When It Comes to Animal Welfare, Who’s Looking Out for Organic Chickens?

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We are big fans of organic food here at Wellness Warrior, but we keep our eye on its market growth and regulation. Take meat, for instance. Those of us who eat meat may usually have confidence in eating organic meat. It is certainly better for the environment, and there is lively debate as to whether or not it is better for your health. However, when you are choosing big organic over big conventional, you may be choosing the lesser of two evils. As the organic market continues to grow and producers try to keep up with demand, it is important that regulations from the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) ensure the quality that 

we consumers have come to expect out of the organic label. A recent paper by the Center for Food Safety criticizes the USDA’s lack of action on creating animal welfare regulations for large scale organic poultry production. A catalyst for this delay is the unfair influence that a few larger production companies have over the NOSB:

One percent of large organic egg and poultry producers are holding 99 percent of the industry hostage by unduly influencing USDA to delay implementation of animal welfare regulations,” said Lisa J. Bunin, Ph.D., organic policy director for Center for Food Safety.  “If USDA fails to remedy this situation by adopting timely regulations, consumer confidence in organic will suffer.”

Our solution: Shop local! If you know the farmer who raised your chicken, you get much better assurance that it was raised humanely. One of the many co-bonuses of shopping local is that if it is a smaller producer, then it was most likely handled more safely on its way from the chicken house to your plate! Check out the rest of the article and the CFS paper through the links below.

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