In Australia we are relatively lucky when it comes to the standard and practices of our domestic chicken meat industry. I am not saying that all industry operators are equal/perfect nor that greedy maximum-profit driven farmers and marketers don’t exist. However, reading about what goes on in other countries makes me sad.
As always in modern life there is so much room for improvement but we have to remember that:
- There is a growing awareness that the cheapest chicken might not have had the best life and might not be in our health’s best interest. I hope as a nation we can give feedback to the industry that free range chicken should be the norm (above and beyond minimum compliance with the label).
- The commercial rearing of chickens is never going to fully overlap with the idyllic life of the chickens you might have in your backyard. The latter’s eggs are going to taste amazing no doubt if you are feeding them a variety of kitchen scraps and they are eating bugs. That said there needs to be a humane balance.
The feature image of this post is of a happy well cared for chicken on an organic free range chicken farm in the south-west of Western Australia called Gale Force Farm (not a paid testimony). They have made the noble, counter-intuitive (says the bottom dollar) investment to farm organic free range meat and eggs. Getting the organic certification was not easy and from talking to them and people who know them I feel they are the real deal. Their hard work is beginning to be rewarded and appreciated.
I wouldn’t dream of telling you how to spend your money as I too have to watch every dollar. However, personally I will give something else up where I can so I can buy at the very least free range chicken and eggs. In a good month I also source organic chicken and eggs because I feel it is the right thing to do by our chicken, farmers and the environment.