Non-GMO Chicken Feed Explained: What It Is & Why It Matters

Acabonac Farms |

There is a growing global concern about GMO ingredients in our food supply, especially considering 80% of GMOs are developed for herbicide tolerance. The massive environmental and human health effects of the toxic chemicals used as pesticides is just one piece of this very concerning puzzle. 

Did you know that 64 countries require direct labeling of GMO products, while 38 countries ban them outright? But, leave it to Big Ag in the good ol’ US of A—as of 2020, a staggering 90-94% of the corn and soy grown in the U.S. are genetically modified, while an estimated 95% of American livestock are fed these GMOs. And, in case you were wondering, we have no such labeling laws in effect until at least 2025. 

Here at Acabonac Farms, we believe the importance of understanding what goes into our food cannot be overstated—including what we feed our livestock. For poultry, the type of feed they are given directly affects their health and the quality of the meat they produce. 

Our commitment to raising chickens and other livestock in their natural pasture environments is complemented by our strict use of non-GMO feed. This ensures that not only are our chickens growing in a way that mimics their natural habitat, but they are also consuming high-quality, clean ingredients that enhance their health and—consequently—the nutritional value of the chicken you bring to your table. 

Join us as we explain why we believe non-GMO feed is pivotal for raising superior poultry, and how Acabonac Farms leads the way in ethical, sustainable farming practices.

Key Takeaways

  • Non-GMO feed plays a crucial role in the quality of chicken products by ensuring that chickens consume natural, unaltered ingredients. The way we see (and taste) it, healthier chickens lead to higher-quality eggs and meat. They are also free from the potential side effects of genetically modified organisms in their diet.
  • Feeding chickens a non-GMO diet contributes to environmental sustainability. Non-GMO crops are typically grown with more natural farming methods, which can decrease the use of harmful chemicals, thus preserving biodiversity, reducing ecological damage, and preventing these chemicals from entering our waterways. 
  • Opting for products from farms that use non-GMO feed—like Acabonac Farms—means supporting agricultural practices that prioritize animal welfare and environmental health. 

What is Non-GMO Chicken Feed?

Non-GMO stands for "non-genetically modified organism." This label indicates that the product, be it plant, animal, or microorganism, has not been genetically altered using gene splicing or modern biotechnological techniques. Non-GMO signifies a return to traditional agricultural methods, where the genetic makeup of organisms remains unchanged by human intervention.

Non-GMO chicken feed, then, is composed exclusively of natural and high-quality ingredients that have not undergone genetic modification. This type of feed ensures that chickens are not exposed to the altered genes typically found in GMO crops. By feeding chickens with non-GMO feed and allowing them to freely roam our pastures, we are reflecting the diet chickens would have historically consumed in the wild.

GMO feeds contain crops like corn and soy that have been engineered to resist pests and herbicides, potentially leading to a higher residue of these chemicals in the feed. Remember: 38 countries have decided GMO crops show enough potential to be detrimental to human, animal, and environmental health that they have outlawed them.

Non-GMO feed, on the other hand, uses ingredients that are grown without genetic modification. These crops often adhere to stricter quality standards and have lower chemical residues.

Non-GMO chicken feed

Key Ingredients in Non-GMO Chicken Feed

Understanding the components that make up non-GMO chicken feed is essential to appreciating its value. Common ingredients include:

  • Corn: Often used as a primary energy source in chicken diets, non-GMO corn ensures the natural nutrients are intact.
  • Soybeans: Used for their high protein content, non-GMO soybeans contribute significantly to the nutritional value of chicken feed.
  • Wheat and Barley: These grains provide essential carbohydrates and fibers, and when grown non-GMO, they retain their natural nutritional benefits.

The importance of using organic and locally sourced ingredients in non-GMO feed is paramount. Organic ingredients ensure no synthetic pesticides or fertilizers are used, which supports sustainable farming practices and leads to healthier soil and crops. 

Locally sourced ingredients reduce the environmental impact associated with transportation and provide fresher options for feed. Additionally, non-GMO chicken feed typically avoids synthetic additives and fillers, which are often used in commercial feeds to reduce costs but can be detrimental to both chicken health and the quality of chicken products.

Benefits of Using Non-GMO Chicken Feed

The use of non-GMO chicken feed provides numerous benefits for the environment and consumers. Here are some key advantages:

Environmental Benefits of Non-GMO Chicken Feed

  • Reduced Reliance on Pesticides and Synthetic Chemicals: Non-GMO crops are generally cultivated using more traditional farming methods that do not rely heavily on harmful chemical inputs.
  • Supports Biodiversity and Sustainable Farming Practices: Non-GMO feed production encourages the use of a wider variety of plant species, which supports biodiversity. It also promotes agricultural practices that maintain soil health and reduce water and air pollution.

