Chicken is a universal food, enjoyed in countless forms around the world. In this episode of The Marc and Mandy Show: Expert Q & A, the Food Network’s Mark McEwan shares some cooking tips and talks about the differences between the different types of chickens you eat. Check out the video above or keep reading for the expert Q & A.
Q: What’s the difference between farm-raised, free-range, and organic chicken.
Mark McEwan: When you look at how chickens are raised, farm-raised/mass-produced factory chickens work in a very dense footprint. It’s a very strict feed, it’s about a 35-day lifespan on the bird, and they grow very rapidly. As a comparative, birds today grow to twice the size they did in the ’50s. With free-range, the chickens have a much wider and broader area that they can maneuver in, so they can have a more comfortable life. With free-range, they live an extra 15 days and they’re on a slightly different feeding regime. Truly organic chickens are usually the most expensive. Birds raised in an organic fashion usually have latitude to roam the farm and they’re on a strict, hormone- and antibiotic-free diet. Quality of life and diet is why there is a huge price differential when buying different types of chicken in the store.
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