Archive for the “News” Category
At Bell & Evans our Certified Organic chickens and turkeys are fed non GMO Certified Organic corn and soybeans. Our soybeans are extruded and expeller pressed into meal. No GMO seed is allowed by U.S.D.A. Organic Certifiers as enforced by division of U.S.D.A.
Bell & Evans sources only U.S. grown grain, whenever possible. If we come up short, we may buy a limited amount from Canada or Argentina.
We do not Import Organic Grains from China. With the cost of Organic grain being more than twice the cost of conventional, many dishonest operators have entered the business.
Bell & Evans non Organic Certified chicken products.
I would be very happy to produce all of our chickens & turkeys without using GMO grain. At this time it is not possible for Bell & Evans to do that because of the following reasons:
- There is only a small percentage of non GMO grain producers left in the U.S.
- The Ethanol demand continues to take acres away from Organic and non GMO grain production.
- There is no U.S.D.A. or Certified enforcement for non GMO grain production or handling.
- As soon as we can find a reliable, honest source of non GMO grain, we will be very happy to deliver.
- I believe when we sell a product or a service to a customer, we need to deliver what they thought they bought.
We will double our efforts on procuring non GMO grain and will report again in the near future on the situation.
No Bell & Evans diets contain Hexane processed soybeans.
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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.
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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!
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As you are likely aware, a recent NY Times article published on April 11, 2012, by Stephanie Strom, titled “48% of Chicken in Small Sample Has E. Coli” has brought into question the industry best practices for assuring the food safety of poultry in the consumers retail food supply.
Again, like “pink slime” in beef, it’s about cost and competing with another vendor based on a cheaper price.
At Bell & Evans, we hold ourselves to a much higher standard than any other poultry company, because we know our customers would expect nothing less from us.
For instance, things that are common in the industry (but not at Bell & Evans): baby chicks are started on a composting bed of manure that may be more than a year old. A year old bed includes feces from several previous flocks. The old manure is a haven for E. Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter production. The equipment that is used to transport the chickens to the processing plant is not cleaned and sanitized between loads. Chickens are then loaded into a large chlorinated water chiller and the hope is that all this will go away!
At Bell & Evans, we believe combating E. Coli, and food safety in particular, all starts at the farm. Over the years we have developed a live operations program, and production process that is second to none!
Almost too numerous to mention in a single page letter, some of the following highlights what we commit to at Bell & Evans to assure the food safety and wholesomeness of our products to our customers:
- Barns with cement floors prevent rodents entry and spreading diseases
- A scientifically designed diet for our birds for peak health & well-being
- Rigorously test the feed and birds to insure quality & wholesomeness of each
- Athorough cleanout of all litter & complete sanitation of barns after each flock is removed
- Barns sit empty for 2-weeks prior to putting in fresh shavings and a new flock – this assures there can be no possibility of a flock-to-flock transmission of any “bug” whatsoever
- A complete and thorough cleaning of the plant & all equipment daily or between use
- 100% Air chill system – no massive chlorinated water bath chills for our birds
- Each bird is individually air chilled
- A single layer air chill system to assure there is no cross contamination by bird-to-bird dripping
- Each bird gets an Organic Certified anti-microbial dip to reduce the possibility of any contamination.
- Continuous sampling of our feed, litter, water, equipment & birds by our in house QC laboratory & monitored by top management
As you can see, we are proud of what we do, and stand behind the integrity of our product, people and processes in making sure every Bell & Evans chicken is the safest, most wholesome chicken our customers can buy.
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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.
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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.
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”.
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.
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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.
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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.
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