Food Labels: Grain-Fed Chicken

Food Label Tag GreenThis term seems to be used quite a bit these days, especially on TV commercials. What does it really mean? Read on…

Excerpt from Ecoholic

“This label is meant to signal, ‘This bird wasn’t fed other birds or animals.’ The feds object to the label, saying the definition is too narrow and doesn’t account for supplements such as vitamins or even antibiotics. They prefer the more pointed ‘animal by-product-free’. Policing is the same as for antibiotic-free.”

According to

“All chickens in Canada are grain-fed so be assured that every time you buy chicken you’re getting a grain-fed bird. In Manitoba, farmers feed a blend of wheat and barley which gives the chicken skin and fat the white colour we’re accustomed to. In other parts of Canada, and in the USA, chickens eat more corn than wheat. Corn gives the skin and fat a yellow colour.”

However, according to a recent article in Canadian Running magazine

“‘Grain-fed’ is also a questionable term. Grain is the main ingredient of all chicken feed, including seeds and meal made from seeds, such as canola or soybean. All chickens in Canada are essentially grain-fed, but about 10 per cent of chicken feed is meat and fat. Since no one is monitoring whether farmers are giving chickens pure grain and seed feed or feed with animal by-product, you’d be smarter to buy organic rather than grain-fed chicken.”