chicken that has a label that says "no hormones" is about 6 bucks a pound, don't waste your money. Just watch out for the antibiotics. As I'm learning seems to be healthiest for both the animals and the people who eat them, as well as what provides best flavor, grass-fed or "pastured" chicken has a consensus in my research as being the 'cleanest.'
The chicken farmer and I had a candid conversation about meat and how far to go with the "clean" eating. It was both enjoyable and informative for me. We talked extensively about the lack of regulations for labels such as "free range/ free roaming." There really aren't any in many of these 'clean eating' categories, so you can't be sure of what you're buying, how humanely it's raised, and truly what it's fed without doing more research. Here is a link to Food Labeling for Dummies.
This is my new bedtime reading material.
In Musings of a Housewife, I read that for buying pastured chicken,
You can find farmers who sell direct on EatWild.com. Prices run you anywhere from $2.25 to $3.50 a pound for pastured chicken. The best case scenario is to buy in bulk; you can usually get a discount for purchasing that way, and chickens are only harvested in the summer months so it’s a good idea to stock up for the winter when they’re available.