When we compare the prices of conventional foods to those of organic foods, many people are left wondering if eating organic is worth the higher price. So why then are so many individuals switching to organic?
The answer may be found in examining the ways in which organic foods are produced. For example, organic poultry are produced without hormones, antibiotics or any growth promoters. These Chickens are fed non-genetically modified organic grains that have not been spayed with synthetic herbicides or pesticides. In addition, the poultry are Free Range, meaning they live in open barns and never in cages. Weather permitting they are given access to the outdoors as well. No artificial lighting cycles are imposed upon them to increase the amount of feeding, and the chickens are awake by day and asleep by night.
Given these factors many people find the price tag of an organic chicken worth it. Knowing that these creatures are given the best possible feed and a better life before they become our food, is considered by many to be worth the extra cost.
The Kosher Aspect
The kosher slaughter adds yet another dimension to this subject. Aside from the potential health benefits of eating organic food, many individuals who eat organic do so for ethical reasons as well. As described above, organic poultry are raised in a more humane manner and this is important to many organic consumers.
The kosher slaughter is always done by hand and never mechanically. The Mashgeach (Kosher Slaughterer), is a highly trained individual and very experienced in his trade. He has to comply with numerous details of his work with exacting care. It takes two individuals to slaughter a chicken. One person holds the bird and the other uses a razor like blade to precisely cut the neck in an exacting place and fashion.
Having witnessed this form of slaughter many times, it seems more like a submission than a violent struggle. The birds are not panicked and do not seem to suffer. Any deviation from the protocol demanded of his trade renders the animal unfit to consume. Additionally the viscera of each bird is individually inspected for blemishes or other such signs and if any are found, the animal is rejected and not consumed.
One can argue that not only is this a more humane slaughter than the conventional one, but it is also a more selective process, achieving a higher standard of quality as well. These factors I believe are appealing to the ‘ethically minded’ organic food consumer and in the final analysis argues in favor of spending the extra dollars on kosher organic poultry.
Eddy Basch DO