From Too Many Chefs -

February 27, 2004
Cruel to Be Kind

Slate continues its Food Friendly Friday by featuring Laurie Snyder's article on how your meat and eggs make it to market. It's a little gross, but she also includes information on how to make sure you're getting better quality meat that came from happier livestock.

Among her findings - "cage-free" isn't always all that great, and "organic" often isn't. Your best bet as always is to buy close to the source and to ask about how your hamburger or eggs benedict came to be.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at February 27, 2004 2:44 PM | TrackBack

Barrett, ever since reading this Observer article (,9950,662799,00.html) I've been absolutely obsessive about making sure that the suppliers of my chicken at least pretend to meet the basic minimum. If they are labelling honestly - not that I'm in a position to know - the chicken I get is always grain fed, free range and (this is what I learned from the article) at least 80 days old. It turns out that even free range chickens are frequently fed growth hormones that leave them "mature" (albeit with legs that can't support their weight) at 60 days. As my consumer is a chicken freak this is an important issue in our kitchen.

Posted by Meg on February 29, 2004 at 4:51 PM

I have found that there are small family farms that raise non-growth hormone and antibiotic, free range chickens, but unfortunately, they don't advertise. I have had to seek them out. When I meet them I have told them there is a great demand for their products and asked why they don't advertise, the cite the cost and they are content with the amount of customers that they have.

Posted by chef 'em out on June 12, 2005 at 12:46 PM