Pitman Farms Visit- Mary's Air-Chilled Chickens

 I had the pleasure of visiting a couple amazing chicken farms and a poultry processing plant in April down in Fresno County. The Pitman family oversees the farms and runs all operations at the processing plant. This family is truly dedicated to the quality of the poultry they produce. They now have the largest air-chilled chicken facility on the Westcoast. If you are not familiar with the term "air-chilled" you should be! (Air-chilled chicken link) This term is relatively new to most Americans. The European Union has made this a mandatory process 15 years ago, while the US has barely scratched the surface of transitioning to this. I don't want to get into detail of the standard water-chilled systems we use in the US, but they are gross!

Whole Foods Market partnered with the Global Animal Partnership to better animal welfare practices. They developed a 5-step rating system to determine how chicken, cattle, and pigs are raised. With this system you are able to see how the animals were raised before you make your meal purchase.

If you would like to know more about this 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating system here is the link:
5-Step Animal Welfare Ratings

These are some pictures of the living conditions of a step 3 chickens

These are some pictures of the living conditions of a step 5 chickens (Rhode Island Red Chickens)

 7 day old baby chickens

 Pitman Farms Processing Plant
From the air chilled process to the beginning of butcher processing.

 So the next time you eat chicken for dinner, think about the quality of life the chicken had and the process it went through to reach your plate? Do they meet your standards?

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