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Worth it? What's the difference between natural & organic chicken?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I am confused by the natural and organic labels on chicken. Is the difference only that organic ones are fed organic feed? My natural chicken says no hormones, antibiotics, all vegetarian, etc.
post #2 of 14
I think you're right - organic vs. non-organic feed.

I do think though - as far as nutritional value is concerned, free-range/pastured chickens are your best bet.
post #3 of 14
non-organic feed is most likely gmo soy and corn, unless they say otherwise.
post #4 of 14
Pastured is much better, imo. For one thing, chickens are NOT vegetarians by nature. For the best chicken health, pastured (not just free range) chickens are the way to go since they get to eat all the yummy bugs and stuff that they would naturally choose to eat.
post #5 of 14
It only means they were fed organic food vs conventional GMO corn/soy. Not that they were treated any better or had a chance to eat bugs & such (what chickens are supposed to). Whether its worth the extra price or not depends on how comfy you are with GMO...
post #6 of 14
my understanding is natural is a marketing term and not regulated by anything. So it can say it is a, b, and c, but there is no backing for it. But organic is regulated.



http://www.organiclisa.com/2009/07/n...s-organic.html
post #7 of 14
i've only had organic chicken (it was pastured) twice and it was soooo good, i would never want reg. chicken again.
post #8 of 14
natural doesn't mean anything......just marketing
post #9 of 14
What is the difference between pastured and free range?

When we get chickens they wil have a little 25x40ft yard (for 4 birds). Is that not enough?
post #10 of 14
I kept asking people at Sprouts what their "Natural" label entailed and no one ever seemed to know. It says on the package that there are "no added solutions or antibiotics" which is marketing fluff. I'm glad there isn't added solution, but no meat in the US contains antibiotics when it gets to the store. Right up to slaughter, sure, but not after! Yes, very reassuring. Not! I would never pay extra for natural, because like a PP wrote, it doesn't mean anything.

ETA I buy pastured chicken from a rancher and it def tastes better, but the bird is 1/2 the size of what I'm used to seeing at the store and almost 3x the price. It's worth it to me, but only because it's in my budget. If it weren't, I'd go to natural.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
What is the difference between pastured and free range?

When we get chickens they wil have a little 25x40ft yard (for 4 birds). Is that not enough?
Free range chickens have access to the outdoors but don't necessarily go outside (or something like that). Pastured chickens actually run around outside, eat bugs and live a life close to what nature intended.

We do pastured chickens around here. The best way to do it (and to get the best price) is to find someone who has some property and raises chickens (be sure to check out the feed, conditions, etc.) and then buy what you need for the year at the time they slaughter. This requires freezer space but that way you get healthy chicken at a decent price.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
Free range chickens have access to the outdoors but don't necessarily go outside (or something like that). Pastured chickens actually run around outside, eat bugs and live a life close to what nature intended.

We do pastured chickens around here. The best way to do it (and to get the best price) is to find someone who has some property and raises chickens (be sure to check out the feed, conditions, etc.) and then buy what you need for the year at the time they slaughter. This requires freezer space but that way you get healthy chicken at a decent price.
So you forse the chickens outside and then they are pastured? vs. giving them the option to be in or out? That seems like a silly distinction.

I will have to look into buying a bunch all at once. We currently buy conventional chickem for DH because we can't justify the cost. I would love to find a way to get it cheaper. My mom has a huge deep freeze that we could store them in.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyLee View Post
So you forse the chickens outside and then they are pastured? vs. giving them the option to be in or out? That seems like a silly distinction.

I will have to look into buying a bunch all at once. We currently buy conventional chickem for DH because we can't justify the cost. I would love to find a way to get it cheaper. My mom has a huge deep freeze that we could store them in.
No, you don't force them to be outside- chickens naturally want to be outside. "Free-range" chickens are kept forced to be inside for such a long time that they then generally don't realize when they are then given the option to go outside, so never do go outside. The grass is there, albeit a small patch, however they aren't generally ever on it. And the chickens raised on small family farms who do pastured poultry give their chicks access to grass and such and rotate them daily so that no one spot becomes wore down. There is a HUGE difference in the nutritional quality in the chickens that actually eat grass as opposed to those who just eat the grains.

If it is the choice between store organic and conventional I am not sure it is worth it for organic. They are both still raised in a lousy and nasty environment.
post #14 of 14
I like the taste of organic better but the expense is not worth it to my family at this time. Sometimes i will see it at a super price and buy it but it just isn't possible every time.
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