I wanted to make chicken soup this week. I always use a whole chicken to make it. So, I went to the store with the intention of buying an organic/free-range bird, but they were $13 and $14! Right next to them were the regular chickens priced around $4.00, not per pound, but for the whole chicken. I bought the cheaper bird and now it's in the pot. I am not feeling great about cooking it!
So, how much do you pay for whole organic/free-range chickens?? Was my (Fred Meyer) store off it's rocker for selling so high?? And is it so much better to buy an organic chicken over a non-organic one??
I believe it is WAY better to buy organic and free range! My local health food store which is in a conservative little town sells Hutterite chickens for $1.99/lb. They are not certified organic, but the chickens dont get any hormones, antibiotics, etc and they are free range.
I found a local farmer who sells her own organic (not certified) local free-range heritage breed chickens for $9 each, so you might be able to find a better price by looking for someone local to you who raises chickens.
I only see organic whole chickens for $15 - 25 in grocery stores. Sometimes you can find someone local to buy them for less. We used to get them for $1.99 a pound from a farmer friend but that was about ten years ago! It is better to buy organic but sometimes you just can't. Every family has to find their own balance, priorities and reality with that question. When our three kids were little we could buy an organic locally raised chicken and it would easily make 3 or 4 meals for our family. Now we have teens in the house and that same chicken will disappear in a matter of minutes when I put it on the table. I would love to feed them organic meat all the time but I also want to be able to provide all of the other food they need too! We don't serve meat very often since half of our family is vegetarian and the meat eaters don't eat a lot of it anyway so I buy organic when I can and I don't worry so much when I can't. When I start to stress about it I remind myself what a privileged thing it is to be able to worry about.
I pay $9.00 (set price) for a 3-5lb an organic bird that is fed a NON-soy diet.
organic does not mean healthy to me when it comes to poultry, many "organic" birds (mostly grocery store brands) are feed soy- I would contact the companies in your grocery store and maybe even go with a non-organic that is feed a corn diet-but that is our preference
if you have a source for eggs I would ask them (this is where I get my stewing hens) many egg people know of others that are raising roasters - I also found my eggs via craig's list and you could post a wanted ad there as well as talk your local farm support organization for your county or state
ETA - I am in PA, I would expect west cost to be higher (seems most of your things are) but really should not be THAT much higher
I'm really shocked at prices some people pay for eggs- I get mine cheap 1-2.50 a dozen or $3.99 for grocery store organic
I would think demand would lower the price but in some areas it doesn't seem to be the case?????
grocery store organic parts for chicken last week were 1.99lb (legs and thighs) for me and a $2.00 coupon on the $3.99lbs packs (breasts in those)
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Wow, thanks for all the great feedback. Out of curiosity, I called our local butcher and local, free-range birds go for between $20 and $25. I think I will seek out other local sources.
And, I didn't feel good about serving the regular chicken yesterday. Lesson learned. For as often as I buy a whole chicken, which is hardly ever, it will be worth the extra money to buy it without the hormones, etc.
For a truly organic, pastured bird (because mainstream "free range means almost nothing) the cheapest I can find is $4/lb, direct from a local farmer, and that is if I buy more than 15 at a time (some friends and I go in on it together). A 4 lb chicken costs me $16, a 5lb bird costs $20.
At our local food coop they sell similar chicken for a whopping $7 a pound. I just can't do that: $28 for a chicken is nits, IMO.
I just bought an organic, free range chicken at our farmers market for $12.20 ($3.50/lb). I think it's worth it since we can use it for several meals.
I used to buy regular chickens at the grocery store for much cheaper, and like the PP, I also didn't feel that great about it. Unfortunatly, local free range chickens weren't available where we used to live. We moved this summer and now have a lot more options for local food.