Chicken Stock Done Right

A chicken on the farm.

Happy Meat, Happy Eaters

The solution to this is easier than you think: buy meat from farmers’ markets where you can talk to individual farmers and inquire about their farming methods. Farmers who come to market rarely run CAFOs. Not only are these meats more humanely raised, they are also usually cleaner and healthier for human consumption. Grass-fed beef contains two to four more times omega-3 fatty acids than do non-grass-fed varieties because 60% of fatty acids in grass are omega-3s, which is more than can be said about omega-3 poor grain. Grass-fed beef therefore means heart-friendlier meat. Many studies conclude that this lowers risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. It also lowers risk of depression and other mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and attention deficit disorder.

Even chickens that are deprived of greens and their natural environment produce eggs and meat lower in omega-3s. Pasture-raised hens can provide eggs with ten times more omega-3s than factory-farmed varieties.

There is another healthy fat to be gained from humanely-raised meat and eggs: CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. Grass-raised ruminants contain three to five times more CLA than grain-fed animals. Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University claims that you may reduce risk of cancer by consuming more CLA-rich pasture-raised meats rather than meats from CAFOs, which have lower levels of CLA.

So, for the sake of humane treatment of animals, our precious earth, and our own precious bodies, consider buying only farm-fresh meat and making your own chicken and beef stock rather than relying on store-bought varieties that perpetuate these horrendous practices. It’s easier than it sounds, and you can even make a project out of it with the kids. You’ll also find the taste markedly improved!

>>Next: Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

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