Ask EN

March 1997 Issue

Home on the Range Not Always as Free as You Might Think

Q. Does labeling a chicken "free-range" guarantee it's more healthful and better-treated than other poultry? A. Unfortunately, no. Although free-range birds generally have better living conditions than birds confined to coops, the term free-range does not guarantee humane treatment. Nor does it necessarily mean the poultry is more nutritious or less likely to carry disease-causing microorganisms, as some claim. That's because there are almost no government regulations for the terms "free-range" or "free-roaming."

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