Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

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Irisheyes
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Irisheyes » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:01 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 pm

-an interesting and not-often-mentioned issue associated with "slow growth" birds is that they're absolutely awful for the environment. Triple the length of the growing period, and you triple the amount of food and water that must be produced, and you triple the amount of chicken poop that has to be put somewhere. People are of course free to make a value trade-off between the two.
But if the price is 3 times as expensive, (and it is 3 times as expensive, at least -- and more if you are comparing it to regular chicken rather than organic) one buys 3 times less and so the environmental impact is the same as the quicker growing factory birds. But the birds are happier. So a net gain, overall.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:10 pm

rebellovw wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:34 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 pm
Just to offer a little context to this post. White striping and a similar but not directly related issue called Woody breast are issues that have cropped up in chicken farming in the past couple years. White striping can sometimes be a quality issue, but it's safe. Woody breast is also safe, but a bad enough quality issue that it gets trimmed or the parts discarded. When a plant sees white striping, it usually gets diverted to an end use that can accommodate it, such as a slow cook or breaded battered deep fry application. Companies try to keep that out of the retail tray pack market. It's also not quite as common as reading this thread would suggest, but there's obviously a self selection as to whether someone posts. It's generally believed to be a genetics issue and if all goes well should get bred out in a few years.

Other housekeeping items:
-the group that posted that article absolutely had an agenda. Generally, the anti-meat anti-ag groups use this type of approach widely in their advocacy
-the breed won't necessarily change in organic versus conventional. Organic is about raising and to a much lesser extent processing methods. Basically, organix birds get organic feed and cost a lot more
-no chicken sold on the US has added hormones. It's a matter of federal law. All chicken (and all animal protein) has naturally occurring hormones because they were animals at one point.
-antibiotic use doesn't have anything to do with this issue. To the extent antibiotic use is relevant at all, it's the extent to which human antibiotics are used in animal production, which risks creating resistant bacterial strains. That's been phased out throughout the industry already. You don't have to worry that you're ingesting antibiotics yourself if you eat animals that were given antibiotics, as producers have to observe a mandatory withdrawal period.
-an interesting and not-often-mentioned issue associated with "slow growth" birds is that they're absolutely awful for the environment. Triple the length of the growing period, and you triple the amount of food and water that must be produced, and you triple the amount of chicken poop that has to be put somewhere. People are of course free to make a value trade-off between the two.

Sorry for the long post, we all have our areas of relative expertise...

I appreciate your "knowledge" in this area. I'm not sure what you mean by:

" but there's obviously a self selection as to whether someone posts"

Regardless - what advice do you have to avoid woody chicken breasts? I'd appreciate that. I encounter it - probably once every 3 weeks (I used to buy chicken probably twice a week.)

As it stands now - I buy the more expensive organic - only because they are smaller as the big brand breasts are gigantic - and I can correlate through my many times of cooking- that the big ones are tougher more often.

And when I get a good organic pair (they come in two) - cutting it on the cutting board is almost like cutting sashimi - very soft - uniform color - cuts very nicely - feels very clean and non-sticky to touch - just seems extremely fresh - no smell (like fresh ahi.) I know I have a winner when it is like this.

Thanks - appreciate your feedback.
I meant only that people are probably more likely to post if they've experienced the problem as opposed to posting "nope, haven't had this happen." That's all.

All you can really to is (1) try to buy chicken breasts that you can actually see well, and (2) if you find a brand that seems to work, stick with it. Fwiw, I cook a lot but tend to use thigh meat whenever I can or roast whole birds. I can't think of the last time I did breasts.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:10 pm

Solution to white stripe is to take a pair of cooking shears and remove the fat, slice breasts cross wise in a horizontal manner thinly. I taste no difference, it’s chicken! A little bit of seasoning goes a long way in terms of adding some taste to it.
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Nearly A Moose
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Nearly A Moose » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:15 pm

Irisheyes wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:01 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 pm

-an interesting and not-often-mentioned issue associated with "slow growth" birds is that they're absolutely awful for the environment. Triple the length of the growing period, and you triple the amount of food and water that must be produced, and you triple the amount of chicken poop that has to be put somewhere. People are of course free to make a value trade-off between the two.
But if the price is 3 times as expensive, (and it is 3 times as expensive, at least -- and more if you are comparing it to regular chicken rather than organic) one buys 3 times less and so the environmental impact is the same as the quicker growing factory birds. But the birds are happier. So a net gain, overall.
Im not trying to get into a policy debate on the issues, just trying to fill out the story. Yes, if people bought 1/3 as much, that would be one result.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

