JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, March 03, 2008

Fat in chicken

"The problems of overweight, inactive chickens are being transferred to overweight, inactive humans."

This is a letter published this morning in The Independent, from two academics at London Metropolitan University, Professor M A Crawford of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition, and Professor J T Winkler of the Nutrition Polic Unit. It makes depressing reading:

For decades, nutritionists have been advising people to avoid fatty meats, and eat more chicken because it was lean. So it was. But chickens reared in modern intensive conditions, with energy-dense feeds, are no longer a lean choice.

For the past 38 years, we have been measuring the fat content of British supermarket chickens in our laborator. In our latest study of 52 chickens from various supermarkets, we found that there were about three times the calories coming from fat as from protein. And organic chickens were just as fat as battery birds.

Consumers, and many nutritionists too, still think chicken is a protein-rich product. The reform of the chicken industry must focus not just on how they are reared, but how they are fed; on their welfare certainly, but also on their nutrional value. The problems of overweight, inactive chickens are being transferred to overweight, inactive humans.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Bong! Now that should cause a stir!!!

Toffeeapple said...

Is there nothing left to eat?? I wonder what HF-W has to say about this?

Magic Cochin said...

It would be interesting to compare the fat content of meat from birds reared at different growth rates. The cheapest chicken is about 35 days old, top quality free range 60 days, home reared birds 120+ days.
I suppose it's obvious that if you put on weight quickly a high proportion is fat, building up lean muscle takes much longer.

I should think there would be similar results with salmon!