Another chapter in what feels like my never-ending quest for healthy food with the least amount of environmental impact. The intention still remains the same: food that is chemical, pesticide and GMO free and not treated with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. Local is the intention since it stimulates the economy while having the least amount of impact on the earth. That being said it is NOT easy to find foods that support this intention. I can’t for the life of me find local chicken that is not fed GMO corn and soy feed. I have inquired at all our local farms and while they are free of antibiotics and artificial growth hormones, and free range they are given GMO feed. I simply want to buy a healthy chicken breast! A couple days ago I was excited to learn that one local store offers Bell & Evans chicken products. While the product may not be locally sourced at least I’m supporting a local retailer. So I purchased a couple Bell & Evans chicken breasts and while not their organic chicken was not available my optimistic hope was that since they do offer organic their “all natural” would be GMO free. Well this is the response I received in an email from Kathy Judy, Customer Service Representative, from Bell & Evans:
“Organic products are certified organic by a third party certifier and as such we guarantee that the chicken is fed GMO free grain. We cannot guarantee that claim with the RWA (Raised Without Antibiotics) product. The feed RWA raised chickens eat is an all vegetable based diet of corn and soybeans, vitamins and minerals with no hormones or antibiotics, ever. We would prefer to purchase all GMO free grains for the RWA products however there is not enough US grown grain to permit us to purchase all GMO free grains. While all of our chickens are free to roam within the chicken houses, the organic is also given access to free range outdoors depending on the weather; the RWA birds do not have access to free range outdoors. We are looking into outdoor access for the RWA birds but that is not the current process.”
So the search continues. While reluctantly admitting temporary defeat I hightailed it to Whole Foods where I purchased organic, pre-packaged chicken breasts. Not locally sourced, not the best for the environment but at least when I put it on the table I can take a deep breath in the knowing that it’s the best for my family. No cringing necessary as my children take their first bites. It’s safe, it’s real and for me that’s the #1 priority.