White Striping Affects 96 Percent of Factory Farmed Chicken

Posted on Mar 6, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

White striping is making the rounds in the news these days, and for good reason. However, the problem itself has been growing for a long time. For those who haven’t heard, a muscular disease is impacting factory farmed chickens, and experts suspect it’s the chickens’ alarming growth rates that are causing the disorder.

What is White Striping?

White striping refers to a series of white lines that appear on chicken meat. These stripes are becoming more and more common, so you may not even give thought to them if you see them on your chicken breasts. But actually, this is a major problem. The striping is essentially layers of extra fat, and it forms when chickens are forced to grow larger than their natural size due to modern farming practices.

Image via Buzzfeed

In fact, according to the National Chicken Council, the average size and age of a chicken sent to market has practically doubled since 1950, while its life span has shrunk by an average of 23 days. In 1950, the average chicken sent to market weighed 3.08 pounds and was 70 days old. Today, a conventional chicken is 6.24 pounds and 47 days old.

Problems for Chicken and People

These unnatural growth rates mean problems for chickens. According to Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), white striping is thought to affect 96.1% of factory farmed chickens, and it’s suspected that these chickens live in pain for the majority of their lives.

And it’s not just chickens that suffer from white striping. People who choose chicken often think they’re getting a healthy, lean, high-quality cut of meat that will benefit their overall health. But unfortunately, that may no longer be the case if you’re choosing factory farmed chicken.

“Conditions like white striping and wooden breast seriously affect the nutritional value and quality of chicken meat,” reports CIWF. “Breast fillets affected by severe white striping have been found to contain up to 224% more fat and 9% less protein than normal breast meat.”

Alternatives to Factory Farmed Chicken

Luckily, white striping doesn’t affect all chickens. It affects chickens that are subject to the practices of factory farming. At Heartland Fresh Family Farm, we treat our animals with dignity and allow them to live the way they were meant to live. This doesn’t just mean that our animals are happier – it also means that the quality of our meat is significantly better. 

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