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Does yellow skin indicate a superior chicken?

A yellow skin was once a worthwhile (though not 100 percent reliable) clue that the chicken was imbued with extra flavor and surface fat. If the chicken had a yellow skin, chances were it grew up bathed in sun rays and enjoyed a nutritious diet, either by scratching for its subsistence around the farmhouse or by eating the right mix of foods tossed to it by its owner.

The validity of the yellow-skin criterion was undermined when, within the last several decades, some of the mass-marketing chicken farms began to use a ploy to take advantage of its wide-spread acceptance. They added marigold petals or similar sources of gold, yellow, or orange pigment to their feed formulas. Since the petals are natural, the companies are not legally forced to reveal their ruse to the shoppers.

Without the "colorful" diet, supermarket chickens would likely have ghostly bluish-white skins because they seldom, if any, leave their cramped, sunless, indoor coops. The next time you view the golden chickens in your supermarket, think flowers, not sunshine.

15:16:19 on 08/16/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -