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 1,051

 Organic, Local Chicken - worth it?

Now that I'm on mat leave, I want to do stuff like roast a whole chicken and then use the bones and stuff to make stock. So I'm looking at our local food delivery service, and they list a local, organic whole chicken, 2.5-3kg, for $32!! Now, I can get a *cooked* chicken at Safeway for $8.99, so what's the deal? I looked around a bit, and other local suppliers are a little cheaper, but not much, say $25.

So? Is this normal, and is it really that much better? Or is the benefit just the warm fuzzy feelings I should get from supporting my local farmers and such?
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 14 Apr 2012 11:47 PM
 13 Jan 2009
 Edmonton, AB
calligram
Fan
659
Another vote for Real Deal Meats...we buy all of our meat from them (although we are only 10 minutes away, so that helps!). www.realdealmeats.com

Slightly off-topic...
They also do ready-to-go stuff on Saturday nights that you can call ahead and place an order for - usually involving their smoker. This week was baby back ribs, next week is smoked beef brisket...and their smoked pulled pork is UNBELIEVABLE!! You can follow them on Twitter to find out what they're making each week.
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 14 Apr 2012 11:58 PM
 10 Nov 2009
annybanany
Fan
861
yes. totally and completely worth it. smile
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 15 Apr 2012 1:17 AM
 5 May 2007
 Hong Kong
airborne_mama
Postaholic
7,114
For me I absolutely pay more for non GMO, antibiotic and hormone free meat. Organic is something that is just generally tagged onto that mix. I have no issue with mass production per say as long as they have no antibiotics or hormones fed to the meat and are fed the proper food (ie no corn for cows)
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 15 Apr 2012 8:14 AM
 7 Apr 2009
 Toronto, ON
paradise08
Addict
4,382
Yes we buy free range anti-biotic and hormone free meat ALL THE TIME.

I do the same with the bones! I cook whole chicken in crock-pot. Meat literally falls off the bone. Then I make a huge pot of stick with bones and use it for soups and for stock in cooking. I freeze it.
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 15 Apr 2012 8:47 AM
 23 Jun 2007
 Tinseltown
Poulette
Postaholic
9,801
We didn't find it that worth it when we had our meat order from Nutrifarms, but growing up, my grandfather owned an abbatoir (which then passed down to my uncle) and as I recall all the products from it were competitively priced. His meats were organic and free-range before that was even a "thing." If you can find yourself a small farmer like that, it may be your best bet.

I still remember the taste of the meat off of my uncle's farm. Absolutely nothing compares to the taste of my Grand-Maman's summer stew - she had stewing beef with new potatoes and carrots from her garden. For dessert a roll cake with fresh mashed raspberry filling and raspberry coulis for dessert. Rasperries also from her garden. I am so, so sad that they don't own the farm anymore - I don't know if I can ever have that taste again.

Oh, and my grandfather and uncle made the best kielbassa and pepperettes.

PS: I originally typed "I still remember the taste of my uncle's meat" and then realized how wrong that sounded rofl
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 15 Apr 2012 9:54 AM
 13 Aug 2006
 Calgary, Alberta
cherryblossom
Postaholic
6,605
I find this helpful (from chicken.ca website):



Raised without Antibiotics
Raised without antibiotics on the label means that the chicken was not treated in any way with antibiotics. Chicken without this designation does not necessarily imply that antibiotics were used in raising them but if youre concerned, the best way to make sure is to opt for the product that specifically states antibiotic-free.

Hormone free
Though it is rare, some marketers still classify their chicken as hormone-free. Again, this is used as a marketing tactic, since all chicken raised in Canada has been raised without added hormones, and in fact the use of hormones in raising poultry has been banned in Canada since the 1960s.


Organic
Chicken that is sold as organic is raised to a specific standard as laid out by the Canadian General Standards Board, in addition to the standards set by a reputable organic certification board. Since these boards vary from province to province, there are slight differences in the rules for organic farming in different areas of the country. In general, organic chicken must be raised with certified organic feed that contains no animal by-products or antibiotics and any supplements, such as vitamins, must be approved by a certification body. For more on what organic means, take a look at our Understanding Organic section in On the Farm.


Free Range
The term free range has not been legally defined in either Canada or the U.S. but generally, it refers to poultry that has been permitted to graze or forage outdoors. Since there is no hard and fast definition of this term, we recommend speaking to your butcher or grocer about what exactly is meant by free range, especially when buying chicken in the winter or early spring as chickens cannot be raised outdoors in most Canadian winters.


Free Run
Free run is different than free range in that chickens do not necessarily need to be raised outside but they are required to be able to move around freely within the barn. Though there is no legal definition of this, all chickens raised for meat in Canada are considered free run.


Grain Fed
Since all chicken in Canada is given feed that consists of over 88% grain, this term is typically just used for marketing purposes. Chicken labeled as grain fed is stating the obvious, though some brands boast special types of grain, such as vegetarian grain.

Vegetarian Grain Fed
Vegetarian grain fed means that the feed given to the flock contains no animal by-products, which are often added to feed as a protein source. In these cases, the feed contains only vegetable protein such as soy, which can alter the flavour and colour of the meat. While chickens are omnivores, chickens can be raised on vegetarian feed, as long as an appropriate protein level is achieved.

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 15 Apr 2012 11:55 AM
 18 Aug 2006
trish9907
Chatterbox
373
Check out this CBC marketplace episode
Superbugs in the supermarket

ETA: it's 22 min - you can skip to the end to see the results of tests on the chicken samples from supermarkets
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 15 Apr 2012 12:37 PM
 14 Jul 2009
 Ottawa
BandAidChik
Postaholic
9,318
You should be able to find a chicken that's better than the mass produced supermarket stuff for less than $32. We go to a local butcher that works with local farmers when we want a roaster. They're about $12 and as the PP said the flavour does not compare to the 'ready to go' supermarket specials. There's a richness to it that you just don't get now a days.

That being said, I love using the 'ready to go' stuff when it's not being just eaten by itself. They're great for building sandwiches with, putting in soups etc.
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 15 Apr 2012 2:44 PM
 13 Aug 2006
 Calgary, Alberta
cherryblossom
Postaholic
6,605
One random commenter on a CBC article mentioned that non-antibiotic chicken is so much more expensive because so many of them die from illness. Wonder if there is any truth to that?
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 15 Apr 2012 2:54 PM
 10 Apr 2012
Ginger Kitty
New Member
29
That would for sure be true. Especially any poultry that is even semi-mass produced because they are are so tightly packed together. There is a lot of loss even in antibiotic chickens.
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 15 Apr 2012 4:17 PM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
It's also apparently really, really hard to find chicks that aren't born with some antibiotics resistance. Or at least, I heard that once from a non-scientific source (news article, I believe). I wonder if it's true.
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 15 Apr 2012 4:20 PM
 13 Aug 2006
 Calgary, Alberta
cherryblossom
Postaholic
6,605
Kind of makes me not want to eat meat at all.
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 15 Apr 2012 7:22 PM
 5 May 2007
 Hong Kong
airborne_mama
Postaholic
7,114
Cow are giving hormones (different ones than in the states but still hormones) and antibiotics in Canada and I'm 80% sure they are corn fed as well. I think (although I'm too lazy to google) that chicken in canada and the states is fed GMO feeds and are something GM themselves. Not sure on that in Canada though.
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 15 Apr 2012 10:03 PM
 30 Dec 2011
Mrs. DLR
Chatterbox
445
This might be a silly question but I watched the marketplace video and HOW do bacteria get on the chicken in the first place?
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 15 Apr 2012 11:04 PM
 18 Jul 2006
Dazed
Postaholic
8,516
The more you know:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/vet/faq/g...lateurs-eng.php

Cattle in Canada can be corn fed but often aren't (or they are only finished on corn) because it's still not super-crazy-cheap-and-pleantiful like it is in the States. This may have changed recently but all the cattle producers I talked to in the last 5 years still aren't using it much and use alternatives, like fed-quality grains or the by-product from ethanol plants and hay or whatever for the majority of their feed. It's possible this will change in the near future since the Americans are always looking for more places to dump the excess corn they subsidize their farmers to grow.

As Michael Pollan put it, there's [censored] in the food. It's my understanding that bacteria most commonly gets in food when it's being processed. Basically, you kill something, it poops everywhere and things aren't cleaned properly because it's all rush-rush-rush. Then again, living conditions (living among the poop) can lead to bacterial introduction, too. It can get into the meat because bacteria live in all creatures and if those bacteria are bad bacteria they may not harm the living chicken by may harm things that eat that chicken. There may be other ways for it to be introduced but those are the two I've heard of.
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 16 Apr 2012 6:50 AM
 22 Apr 2008
 Edmonton, AB
sailtothemoon
Addict
4,238
So I bought myself an organic chicken. I figured out that the $32 one was just really large. I got one for $20 but the price per kg was about the same.

I thought it was delicious! So much nicer than the $8.99 chickens. I roasted it with some vegetables and put a lemon and some bay leaves inside. But DH is one of those people who is obsessed about undercooked meat, and to him, the outside of the chicken looked pink. Not the inside. He conceded that the inside was obviously cooked. But the skin wasn't that dark dark brown like the Safeway chickens. So he wouldn't touch it. Ugh. Such a waste!
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 31 Oct 2012 11:59 PM
 30 Apr 2012
 buzzle.ca
buzzle
New Member
0

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