Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do these chickens have a prostate problem?

Have you looked closely at the label of the fresh chicken you bring home from the supermarket? Does the phrase "retained water" appear on the label? Doesn't this sound like these birds have swollen prostates?

Don't worry. You won't find these chickens getting up during the night to use the bathroom.

For several years now, chicken farmers have been injecting their birds with a salt-water solution during processing to improve the flavor. The organic, free-range chicken I brought home from Whole Foods Market in Paramus this evening contains 5% of this salt-water solution. Readington Farms, the ShopRite brand of drug-free chicken, also contains retained water. I don't have any Murray's free-roaming chicken in my freezer, but the next time I go to Fairway Market, I'll check the label.

I can understand injecting lousy chicken, such as Perdue and Tyson, with salt water for better flavor. But drug-free, free-roaming and organic chickens already taste good. Do they need the extra seasoning, and do we have to pay 5% or more of the price for salted water?

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