Certified Humane: Smart Chicken, Niman Ranch Meats

Smart Chicken is the first chicken available nationally (to my awareness, and please inform) that is Certified Humane®, and 100% of Niman Ranch’s meats – Pork, Beef, Lamb, and Processed Products like bacon – are Certified Humane®!

I’m sorry we need such a program, but we do.

Certified Humane® governs the way the meat is raised, and it is a great program which is all about making sure the animals are treated humanely.
Certified Humane® was born by people like myself who were disgusted by animal torture.  We wrote and called and voting with our $$$ and also talked to the markets about what we wanted.  Telling them when we didn’t buy their meat and
how disappointed we were in what was available has impact.

Yes, you can make a difference.

I want many things in meat — things my grandparents did on their ranch —
such as no additives and hormones, that they run about and do chicken things during
their lives.  I want them killed swiftly with minimum fear. I make sure I buy chicken
raised with no hormones, GMO, or antibiotics, and organic when I can…

About the good old days… my family were ranchers and they ate less meat than the modern American family.  They ate lots of fresh veggies, GOOD grains including breads that were not the pasty starch that passes for bread now (and, I believe, why we
have so many people having trouble with modern breads that do not have Celiac disease.)
We have two meat-centered meals a week, where we roast a chicken.
The leftovers become burritos or some such thing, loaded with beans and rice and veggies, and the half-chicken or so that is leftover makes us so many meals!!!
A $12/bird we start with a good dinner for two…  Next day I add 3-4 carrots diced, an onion diced, some hot peppers (in our case), saute, add 3 cans of organic black beans ($5), a half of bag of corn ($1) and roll them into large burritos (organic tortillas another $3).  We have 10-12 incredibly healthy meals for a couple bucks per serving.
(We freeze the burritos for lunches and another dinner.)

The point is, while we are meat-eaters, we stretch our meat and are more
beans and rice with a little meat and also have meatless days.
This is affordable and healthy.

Smart Chicken also has amazing taste.
It is coming in at New Seasons at $2.99 to $4.19/pound, depending upon if it is Organic or not.  (I buy organic when on sale — freeze — or occasionally.)  Because we eat so many beans, rice, and veggies the rest of the time, the cost of buying healthy meat in alignment with our values and health requirements has actually gone down.  Smart Chicken also does not add water which all other companies do (unless you are buying a local chicken from the farm), which means you are not paying for added water, which also often has chemicals added to it. They don’t give you the wing tips, giblets, or necks — which MOST people don’t want — so you are not paying for that either.  The birds don’t come stuffed with extra fat.   The point of this is that the chicken is actually well-priced!

The birds usually are a bit smaller, which we like, with less fattening up as
factory farms do, which is the way it ought to be, and that is healthier for you.
We use all the leftover drippings in our bean dishes because the birds are not so fatty!
The flesh is firmer, as if the bird has truly run around, but not tough at all.
They roast heavenly!

All the Smart Chicken is non-GMO, no hormones, and not fed antibiotics.
Organic is optional... and we feel okay about eating their non-organic chickens.

Smart Chickens are raised where they are killed, and are used to their handlers.
They are not placed in small cages and trucked many miles which scares the hell out of them.  They are in a space just before they are killed whereby the oxygen
is slowly removed from the room, so they basically fall asleep without stress or fear.
Once asleep, they are slaughtered.  No fear kills.

You can find out who carries Smart Chicken in your area here.

And we dropped any other meats
but Niman Ranch‘s sausages, ham, bacon, etc.
Their meats are non-GMO,
no hormones, and not fed antibiotics
Organic is optional
Their Apple Gouda Sausage is a
treat for us for breakfast!
You can find out who carries
Niman Ranch in your area here.

A rant word about New Seasons Market.  (Non-locals to the PNW can stop reading….)
Years ago management cared about organics and what their customers wanted, and they were accessible.  Not so much anymore, and if you politely talk to them about things that you want in the store you become a problem customer.  I’ve called management, written in their “Talk to Us” pages — though they changed those to discourage anyone from talking to them anymore.  No more in-store comment cards, and you have to spend 15 minutes online answering far more questions than necessary to leave a comment.

At this point Whole Foods offerings are far more in keeping with my values.
Their commitment to non-GMO and organic and humane shows overall.
We still sometimes shop at the Williams or Raleigh Hills stores,
making a trek once a month for the Smart Chicken and Niman Ranch sausages/bacon….

But New Seasons  now carries Smart Chickens.  Oddly, they’ve carried them for awhile (though they still featured Draper’s and spoke about them as if they were a great company) and when I asked about Humane chicken, they never mentioned the one they were carrying.  I learned about Smart Chicken on the Certified Humane® website! They still don’t advertise that they and Niman Ranch are Certified Humane® as of this week.  (You can read the fine print of the brochures, of course… but who does that?)  MOST of the employees behind the meat counter do not know what Certified Humane is, and why it is important — I’ve spoken with about a dozen in the last couple of weeks.  Also, MANY of their butchers also believe that bruising can happen after an animal is killed.

New Seasons might sell more chickens to people who want organic and humane if they informed their employees and customers about Certified Humane®.
Seriously, they have a great product and don’t want to tell anyone — WTH?

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
This entry was posted in bean, diet, humane, leftovers, non-GMO, organic, pork, poultry, recipe, rice, sustainable and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Certified Humane: Smart Chicken, Niman Ranch Meats

  1. drmarychase says:

    Thanks, Kate! Just updated my grocery list!

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