Irisheyes
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Irisheyes » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:33 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:15 pm
Irisheyes wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:01 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 pm

-an interesting and not-often-mentioned issue associated with "slow growth" birds is that they're absolutely awful for the environment. Triple the length of the growing period, and you triple the amount of food and water that must be produced, and you triple the amount of chicken poop that has to be put somewhere. People are of course free to make a value trade-off between the two.
But if the price is 3 times as expensive, (and it is 3 times as expensive, at least -- and more if you are comparing it to regular chicken rather than organic) one buys 3 times less and so the environmental impact is the same as the quicker growing factory birds. But the birds are happier. So a net gain, overall.
Im not trying to get into a policy debate on the issues, just trying to fill out the story. Yes, if people bought 1/3 as much, that would be one result.
You introduced some interesting policy issues concerning the better tasting, slow growth birds. Just providing the other side of one of the issues you introduced.

bhsince87
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by bhsince87 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:37 pm

This is why you should be eating beef. Issues like this were resolved many years ago.
Retirement: When you reach a point where you have enough. Or when you've had enough.

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weltschmerz
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by weltschmerz » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:47 pm

I used to be into breasts, but now I'm a thigh man.

Also, I got tired of dealing with the "chicken juice", so now I just open the packages with a knife and put them directly into be a glass baking dish. Cover with foil, and cook for 40 minutes at 375F. Then there is no worry about getting bacteria all over my kitchen. I put the chicken thighs into any one of a number of sauces I use, and simmer for several hours. They come out so tender.

Cunobelinus
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Cunobelinus » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:26 pm

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:10 pm
rebellovw wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:34 pm
Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:20 pm
Just to offer a little context to this post. White striping and a similar but not directly related issue called Woody breast are issues that have cropped up in chicken farming in the past couple years. White striping can sometimes be a quality issue, but it's safe. Woody breast is also safe, but a bad enough quality issue that it gets trimmed or the parts discarded. When a plant sees white striping, it usually gets diverted to an end use that can accommodate it, such as a slow cook or breaded battered deep fry application. Companies try to keep that out of the retail tray pack market. It's also not quite as common as reading this thread would suggest, but there's obviously a self selection as to whether someone posts. It's generally believed to be a genetics issue and if all goes well should get bred out in a few years.

Other housekeeping items:
-the group that posted that article absolutely had an agenda. Generally, the anti-meat anti-ag groups use this type of approach widely in their advocacy
-the breed won't necessarily change in organic versus conventional. Organic is about raising and to a much lesser extent processing methods. Basically, organix birds get organic feed and cost a lot more
-no chicken sold on the US has added hormones. It's a matter of federal law. All chicken (and all animal protein) has naturally occurring hormones because they were animals at one point.
-antibiotic use doesn't have anything to do with this issue. To the extent antibiotic use is relevant at all, it's the extent to which human antibiotics are used in animal production, which risks creating resistant bacterial strains. That's been phased out throughout the industry already. You don't have to worry that you're ingesting antibiotics yourself if you eat animals that were given antibiotics, as producers have to observe a mandatory withdrawal period.
-an interesting and not-often-mentioned issue associated with "slow growth" birds is that they're absolutely awful for the environment. Triple the length of the growing period, and you triple the amount of food and water that must be produced, and you triple the amount of chicken poop that has to be put somewhere. People are of course free to make a value trade-off between the two.

Sorry for the long post, we all have our areas of relative expertise...

I appreciate your "knowledge" in this area. I'm not sure what you mean by:

" but there's obviously a self selection as to whether someone posts"

Regardless - what advice do you have to avoid woody chicken breasts? I'd appreciate that. I encounter it - probably once every 3 weeks (I used to buy chicken probably twice a week.)

As it stands now - I buy the more expensive organic - only because they are smaller as the big brand breasts are gigantic - and I can correlate through my many times of cooking- that the big ones are tougher more often.

And when I get a good organic pair (they come in two) - cutting it on the cutting board is almost like cutting sashimi - very soft - uniform color - cuts very nicely - feels very clean and non-sticky to touch - just seems extremely fresh - no smell (like fresh ahi.) I know I have a winner when it is like this.

Thanks - appreciate your feedback.
I meant only that people are probably more likely to post if they've experienced the problem as opposed to posting "nope, haven't had this happen." That's all.

All you can really to is (1) try to buy chicken breasts that you can actually see well, and (2) if you find a brand that seems to work, stick with it. Fwiw, I cook a lot but tend to use thigh meat whenever I can or roast whole birds. I can't think of the last time I did breasts.
Nope, haven't had this happen. Haven't heard of it. No one in my office has heard of it either.

rebellovw
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by rebellovw » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:21 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:10 pm
I meant only that people are probably more likely to post if they've experienced the problem as opposed to posting "nope, haven't had this happen." That's all.

All you can really to is (1) try to buy chicken breasts that you can actually see well, and (2) if you find a brand that seems to work, stick with it. Fwiw, I cook a lot but tend to use thigh meat whenever I can or roast whole birds. I can't think of the last time I did breasts.
Thanks - I'll likely still buy since I really love chicken. I'll stick with my current favorite - which is great probably 80-90% of the time.

MnD
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by MnD » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:55 pm

I doubt that a poultry industry trade magazine has an anti-meat or anti-big agriculture agenda and this article seems to summarize (is less dramatic terms) much of what the OP posed. Nothing tastes as yummy as woody/stringy/gummy chicken with inadequate blood supply, decline in metabolic waste product removal from muscles and muscle spasms. Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!

http://www.poultrytimes.com/poultry_tod ... 9e7e8.html
The defect is isolated to the chicken breast meat and, like the name suggests, causes the meat to taste woody and stringy, some experts describe the texture as being "gummy". The reason for the condition is not completely known, but scientists do have some clues.

The American Association of Avian Pathologist (AAAP) reported that inadequate blood supply to the tissues, a lower rate of blood supply and a decline in metabolic waste-product removal from the muscles in the form of carbon dioxide and lactic acid is likely the all involved in the creation of the condition. The blood supply issue can be contributed possibly to birds suddenly overstretching their wing muscles or muscle spasms.

How to avoid purchase:
In a report by the Wall Street Journal, it was noted that only ten percent of breast meat has woody breast, but it can be detected by looking for pale meat with bulging areas. White stripes on the meat are also indicative of texture and taste problems in the meat. Also, chickens weighing more than nine pounds seem to be more likely to have woody breast syndrome.

rebellovw
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by rebellovw » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:57 pm

MnD wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:55 pm
I doubt that a poultry industry trade magazine has an anti-meat or anti-big agriculture agenda and this article seems to summarize (is less dramatic terms) much of what the OP posed. Nothing tastes as yummy as woody/stringy/gummy chicken with inadequate blood supply, decline in metabolic waste product removal from muscles and muscle spasms. Mmmmm Mmmmmm Mmmmmm!

http://www.poultrytimes.com/poultry_tod ... 9e7e8.html
The defect is isolated to the chicken breast meat and, like the name suggests, causes the meat to taste woody and stringy, some experts describe the texture as being "gummy". The reason for the condition is not completely known, but scientists do have some clues.

The American Association of Avian Pathologist (AAAP) reported that inadequate blood supply to the tissues, a lower rate of blood supply and a decline in metabolic waste-product removal from the muscles in the form of carbon dioxide and lactic acid is likely the all involved in the creation of the condition. The blood supply issue can be contributed possibly to birds suddenly overstretching their wing muscles or muscle spasms.

How to avoid purchase:
In a report by the Wall Street Journal, it was noted that only ten percent of breast meat has woody breast, but it can be detected by looking for pale meat with bulging areas. White stripes on the meat are also indicative of texture and taste problems in the meat. Also, chickens weighing more than nine pounds seem to be more likely to have woody breast syndrome.
Thanks MnD! Depressing stuff.

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StevieG72
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by StevieG72 » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:45 pm

I had some chicken this evening.

Nothing abnormal about the bird.

I have not experienced this phenomenon.
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rustymutt
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by rustymutt » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:48 am

rebellovw wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:24 pm
rustymutt wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am
Could be over cooking chicken which does dry out and tuffin up the meat. I use a temp gauge to 165 center of breast. Perfectly moist and tender every time. Also I marinade the breast in oil, liquid smoke, herbs, and garlic for at least an hour in fridge. With brown rice, sweet potato, and green beans.
No it is not. The last batch that had this problem was tough even raw.

It was fresh organic chicken breast (boneless) - bought at Fry's - Always fork tender - this time not.

I trimmed the chicken as usual - pounded it flat (as flat as I could) - and it was extremely hard prior to pounding (and was still about an inch thick after pounding.) I then baked it for 25 minutes at 350 (I normally do not like baking it (unless in a sauce) - but this recipe called of it..) and pulled it out to rest.

To my surprise it was extremely tough needed a steak knife - and ended up being raw - pinkish on top - so I had to throw it back in the oven. Nothing you can do other than perhaps crock pot or simmer in sauce for a while to break down. 25 minutes at 350 for a pounded out boneless chicken breast is plenty.

As I've said before - I've even had pieces sauteed - that tasted wonderful and were fork tender - except for a portion of it - which was steak tough.

Anyhow - it is not over cooking and it is not marbling.

I'm 52 and the cook of the house. I've been sauteing chicken for years - since 1987ish (I worked at the Rusty Pelican and learned skills there) - and as a father - I've cooked chicken breasts (sauteed - egg wash - flour/breadcrumbs - family favorite) since probably 1992. It wan't until the last 3-4 years this issue become noticeable.

I was thinking - am I starting to over cook it? Was it because the store froze the chicken before placing out for sale? I was mystified - until I read that article that explains - this is an industry problem and that the Chickens are in great pain.
I've not had any issues with the breast I get at at Walmart, most likely out Tyson of Arkansas. I do marinate in my secret sauce. LOL Now I'm working on eating a boston butt from a different store, but they don't dry out. Cured and smoke with hickory coals.
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Calico
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Calico » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:20 pm

Interesting!

I haven't bought chicken breasts in a while until recently (it's just me and my daughter and she's vegetarian and while I am not, I just cook for her and eat the same thing since I really don't care if I eat meat or not. Although I will usually order it if we eat out or sometimes I will get myself a rotisserie chicken for salads and such).

Anyway, I recently bought a package of chicken breasts because my dog was sick and the vet said to feed her chicken and rice. I noticed the marbling but what really struck me was how incredibly huge chicken breasts have become. I used to eat one and it was about 4 oz (give or take), but the breasts I bought were monster size (I joked about them being ostrich breasts). I would guess they weighed 10oz or more each!

And they were tough as all can be. The dog didn't care though, she loved it. Then again, she also seems to think random rotten things lying on the ground are yummy (which is how she got sick), so what does she know.

I might look into more expensive, heritage chicken for grilling this summer. I rather have good quality than tough, woody meat.
Last edited by Calico on Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Pajamas
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by Pajamas » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:31 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:51 pm
I will say, sometimes I do experience an odd flavor only when reheating dark meat. I've had it happen many times and cannot pinpoint what the issue is. I am talking reheating day or two old chicken, not old chicken.
Happens with any food but is more noticeable in animal flesh and possibly more noticeable in dark rather than white poultry because of the higher iron content.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2017/08/wha ... -meat.html

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jeffyscott
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Re: Not going to be buying chicken for a while...

Post by jeffyscott » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:28 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:10 pm
When a plant sees white striping, it usually gets diverted to an end use that can accommodate it, such as a slow cook or breaded battered deep fry application. Companies try to keep that out of the retail tray pack market. It's also not quite as common as reading this thread would suggest...

All you can really to is (1) try to buy chicken breasts that you can actually see well, and (2) if you find a brand that seems to work, stick with it.
I can't say that we have seen this this, but were not aware so would not have been looking for it. We do usually buy chicken breasts that we can see in the regular fresh meat packs, not the bags of frozen ones, and we would tend to avoid ones that look weird in some way. Once in a while there has been a breast or part of one that was a bit tougher, but don't know if it was related to this or some other variation in meat quality.

We do also buy whole raw chickens occasionally, so in that case we would not be able to see the breast meat and neither would the plant. Recently got a couple huge roasting chickens, these are now 8-10 lbs :shock: . We haven't eaten them yet, though.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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