Americans buy more chicken than anything else for the main course. In fact, chicken consumption increased every year since the 1960s.
Do you walk down the grocery aisle and wonder how to choose the right packaged chicken? As a consumer, it’s important to pick the healthiest options for you and your family.
Keep reading so you know how to choose the best chicken breast package and feel confident about your choice.
USDA Organic chicken is probably your best choice when choosing packaged chicken breast. A study found that conventional chicken had four times more arsenic concentrations than its organic counterpart.
You don’t always need to choose organic, but when choosing poultry, you may want to look for that label even on a frozen chicken package.
MSG in Packaged Chicken
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is known to cause side effects including headaches, nausea, digestive issues, and more. People use MSG to enhance the flavor of food, and believe it or not, MSG is in some packaged chicken products.
Now, you won’t necessarily see MSG listed on the ingredients, but you may see more natural-sounding ingredients such as soy extracts, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, hydrolyzed yeast, autolyzed yeast, and protein isolate.
If you are sensitive to MSG, watch for these ingredients.
Look for the Animal Welfare Sticker
You should look for the SPCA blue sticker on packaged chicken. This shows the animal was treated humanely. The poultry farm also raised it to meet the highest standards set by animal welfare.
Free-Range Is Good
Free-range chickens can roam most of the day and aren’t trapped in a cage with their own excrement. Free-range chicken is also less fatty since the chickens exercise and move around more.
Choose Chicken Fingers Over Patty or Nugget
Chicken nuggets and chicken patties contain corn starch, soy protein, flavor, sugar, and MSG. It’s best not to buy the breaded products, but if you want some breaded chicken, you should reach for chicken fingers instead.
Don’t Clean Chicken
You should never rinse raw chicken before cooking. It can spread harmful bacteria throughout your kitchen and in a 2-3 foot radius around the sink. Just cook it to the proper temperature, which is 165 degrees, and you will kill all the harmful things.
All Are Hormone-Free
Don’t be fooled by the hormone-free label. All farms in the U.S. are not allowed to use hormones in chicken production. So, this isn’t really a selling point, since all chicken is hormone-free, and you will see a mention of the U.S. prohibiting the use of hormones if you look closer at the label.
If you are worried about harmful ingredients, look for the organic label instead.
Looking for Chicken Dinner Ideas?
Don’t get fooled by labels. Know what you are buying, and don’t be afraid to spend a little extra on organic when it comes to poultry.
Now that you know how to pick packaged chicken, you probably need some dinner ideas. You’ve come to the right place. Keep checking out our site for more recipes to help you cook your healthy chicken, including various marinades.