Sunday, September 27, 2009

A sale on chicken I won't be shopping

A package of Readington Farms chicken thighs (July 2012).



By VICTOR E. SASSON
Editor


On Saturday afternoon, I stopped at the ShopRite in Rochelle Park to take a closer look at the Perdue chicken being sold for 50% off today through Oct. 3. 

What I saw convinced me that this is among the worst chicken you can buy.

For example, a Perdue pre-seasoned roaster is "enhanced" with up to 17% seasoned chicken broth. That means you are paying 17% of the price for broth, not poultry. 

This 6-pound bird is going for a mere $4.99, but it likely was raised on antibiotics and there's nothing on the label about a vegetarian diet. So it might have eaten feed with bits of dead chicken.

Yet the label has the meaningless phrase "All natural," and notes the chicken contains no hormones or steroids, which are barred by federal rules anyway, so why is it on the label if not to deceive the consumer?

The unseasoned Perdue roaster was selling for less than half the price of the Readington Farms roaster ($1.89 a pound), which is fed a vegetarian diet and raised without antibiotics. 

ShopRite rarely puts Readington Farms poultry on sale. A Coleman organic roaster was selling for $2.99 a pound on Saturday with a $2 off coupon attached.

Update

In 2014, Consumer Reports magazine investigated antibiotics and arsenic in food.

Here are links to this blog's discussion of the articles:

Snowy Atlantic cod, arsenic in food and more

Consumer Reports: Buy only antibiotic-free chicken