Can You Eat Woody Chicken Breast?
Woody chicken breast is a condition affecting some the of chicken you purchase in stores. They tell us that this only affects 5-10% of the chickens sold to us. They tell us it’s a small percentage, but I’ve come across so many, I think the percentage is much higher than we are told. So, what exactly is woody chicken breast? It’s when your chicken breast tastes raw, rubbery, crunchy, or chewy. While it is edible, it certainly doesn’t taste like it. I usually throw it out because it tastes raw to me.
This is a growing concern as fitness has been on the rise since The Biggest Loser made its debut. Chicken breast is a low-fat protein that bodybuilders gobble up because, next to eggs and whey protein, it’s the number one protein source for building muscle. But lately, the popular chicken breast has been tasting odd now and then. Let’s investigate further.
Is Woody Chicken Breast a Health Concern?
The demand for chicken breast has grown. With more people eating chicken, poultry farming techniques have changed greatly. To keep up with the poultry trend, farming has resulted to making chickens abnormally larger and fatter. The poultry industry uses chemicals, such as synthetic hormones and antibiotics, to grow the chickens as large as possible in the shortest amount of time. This is to meet demands as well as to increase profits. This plump-chicken trend has led to a condition of the chicken you cook called, woody chicken breast. It’s the result of harden muscle fibers.
This unique chicken condition relates to a quality issue stemming from a muscle abnormality in the chicken. “Woody chicken breast is not a health or safety concern, but merely a texture and taste issue,” states The National Chicken Council. In addition, the muscle abnormality is not a sign that the chicken was treated inhumane. It’s just the condition of the meat is altered. The muscle fibers are knotted-up and tight.
How to Avoid Woody Chicken Breast
You will know this unfavorable texture when you eat a boneless chicken breast. It will be somewhat elastic and hard to chew. You will notice the fibers are large and visible. This is not natural!
Ron Dudley tells us, “In 1955 the average chicken raised for market weighed 3.07 lbs. By 1975 it weighed 3.76 lbs. In 1995 – 4.67 lbs. And by 2015 it weighed a monstrous 6.24 lbs.” In 60 years, chickens managed to more than double their weight and size. This is not a natural occurrence. Sadly, retailers continue to sell meat with cases of woody chicken syndrome, despite several inspections.
Now, one way to avoid this yucky condition is to buy smaller chicken breasts. Also, purchase your chicken from farmer markets to ensure you don’t get woody chicken breasts. Free-range birds don’t have this problem because they aren’t mass produced. Another thing you can do is buy a different part of the bird. However, white meat is the staple of a bodybuilding cutting diet. Dark meat is fine. Just know that it’s a little more calorically-dense, but still quality. Sadly, there isn’t a way to know if the chicken has woody breast tissue unless you kill it, separate the bones, and portion the meat.
Even though it’s not dangerous or harmful to eat woody chicken breast, the texture and taste is anything but favorable. If you don’t like the taste and texture, then check out organic, farmers markets, and purchase smaller chicken breasts. In the end, these versions of protein are much better than commercialized, injected, and juiced-up birds. Your body will digest and use a naturally grown chicken far better than a Franken-chicken.
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