Healthy, Happy Employees

Unfortunately much of our food supply is being produced by Unhealthy and Unhappy employees.

At Bell & Evans we just started a new healthcare program for our team.  $0 Deductible, $0 Co-pay  and $0 Co-insurance.  We have taken away most financial issues for needed medical care.

Hexane Laced Animal Feed

Organic and Natural Food Retailers

Why are you allowing suppliers to feed their animals Soybean or Canola meal that was processed using the Hexane Slovent Extraction Process?  Simply because it is the cheaper method is not a good reason.  Hexane ends up in the feed, the vegetable oil, in the water and the air.  We are in 2013 there are lots of great alternative ways to process beans.

Please investigate what Hexane really is!

“Pink Slime” or “Slippery Slope”

When the retail food industry demands meeting a price point and a profit margin that may mean there is not much left for the producer.  It’s exactly how we push producers to do unscrupulous things.

For example, feeding animals Hexane produced soybean meal, arsenic, and DDGS ethanol by products loaded with sulfur and antibiotics.

In the poultry industry the list of short cuts and cost cuts could fit the “pink slime” description.

Let’s start moving the bar up.  It starts with consumers demanding retailers to carry brands that follow strict quality protocols.

The new bellandevans.com

Our new website launched this week and I invite you all to check it out. A lot has happened since our last web update, so there’s plenty to see.

Going Organic…
In case you didn’t know, we now offer a complete line of fresh organic chicken. This link on the home page will take you directly to the information on how our organic chickens are raised. There is also a link to all our organic products and a delicious Organic Chicken Fettucini Alfredo recipe.

From the farm…
This link takes you to information on The Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard. For in-depth information about the care and feeding of our chickens, please visit “Humane Animal Welfare” under “Our Company”.

What’s New…
This is the place to go to find the latest information about Bell & Evans – new products, news items, demo events and my personal appearances.  This year we will be launching a new line of organic frozen products and you will hear about it here, first!  Today we’re featuring our new Fully Cooked, Pulled Chicken Barbeque. Look for it in your grocery stores in the near future.

Also on the home page, we’re highlighting five new recipes each season. There’s a main photograph of the dish, the Bell & Evans product you will need, and a link to the recipe card.  As you watch the home page, the recipes will rotate about every 10 seconds. Moms with finicky eaters will want to watch for the “Bell & Evans Nuggets with Cheesy Mac”. We’ve taken your kids two favorite meals and combine them into one crowd-pleaser!

And be sure to click on “Where to Buy” to find the stores closest to you that carry Bell & Evans.

A Lifecycle of Humane Animal Compassion

In my last blog, I talked about the October 21, 2010 New York Times article, New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side, by William Neuman. I talked about how our new slow induction anesthesia (SIA) will be a more humane, low-stress system that gently puts the birds to sleep before they are processed.

But the story doesn’t end there.  

SIA is the final step in years of work to create a lifecycle of humane animal compassion for our birds.  

Over the years, we’ve developed The Bell & Evans Humane Animal Welfare Standard, our guidelines that govern all aspects of our chickens’ lives and insure they receive the highest standards of humane animal treatment… for their entire life, not just during processing…from the breeder and the farm, to transport and the processing plant. Over the next few weeks I will discuss how our birds are cared for in each phase of their life. Today I want to start at the beginning and talk about our breeder farms.

We carefully select our breeder chickens and raises them from chicks, so they’re sure they grow up strong and healthy. Fresh air, fresh water and our specially-formulated, all-vegetarian diet help assure the flock will remain healthy.  Our breeders have spacious, well-ventilated houses that protect the chickens from the elements and predators, but still give them plenty of room to roam.  We carefully control their environment. Too hot or too cold and chickens get stressed. Fans, heaters and side walls that open, allow fresh air to circulate in warm weather and keep the house at a comfortable temperature year round.  We give the chickens special areas for socializing and the individual nests, with walls on three sides, give the hen a sense of security, while she’s laying her egg.  We don’t artificially inseminate our chickens, they mate naturally. If you saw Food Inc., you saw how stressful it was for those birds. As with all Bell & Evans facilities, our farm families dedicate their lives to the health and welfare of our chickens. They enforce strict B&E Standards in care, feeding and bio-security to protect our flocks.

In my next blog, I’ll discuss how we care for our chicks on the farm.

We’re setting the new standard for farm animal welfare

Even if you don’t read The New York Times, by now you’ve probably heard that we are again moving ‘ahead of the curve’… this time in farm animal welfare, by revolutionizing the way we begin to process our birds.

I was interviewed by The New York Times for their Oct. 22 front page article, New Way to Help Chickens Cross to Other Side, that focused on our new slow induction anesthesia system, which uses a CO2 gas to gently put the birds to sleep before they are processed.

To really understand why our new process is so important, you have to know a little about how live chickens are processed. The chickens are brought to a dimly lit area where workers pick them up by their legs and hang them upside down. A conveyor carries the birds to a unit that uses a mild electric shock to make them unconscious, and then to a machine that kills them.

Our new system is a gentle, stress-free, and much more humane way to process chickens. It works on the birds in the same way anesthesia works on a person before going into surgery. There’s no stress or panicked wing flapping that can injure the birds or our workers.

I’ve been researching the best way to do this and for the past 15 years. I’ve toured many European processing plants and analyzed their controlled-atmosphere stunning systems. I believe the custom-built system we’ve developed is much better. Their systems are designed to kill the birds, not put them to sleep. They can cut-off the birds of oxygen too quickly, which may cause them to suffer.

Earlier this year, Monica and I spent my birthday in Colorado and met with Temple Grandin. As a leading authority in livestock handling facilities, I wanted to get her input before we started construction. After showing her videos of the process and discussing our plans, she agreed, “This will be a big step forward for chicken welfare.”

For the last year, we have worked closely with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) on this project. Although they would like everyone to be vegan, even they recognize it’s not going to happen. However, they share our compassion for farm animal welfare, and PETA applauds our efforts to raise our chickens with the best quality of life.

In my next entry, I’ll talk more about how this $3 million upgrade to our process will result in higher quality meat for your dinner table.