In the past few days, Consumer Reports came out with an analysis of commercial chicken contamination. Despite the fact that commercial chickens are dunked in bleach, the majority of them tested still had dangerous bacteria. Was there any good news? Yes, air-chilled chicken had less. Organic chicken had almost none. Studies in cattle have shown that pasture-raising decreases dangerous bacteria both because of how the cattle are raised and what they eat. It looks like now the same is true for chickens. No doubt too the careful handling that small processors give their chickens in the butchering process helps reduce contamination too. If you want to see the New York Times Well piece, go here. The full Consumer Reports article is here.
If you have not found a good source for local, pasture-raised, farmer-certified organic poultry, try using the Locally Grown network. I have been so pleased with every bird we’ve gotten from Falling Sky Farm in Marshall, Arkansas. The birds are packaged beautifully, the organs have healthy color, and the birds themselves just taste better. For more on your options wherever you are located, see here.