A question often asked by our customers is what is the difference between all the different types of meat, and what am I really buying? It's easy to get confused between the different advertising terms, free range, organic, pasture raised, raised outdoors, grain fed, cage free, the list goes on.
We found this especially true in the chicken industry, we researched heavily before we found a chicken supplier that aligned with our mission and our values and we're very proud to now be partnered with Australia's leading organic chicken supplier. In fact, it took us over a year to find Inglewood Organic Chicken and start including chicken in our range!
Inglewood Organic Chicken is Australia's leading Certified Organic Chicken farm, where 250,000 chickens roam free & are raised 100% organic - one of the only chicken farms in Australia to do so. This is because it's very difficult and expensive for Aussie chicken farmers to obtain Australian Certified Organic status, so very few take on the challenge.
What does 100% Australian Certified Organic Chicken mean?
For a chicken farm to be 100% Australian Certified Organic, it must prove that not only the animals are free to roam in the great outdoors ("free range"), but that each animal is raised in a completely organic environment, from birth to finished product.
For a chicken farm, this means that every input that goes into raising the bird is organic:
- Chemical free and organic farming practices, no herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics or GMO's used
- The grain & feed the chickens eat is grown from certified organic wheat from an organic farm
- The birds are raised ethically in open barns surrounded by grassy pasture, able to live and forage in the fresh air and sunshine
- Stress to the birds is minimised at all times, with water misters & fans installed in all open-air barns
- 'Air Chilling' processing is used, rather than the conventional 'Spin Chilling' method
What difference does Air Chilling vs Spin Chilling make?
The majority of Conventional and Free Range processing methods involve a step called 'Spin Chilling', where birds are tumbled in a chlorinated ice slurry bath to rapidly reduce their core temperature, and results in a percentage of chlorinated water absorbed in the bird. The process allows for faster mass portioning and production of the birds.
Inglewood Organic instead uses a much more natural alternative called 'Air Chilling', whereby the core temperature of the birds is reduced over time without the inclusion of chlorine. It takes longer for portioning and the following processing tasks to begin, but it ensures excess water doesn't pool in the packaging or while cooking as the birds have been dry-cooled, and it makes for a crisp and crunchy skin that browns nicely when cooking.
It's a legislative requirement that all poultry processors must use chlorinated water to clean the carcass before portioning, and this is where Inglewood Organic differs the most. Rather than submerging in chlorinated water, Inglewood birds are sprayed with solution instead to limit unnecessary chlorinate absorption. Air chilling is preferred to achieve a higher quality end product, avoiding processes that cause the chicken to absorb the chlorinated water used in Spin Chill processing.
It takes a lot more time, effort and expense, but the benefits to your health and the ethical treatment of the bird is worth it - and you can taste the difference!
Choose some organic free-range chicken from Inglewood Organic in your next order and you’ll taste the difference too! You can find some delicious recipe ideas on how to cook up your favourite chicken cuts in our Recipe Section.