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The big question; store bought or pasture-raised?

written by

Melissa Cole

posted on

July 1, 2019

Good Morning,

There is one BIG Question we hear from our customers and those interested in quality foods more than any other.  That is, "What are the main differences between conventionally raised poultry lining grocery store freezers and Pure Pasture Farms pasture-raised poultry?"

This is the perfect question and one that we are so happy our customers are asking!!

After all, consumers deserve to fully understand what they're paying for, especially when there is such a difference in price and quality.

We focus our many of our newsletters on content intended to communicate the differences between pasture raised poultry with conventionally, mass-produced poultry. Today, lets look at a "side-by-side" comparison of Pure Pasture’s chicken, duck & turkey and conventional poultry.

First, let's just start with two pictures of the environment where these birds are raised...

Pure Pastures Turkeys:

Conventional Turkeys:

These pictures speak volumes in terms of how these birds are raised but here let's look at 14 other ways that the two types of poultry compare:


Pure Pastures: Natural sunshine, fresh air and fresh grass daily.

Conventional: Synthetic light, dusty fecal particulate air with fans to combat ammonia toxicity.


Pure Pastures: Rest/Sleep at night with a natural sleep cycle during each season when the sun goes down.

Conventional: Subjected to up to 22 hours of artificial lighting for faster growth.


Pure Pastures: Brooder areas are naturally sanitized by rest, fresh air and sunlight.

Conventional: Brooder barns sterilized with sprays and fumigants.


Pure Pastures: Low stress hand-gathered leading up to the time of harvest.

Conventional: High-stress mechanical gathering leading up to the time of harvest.


Pure Pastures: Birds able to sit and rest on top of a clean and cool, earthy pasture floor.

Conventional: Unnecessary stress due to overheating when attempting to rest on the overcrowded, contaminated floors.


Pure Pastures: Given probiotics, trace minerals, and allowed to grow naturally.

Conventional: Given antibiotics, appetite promotants, and synthetic vitamins.


Pure Pastures: Raised in small groups of 100 or fewer birds

Conventional: Up to 20,000 birds raised in a single space.


Pure Pastures: Rotated over 50 sq. ft. of fresh pasture space per bird during their entire life.

Conventional: Birds spend entire life in the same space with as little as 0.8 sq. ft. per bird.


Pure Pastures: Enjoy a daily salad bar of fresh greens and multiple insects.

Conventional: Consume no green materials or bugs ever.


Pure Pastures: Humanely harvested by electric stun creating immediate unconsciousness.

Conventional: Inhumane harvest using CO2 gas chambers that induce panic prior to death.


Pure Pastures: Never rinsed or treated with chlorine or irradiation.

Conventional: Rinsed in chlorine and exposed to ionizing radiation to extend shelf-life.


Pure Pastures: Manure falls directly on growing grass for efficient nutrient-cycling which produces diverse pastures that reduces carbon.

Conventional: Manure must be hauled and mechanically spread on top of bare soils resulting in ammonia vaporization (air pollution) and nitrate leaching (water pollution).


Pure Pastures: Promotes rural revitalization, entrepreneurial spirit and a decentralized food system.

Conventional: Negative economic impact, low wages and a centralized food system.


Pure Pastures: Consumer/producer relationship with transparency.

Conventional: Consumer/producer alienation and lack of accountability.

It's real communication like this which will continue educating our customers and the public about the true cost of cheap food and that there's a far better alternative. 

The great news is that when both farmers and consumers work together significant change can happen in our food system.

It's informed consumers like you who are changing our food system and enabling farms like Pure Pasture Farms to raise foods you can truly eat with confidence!

Thanks for reading and understanding,

- Melissa Cole

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Pure Pasture Farms is a small family farmstead in Middle Tennessee that serves Nashville, surrounding areas, and now nationwide with door delivery and local pickup locations for true pasture-raised foods that can be eaten with confidence. 

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Pure Pasture Farms Springfield, TN 37172

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