This is what free range SHOULD look like
Take thirty seconds to watch the video below. It is something we take a great deal of pride in -- because it takes a great deal of work to make it happen. I am willing to bet that THIS is the image you have in your mind when you see the phrase "Free-range". This is what you should see in your mind, because this is what TRUE free range looks like.
The industrialized organic monolith interprets the phrase to mean -- "I'll pack 25,000 birds in a barn and open a few doors on the side". After all, this satisfies the USDA guidelines for the use of the phrase. Follow the lowest legal requirements and slap the label on the package. Put a "conventional" chicken barn right next to a "free-range organic" barn and you can't tell the difference. I've seen them. I've been in them. That's the "free-range organic" chicken being sold in stores.
Erin, Sierrah, Morgan and I have chosen to seek the highest level of excellence in the practice of "free-range". Each season we make improvements to make it better. What you are seeing in this video is a flock of birds FORAGING. They are eating grass, bugs, seeds and so much more. Their skin is producing vitamin D from being in the open sun ALL DAY. They are exercising. Do you think that has an effect on the nutrient density of the meat? Take one bite and the answer is clear.
You might be shocked to find out that I don't have much of a problem with $1.99/lb "conventional" chicken. Surely I abhor the production conditions, the labor conditions in the processing plants and the chicken tastes like the plastic it's packed in.... but at least you know what you're getting. What I despise more is the $12/lb "free-range organic" chicken that's raised and processed in nearly identical conditions. It's deception and it's taking advantage of you - the family who wants to eat better and is willing to pay for it.
I'm actually a very happy guy... I mean, look at this video. Ain't it just amazing!?