Making Carbs Count chicken, Waitrose Omega 3 chicken


and consumed as food for thousands of

years. It is believed that chickens were first

domesticated in India thousands of years

ago, primarily for cockfighting and later for

meat consumption. Later, chicken spread

to other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and

eventually America, where it was brought

from Europe by the early colonists. Until

the 19th century, chickens were often

domesticated in households, excess

meat and eggs being used for bartering.

In the latter part of 19th and the early 20th

century, household chicken farming gave

way to chicken farming as a big business

due to the increasing demand from cities."

Winging it

Wikipedia states that chicken as a meat

has been depicted in Babylonian carvings

from around 600 BC. Chicken was one

of the most common meats available in

the Middle Ages. Virtually all parts of the

chicken can be consumed, from chicken

livers, cooked and often made into chicken

liver pate, to chicken feet, considered

a tasty delicacy in many cultures. And

anything left over can be used to form the

basis of a stock that can then be used in

soups, stews and risottos.

Chicken meat is relatively affordable,

is high in protein (making it filling) and

low in fat and has zero carbs so is widely

considered a very healthy foodsource.

Linked to controlling blood pressure, it is

associated with reduced cholesterol levels

if consumed regularly in place of red meat.

Richard Griffiths, Chief Executive,

British Poultry Council (BPC), states:

"Today, poultry accounts for half the meat

eaten in this country. From farm to fork

and from processing plant to export, we

have built a strong track record of feeding

the nation and embodying the 'Great

British Food Values' that our consumers

demand from our food."

BPC Chairman, John Reed, has been

able to comment on the UK's poultry

industry's use of antibiotics, saying: "The

British poultry sector has reduced its use

of antibiotics by 44% since 2012, it was

Waitrose is now selling the UK's first

chicken that is a source of Omega 3,

the polyunsaturated fatty acids which,

as a key part of a balanced diet, help to

maintain normal heart, brain and vision

function. Research undertaken in 2013

showed that people with the highest

levels of Omega 3 had a 40% reduction in

cardiovascular related deaths compared

to people with the lowest levels. Optimum

health benefits come from a daily intake of

250mg of Omega 3 fatt¬y acids as part of

a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.

Despite leading authorities

recommending regular consumption of

foods containing Omega 3, research

suggests that only 23% of the UK's adult

population consumes the recommended

intake, generally classified as at least

one portion of oily fish per week. Intake

levels are particularly low in children and

young people. Dr Joanne Lunn, Waitrose

Nutritionist, says, "This chicken will

make a really useful contribution to our

customers' Omega 3 intake as we know it

can be hard to consume enough Omega

3 from other sources, especially if you are

not a fan of fish."

The new Omega 3 chicken is

produced on family farms in Northern

Ireland to Waitrose's high welfare

standards, which include plenty of

natural light and more space than the

industry standards allowing the birds to

display natural behaviour. The chicken is

enriched by feeding the birds on a diet

containing an algae (the family of aquatic

plants that includes kelp and seaweed)

naturally rich in Omega 3. The taste and

appearance of the chicken is the same

as birds reared on a conventional diet.

Chicken is Waitrose's top selling protein.

Professor Chris Elliott, Pro Vice

Chancellor, Faculty of Medicine, Health

and Life Sciences, at Queen's University

Belfast, comments, "It's costing £10

billion a year to deal with problems of

heart disease in the UK. Having a source

of Omega 3 in our diet has the potential

for healthier hearts."

Initial trials have shown that people

eating enriched chicken for just five

weeks have increased levels of Omega

3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Trials were

carried out on 30 participants whose

Omega 3 levels were measured after

one, three and five weeks of eating three

servings per week of omega 3 enriched

chicken meat. On average participants'

levels of Omega 3s increase by 12%.


Omega-3 enhanced chicken


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