Free Range Chicken: Promise or Inside Joke?

When you see “free range chicken” on the label, do you think that means they grew up outside — like in that picture above — then came home to a roost each night? That’s sure what it sounds like, isn’t it? Well … not quite.

According to the USDA, chickens raised for meat may be labeled as “free range” if there is access from their shed or quonset hut to the outdoors. In other words, a small door opening to a concrete pad would qualify. News flash: chickens are timid, clubbish kind of critters. It’s the rare chicken that would push through that door and venture out alone.  And what would be the value of their stroll on the carport even if they got there?

Go check out the rest of the article on A Conscious Feast and see if you want to spend extra on “free range”.