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Heritage Breed

In his book "Eating Animals," Jonathan Safran Foer goes on at considerable length about the development (or downfall, if you agree with his perspective) of several animals that are central to meat-eating Americans: namely, chickens, pigs, and turkeys. To sum up a couple hundred pages of reading, basically, pigs have been bred into leaner animals (the "other white meat") that reproduce unnaturally quickly, while chickens and turkeys have been selected to grow faster on less feed, and in the case of layer hens, produce more eggs. All this has occurred to the detriment of their health and welfare and resulted in an almost mandatory use of antibiotics in their feed. These are animals that would not survive on their own in the wild past their usual dates of slaughter.

For consumers who already possess this knowledge but aren’t ready to give up meat, a few producers have stepped in claiming the use of "heritage breeds" Pollo Buono, for example, in the case of chicken, D'Artagnan in the case of turkeys, and Flying Pigs Farm in the case of pork. These animals are supposed to come from stock predating most of todays factory-farmed animals, may lead better lives, and well, quite frankly, taste better. But the only way to make sure is to examine each producer on a case-by-case basis.

Click here to see: What Are Heirloom Eggs?

(Credit: flickr/Michael Dietsch)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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