Consumer Benefits of Non-GMO Chicken Feed

  • Assurance of a More Natural, Healthier Product for Your Family: Non-GMO chicken feed ensures that the poultry products you consume are all-natural and free from genetic alterations, offering peace of mind about what you’re putting on the table.

Common Myths About Non-GMO Chicken Feed

While non-GMO chicken feed is becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious consumers and sustainable farmers, several misconceptions persist. Here, we address some common myths and clarify the facts:

Myth: Non-GMO Feed Guarantees Better Health and Quality Meat

Fact: While non-GMO feed is a crucial component, it alone does not ensure superior health outcomes for poultry or the higher quality of meat and eggs. Proper farming practices are essential to realize the full benefits. At Acabonac Farms, we integrate non-GMO feed within a broader context of holistic farming practices:

  • Humane Raising Practices: Our chickens are raised on pasture, allowed to roam freely on a diet of grasses and legumes, and moved to fresh pasture daily. This lifestyle mimics their natural environment and promotes physical health and psychological well-being.
  • Regenerative Ranching Practices: We employ methods such as no-tillage, and no use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, all of which enhance soil health and support the surrounding ecosystem.
  • No Antibiotics, Hormones, or Growth Promotants: Our commitment to natural growth means we do not use antibiotics, hormones, or growth promotants, ensuring that our pastured chickens develop at a natural pace and to a natural size.

Myth: Non-GMO Feed is the Same as Organic Feed

Fact: Non-GMO and organic feeds share some common principles, such as the avoidance of genetically modified organisms, but they are not the same. Organic feed takes it a step further by ensuring that all ingredients are free from synthetic additives and are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. 

Non-GMO feed focuses specifically on the genetic purity of the ingredients but does not necessarily exclude the use of certain conventional farming aids used in growing feed components. Both types of feed have significant benefits, and the choice between them often depends on specific farming objectives and consumer preferences.

What is Non-GMO Chicken?

Non-GMO chicken refers to poultry that has been raised on a diet free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The aim is to provide chickens with a more natural diet that reflects what they would eat in the wild, thus avoiding potential health risks associated with GMOs.

Acabonac Farm’s chickens serve as prime examples of non-GMO poultry. These chickens are fed exclusively with non-GMO feed, which includes a variety of grains, seeds, and legumes that have not been modified using modern biotechnology. They are also free to roam on pastures, eating grasses and grubs to their hearts' content.

Raising our pastured chickens on non-GMO feed is part of our commitment to natural, sustainable farming practices. Our customers can trust that when they purchase our chicken products, they are getting wholesome, naturally-raised poultry that is both delicious and nutritious.

Is Non-GMO Chicken Better?

We sure think so! Choosing non-GMO and organic pastured chicken from local farms like Acabonac Farms offers several advantages over conventionally raised, genetically modified chicken. Here’s why making this choice can be beneficial for you, your family, and the planet as a whole:

  • Better Taste: When you compare our pastured chicken to the conventionally raised kind commonly found in grocery stores, they’re in a different league. The texture, leaner muscle composition, and overall flavor of our pastured chicken is far superior. 
  • Higher Protein, Lower Fat and Cholesterol: There is a belief that naturally fed non-GMO chickens may have higher protein content, a healthier fat profile, more Omega-3s, and lower cholesterol levels. While research is ongoing, these potential benefits are worth considering by consumers looking for healthier meat options.
  • Peace of Mind: Opting for non-GMO chicken means you’re supporting ethical poultry farming practices that support animal welfare, health, and environmental sustainability, ensuring that future generations also have access to nutritious and safe food. 

Where to Buy Fresh Non-GMO Chicken Online & Locally

Whether you’re looking to buy non-GMO chicken breast, GMO-free chicken wings or any other non-GMO chicken products, Acabonac Farms offers consumers the opportunity to buy non-GMO chicken that has been raised on high-quality non-GMO feed and nurtured using regenerative farming practices on our pastures. 

We understand that convenience is crucial, which is why we offer an easy option to buy pastured chicken online. Whether you’re planning a family dinner or a special occasion, our farm delivers straight to your door, ensuring you receive fresh, ethically-raised chicken without any hassle.

And for our customers in New York, Connecticut, or New Jersey, you can choose to pick up your order directly from our farm in Middle Island, NY. This not only gives you the chance to see where and how your food is raised but also supports local agriculture—crucial for a robust and secure food system.

Visit our website today to explore our wide range of delicious meat products including pastured chicken, pastured pork, pastured lamb, and 100% grass-fed beef. Remember, when you buy from Acabonac Farms, you’re not just buying humanely raised, GMO-free livestock—you’re making a choice for a healthier, tastier, and more sustainable world.

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