People are always on the hunt for healthy ingredients to create tasty dishes without sacrificing their health.
That’s why free-range chicken is one of the sought-after meat on the market due to its high nutrient values as well as the amazing flavor the chicken provides.
This article will give you guidance on where to buy free-range chicken and how it benefits our health.
Let’s check it out!
What is free-range chicken?
Free-range chicken is a type of poultry that has been raised outdoors on a farm and allowed to roam freely.
The term “free-range” implies that the chickens are given more space than regular factory-farmed chickens, as well as access to fresh air and natural light.
Free-range chickens are often fed an organic diet supplemented with vegetarian feed, which can include grains like barley, oats, wheat, or corn; legumes like soybeans or peas; vegetables including alfalfa hay or clover; insects such as earthworms; fruit such as apples and oranges; mineral supplements such as selenium and zinc oxide.
Being outside in nature also encourages free-range chicken to forage for food naturally while simultaneously providing healthier living conditions.
This is in contrast with conventionally raised poultry that may be confined indoors and never allowed outside or just provided limited outdoor access.
These chickens also frequently receive antibiotics and hormones, which can help them grow faster and stronger.
As a result, free-range chicken usually tastes better and contains more healthy nutrients that are essential for our body.
How many calories are in free-range chicken?
Free-range chickens are more active than regular chickens, therefore, their meat production is less fatty, which results in a lower number of calories per portion.
For example, in general, 100 grams of free-range chicken will provide us with 154 calories, while the same amount of factory-raised chicken delivers almost 180 calories per 100-gram portion.
However, the exact number of calories also depends on which cut of chicken is mentioned (white meat like breasts will have fewer calories than dark meat parts like thighs), the condition of the chicken meat cut (skin-on or skinless).
Free-range chicken meat is also demonstrated to be higher in protein and lower in fat compared to conventional chicken, Moreover, this kind of chicken is also a rich source of iron and zinc, which is usually found lacking in many people.
How to choose the best free-range chicken?
Free-range chicken is typically more expensive than regular chicken.
Therefore, you should know some tips to choose the best one so that you won’t waste your money on something not tasty.
Here are some of our suggestions that can help when shopping for free-range chicken:
1. Buy free-range chicken from a reputable store
Not all stores in the United States carry free-range chicken.
Therefore, to make sure you get what you pay for, it is crucial to look for a reliable place that supplies authentic free-range chicken.
It can be a local butcher or a farmer’s market.
2. Consider your favorite cut
Free-range chicken also comes in different cuts like conventionally-raised chicken, such as wings, breasts, thighs, or drumsticks.
You should opt for your favorite cut depending on your taste bud preference or the nutrient fact of the meat cut.
3. Buy air-chilled free-range chicken instead of frozen chicken
Sometimes, when free-range chicken is transported from a far farm to a downtown supermarket, this ingredient is usually kept frozen to make sure it won’t get stale during transportation.
If there is only one wrong step in this process, the taste and texture of the chicken can be affected.
Therefore, it is recommended to buy air-chilled free-range chicken instead for a better flavor and a healthier background.
Where to buy free-range chicken?
It might have been hard to buy free-range chicken in the past, but now you have more access to this organic ingredient than ever.
Look at the following places and you will know where you should go to whenever you crave free-range chicken:
1. Local butcher or farmer’s market
This is the best and the first place you should check out to buy free-range chicken.
By purchasing free-range chicken directly from a local or regional farmer, you can avoid misleading labels about this ingredient.
2. Natural stores
You can also find free-range chicken that has been certified by USDA in certain natural stores in the country.
These places usually offer only organic ingredients, from raw meat cuts to processed products, and of course, they will have free-range chicken.
If you don’t have time to go shopping, don’t worry, free-range chicken can be purchased online.
You should do some research by reading the feedback from other customers to find out the best seller on Amazon or eBay.
Otherwise, look for it on the websites of certain organic meat stores or large chain supermarkets like Whole Foods or Sprouts Farmers Market.
Free-range chicken is a great and higher-quality alternative to the factory-farmed chicken that is known for its poor quality.
These free-range birds have more vitamins and nutrients as well as better flavor, so you can feel good about your purchase.
Today, you have more access to free-range chicken, which can easily be found in a farmer’s market or local butcher.