Chicken is loved by all regardless of age group and gender. According to the National Chicken Council, an average person eats almost two pounds of chicken per week. Whether you want to make pasta, casserole, or a sandwich, chicken can be used in any dish.
Have you wondered why chicken is more popular than other meat options?
First, it is easy to cook and readily available in almost every supermarket or restaurant.
Also another reason that makes Chicken a popular meat option is its affordable price. It is usually less expensive than other meat varieties like beef, lamb, or pork.
Whenever people want to quickly make a wholesome, delicious meal, they turn to Chicken. When Chicken is on the menu, everyone knows dinner or lunch will be served right on time.
However, a question is often raised: Does Chicken really count as meat? Poultry is often classified differently than other meat options, which may leave people a little puzzled about what category it falls into.
Read on to set the record straight!
What is meat?
The definition of meat refers to the edible flesh of any animal. The meat industry is undoubtedly one of the largest industries in all parts of the world.
In recent years, many people have become health-conscious and turned to vegan diets. However, the demand for meat is still there and is continuously increasing.
Like other food items, meat is also classified into the following categories:
- Red meat: All livestock is considered red meat, including beef, lamb, goat, and pork.
- Poultry: The flesh of Chicken and turkey is commonly referred to as white meat. It is undoubtedly the most popular category of meat.
- Seafood: This category includes fish, crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, and shrimps, as well as mollusks like oysters, scallops, clams, and mussels. It is one of the most expensive meat categories worldwide.
The flesh of any animal killed for consumption counts as meat, which is the standard definition of meat.
Therefore, technically chicken also belongs to one of the many meat varieties. However, it is commonly referred to as white meat instead of red meat such as beef, lamb, goat, or pork.
It definitely cannot be counted as a vegetable. Like other meat varieties, Chicken needs to be handled differently than other food items as it can become a home for many dangerous types of bacteria.
Therefore, the best approach is to prepare it in complete isolation from other food items. Many people are familiar with the fact that Chicken and other meat varieties are the favorite place of bacteria to grow.
Therefore, they often dedicate separate chopping boards and utensils to prepare meat regardless of its type.
Also, besides cleaning and chopping, Chicken must be stored with more care than vegetables and fruits.
It should be kept at the bottom of the freezer to prevent any dripping of meat juices and needs to be chilled and frozen at all times.
All these care instructions absolutely make sense to classify chicken as meat because the same conditions apply to it as other meat options.
Suppose you do not store chicken properly in the refrigerator or fail to follow good cleaning and preparation practices.
In that case, you will be at high risk of developing food poisoning or diarrhea. Therefore, clear all your doubts regarding Chicken and handle it with as much care as other meat varieties.
Now you must be wondering why this confusion existed in the first place? If the flesh of any animal killed for consumption is considered meat, then why did the debate regarding chicken not being considered meat start in the first place?
There are indeed a few instances where chicken is separated from other meat varieties as it is not the flesh of a mammal.
Chicken and fish are not mammal-based meats like pork, beef, goat, and lamb. Therefore, there is some distinction between both categories.
Also, poultry tends to deliver white meat, whereas mammals deliver red meat, making it easy for people to distinguish between both.
Unfortunately, whenever people are able to distinguish between two food items, they often assume them to be entirely different.
Also, another difference between chicken and other meat varieties is the fat content. Chicken is high in protein but low in fat, making it perfect for health-conscious individuals to consume.
On the other hand, red meat varieties are a little too high in fats. Therefore, overeating red meat can be unhealthy and lean meats like chicken and turkey can be better alternatives.
Here are a few major differences between chicken and other meat varieties:
Poultry birds are either raised for their eggs or meat. Chicken and turkeys are often kept in the shed and fed on corn. However, other kinds of poultry, such as ducks and geese, are often hunted down in the wild.
On the other hand, red meat providing animals might be raised for milk, meat, or wool. The larger animals require more care than poultry birds.
Animals raised for meat are butchered after slaughter. Red meat is available in more cuts than poultry.
In the butchery context, white meat is sold in cuts associated with the bird’s anatomy. These cuts include thigh, breast, and wings.
On the other hand, major cuts of other meat varieties include T-bone, fillet, and sirloin. It is also sold in cuts that identify the body’s various parts, including pork ribs, lamb legs, and rump roast from cows.
As mentioned above, poultry is typically white meat. However, the duck meat is considered to be fattier and needs a lot of skills and expertise to be perfectly cooked.
Also, in fancy restaurants, you might have noticed that red wine is often served with red meat options, whereas white wine is served with poultry.
Now you must be wondering what the take of vegetarians is on this entire debate of “Is chicken a meat?”.
Do they eat chicken? Absolutely not.
Even though there are few differences between Chicken and other meat varieties, Chicken still remains a kind of meat that true vegetarians do not want to eat at all.
However, some people incorporate chicken and fish into their daily diets and still use the term “vegetarian” to describe themselves.
It is certainly not clear why these people do this. Fish consumption is quite understandable as it is often separated from other meats because of various religious traditions. However, these traditions do not apply to poultry.
Moreover, some people feel a little uncomfortable with the idea of eating the meat of another mammal but eating a bird does not seem a big deal for them.
However, vegetarianism does not permit the consumption of any kind of meat. Therefore, true vegetarians do not consume red meat as well as white meat.
Almost all restaurants count Chicken as a kind of meat and never show it on the vegan menu.
It is commonly accepted that chicken is meat, and vegetarians do not want to eat it. Moreover, it is also because restaurants are aware that chicken must be prepared using the same safety guidelines as other meats.
Therefore, restaurants have no reason not to include poultry in their non-vegetarian menu.
Chicken is undoubtedly a healthy alternative to red meat options. It is high in protein and low in fat, making it perfect for health-conscious individuals to consume.
Chicken is not only delicious but is power-packed with many essential nutrients.
Here are a few major health benefits of eating Chicken:
Chicken is undoubtedly one of the best sources of protein while still keeping your fat content low.
According to many nutritionists, 100 grams of chicken breast provides 21 grams of proteins. Therefore, if you want to provide your body with enough proteins to function properly, try to incorporate chicken in one meal a day. Stay healthy, stay active!
Many people want their bodies to be in ideal shape. However, their cravings are becoming a major hurdle in accomplishing their fitness goals. Wouldn’t it be best to stay healthy and still satisfy all your meat cravings? You can do all of that with chicken.
The chicken will provide you with enough proteins for your body to remain satiated the entire day.
Therefore, you will easily be able to manage your weight without any problems. Whether you are struggling with belly fat or excessive weight gain, eat chicken to reverse the trend. However, don’t overeat, as moderation is quite important for a healthy body.
According to many reports, people that consume red meat such as pork, beef, and lamb are at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Therefore, if you are a huge fan of meat and want to satisfy your cravings, it is better to stick your teeth on a healthy alternative- Chicken.