In the past decades, there has been a dramatic rise in the global consumption of chicken. It is predicted that poultry meat will rapidly become the first type of meat produced, with the world poultry meat production estimated to reach 122.5 million metric tons in 2020.
In fact, many prefer eating chicken as they believe it is healthier compared to red meat. Is chicken really as healthy as you think? No. Chicken is no longer as good for us as it was previously. A study by the University of Arkansas and Texas A&M University found that about 96% of 285 birds tested had white striping.
The high demand for chicken has pressurised farmers to make birds grow larger faster. Today, birds are marketed in just 47 days, at more than 6 pounds on average. It would require 70 days for them to achieve half of the same weight in the 50’s. This elevated growth rate causes white striping, a condition where white striations parallel to the direction of muscle fibers are visible on the surface of breast meat.
Why Should You Avoid Chicken Breasts with White Striping?
White striping degrades the meat quality, resulting in a more energy-dense chicken breast meat with substantially higher fat and lower protein contents. The meat is generally tougher.
So What Should You Do?
You may choose other high-protein foods such as deep sea fish, eggs, low-fat dairy (e.g. milk, cheese and yogurt) and legumes (e.g. lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas).