The Truth About Chicken

I recently read the cover story “The high cost of cheap chicken” in the February 2014 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine.  In short, the article details the ‘high costs’ of the large scale ‘cheap’ production of chicken in the United States–bacterial contamination of chicken and the increase of antibiotic-resistant ‘super bugs.’  The full article is available online on


Courtesy of Consumer Reports

Part of the article discussed the misconceptions about labels on chicken sold in grocery stores.  I was shocked to learn that trendy marketing key words were just as prevalent in the chicken industry as they were in cosmetics and other foods, albeit it should not have been much of a surprise.  The above infographic details the labels used on chicken and their validity, if any.  It should be noted, as it was in Consumer Reports, the differing prices of chicken (and eggs) based on these terms.  Should you really pay $2+ more for eggs because they are “free range” and spend 5 minutes outside a day?

The article also pointed out that “organic” and “no antibiotic” chicken had the same levels of bacterial contamination, though the article seems to point out that these types of chicken were favorable because they are less likely to carry antibiotic-resitant bacteria, which means the consumer has a decreased chance of being exposed to such bacteria.

Courtesy of Consumer Reports

Label Poise is not limited to cosmetics.  Nature’s Pulchritude will be including food products in our Label Poise series!

Have you read this article?  Does the ambiguity of the chicken and egg (and food) labels surprise you?

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