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Thread: Free Range Fed GMO feed or Organic, not Free Range (poultry)?

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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Free Range Fed GMO feed or Organic, not Free Range (poultry)?

    I really want opinions here. I used to hold that even though the farmer I get meat from feeds the poultry conventional grain, they were still better than organic that's been caged and fed grain. However, with all the new info on GMO dangers and the fact that probably at least some of it ends up in the meat, which is actually better. Organic AND free range is not an option here.

    The farmer I buy from despises GMO, however it is a cost issue. A few tried to grow organic feed a few years ago but it was way too labor intensive and expensive due to climate here. To buy organic feed, he would have to charge more than any of his customers are able/willing to pay. He says that multiple farmers in the area sell grain to the processing plant. Some is organic, most conventional. However it all goes in the same pile. Therefore, the chicken feed always contains GMO.

    So, which of these 2 options is healthier? All I'm looking at is health at this point. Is it a big enough issue to overcome the humanitarian aspect of basically factory farmed organic? I hate conundrums, lol.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Range Fed GMO feed or Organic, not Free Range (poultry)?

    That's a tough call, but since you ask, I'd go for free-range every time. They get the bulk of their food from the outdoors, not just veggy stuff but grubs, insects, all the things that omnivorous chickens like to eat, and the grain is kind of an extra. And although we have been busy documenting the harm caused by GM, I'm guessing most of us regulars here are not getting it in anywhere near the quantity that would express itself in damage to internal organs or the reproductive system. We aren't eating the SAD, and we make an effort to avoid anything that might contain GMOs. So yes, at the end of the day, I think relatively little bad juju is left in the free-range chicken.

    I've done both. There is a difference in price, though it's not huge. The difference is primarily in economy of scale. My home grown chix, whether conventional OR organic, cannot compete with the cost per unit of a Tyson's bird raised in a barn with 75,000 others.

    I expect to expand my free-range organic birds next year, based on pre-orders, and project a cost of $4/lb. If I thought I could ship you a cost-effective chicken that left here frozen and arrived there thawed but still chilled & safe, we could talk...although the last time I sent priority mail (not even next-day) the postage was outrageous. Haven't looked into UPS or FEDEX. Just idle thoughts.
    Last edited by Islander; 02-04-12 at 12:01 PM.
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    Veteran Member mellowsong's Avatar
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    Default Re: Free Range Fed GMO feed or Organic, not Free Range (poultry)?

    Thanks for weighing in Islander. That's kind of where my thinking is. I'm paying $3.65/lb for a whole chicken; again, not organic. I can get organic chickens at Costco (of course factory farmed even if organic for about $2.50/lb). There is a huge difference in the amount of fat and liquid in free range vs the organic; enough that by the time you get down to just the meat, the cost/lb probably isn't all that different.

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