Local Farmer Explains the Benefits of Pasture Raised Animals
A Five Part Series
Part 5: Taste
In the first four posts of this five part series, we’ve covered some of the altruistic reasons to consume pasture raised animals. We’ve discussed the fact that animals raised on pasture are treated much more humanely than those raised on conventional “factory” farms, and that in terms of animal welfare, pasture raised chickens are the top choice for an ethical omnivore. We’ve talked about the regenerative agriculture practices we follow, how these practices go beyond sustainability to replenish the grazing land, and how much better regenerative agriculture is for the environment than conventional farming - even organic farming! In this last post of our five part series, we’re going to cover the selfish (but still highly important) reason that you should eat pasture raised animals - they just taste better!!
The first time my family consumed pasture raised chicken, sourced from a local farm, we were blown away by how good it was. We were used to eating chicken at least a couple of times a week, but we had never tasted such delicious chicken! The meal was simple - pan roasted chicken cutlets with oven roasted potatoes and vegetables, all from a local farm. Nothing fancy, but the whole family couldn’t stop talking about how “yummy” that meal was. It was that experience that inspired us to consume nothing but pasture raised chicken from that point forward. Once we knew how much better pasture raised chicken was, we couldn’t go back to the way we used to eat.
What Makes Pasture Raised Chicken Taste So Good??
If you’ve been following our blog and have been learning about pasture raised chicken, the delicious taste probably doesn’t come as a surprise. The wide variety of foods that animals are exposed to on pasture makes their meat taste so much more savory. We’ve used the phrase “you are what you eat” before, and it’s definitely true in this case. Part of what makes pasture raised chicken taste so good is the nutrient density of the combined food sources that the chickens are exposed to when grazing on pasture.
A conventionally raised chicken that consumes nothing but grain based chicken feed is going to taste, well…bland and boring! A pasture raised chicken that lives its entire life outdoors and exposed to a multitude of grasses, plants, nuts, seeds, and insects is going to have a much more complex flavor. A lot of the chicken you see in grocery stores is marketed as “vegetarian-fed” - but guess what? Chickens aren’t vegetarians! Chickens are meant to peck, forage, scratch and obtain nutrients from the critters and plants that live on the land they are raised on. A chicken that is only fed vegetarian feed is not being fed a chicken-centric diet. At Pasturebird, we feed our chickens a species-appropriate supplemental grain feed, but they are free to roam all day long and obtain a multitude of nutrients from the soil. They also receive fresh air and exercise this way, and are given plenty of space to roam free. This combination of fresh air, sunlight, healthy food, and exercise means that our chickens are much healthier overall than conventionally raised chickens. Their meat tastes so much better, and as an added bonus they have strong immune systems and we don’t have to pump them full of antibiotics and hormones.
The Importance of a Varied Diet
As humans, we know how important it is for us to eat a nutrient dense and varied diet. Well, while chickens and humans may be pretty different as species, the same nutritional principles apply to both. The more diverse and nutritious our diet is, the healthier we’ll be, and the same is true for chickens. Our pasture raised chicken has three times the omega-3s, fifty percent more vitamins A, D, and E, and twenty-one percent less saturated fat than conventionally raised chicken. We’ve had it tested!
When you examine the lifestyle differences between pasture raised chickens, which are exposed to constant movement, fresh air, sunlight, and a nutritious diet, and their conventionally-raised (and often pasture raised) counterparts, who live most of their short lives cooped up in overcrowded barns with no access to sunlight, fresh air, or even enough space to move around, it’s not difficult to see why pasture raised chickens are naturally healthier animals. This not only makes for healthier poultry, as we explained above, but poultry that tastes better too!
We’re pretty proud of our business practices, from our focus on animal welfare to our prioritization of environmental sustainability. We started this business with the intention to really make an impact and run an ethical business that made animal welfare and environmental welfare a priority. But let’s be honest, we wouldn’t be the company we are today if we didn’t also offer chicken that blew away the competition when it comes to taste! Our customers, as well-intentioned as they might want to be, simply wouldn’t keep buying our chicken if it didn’t taste absolutely delicious.
That’s why we’re focusing on taste as one of the five key benefits of raising chickens on pasture - because that great taste is what allows us to be successful and continue to run a business that makes the world a better place. If you’re not convinced, give our chicken a try and see the Pasturebird difference for yourself. No matter what cut of chicken you prefer, we can ship it right to your door. The new year is a great time to make a lifestyle change, and what better transition to make than switching up your eating habits to something that is healthier for you, the animals, and the planet! After the overindulgence of the holidays, get back to basics with one of our pasture raised chicken boxes and taste the difference.
If you’re local to our farm in Temecula, CA, you can come see the farm in person and see how our chickens are raised. Our first tour of 2022 will be held on February 4, and we’re excited to show off our farm and see you there!