Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Bell & Evans: A True Partnership with a Caring Producer

By Frances Flower, May 25, 2013  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Frances Flower

Our selection of meat and poultry is renowned for great taste and superior quality. We believe this has a lot to do with the care that goes into raising the animals and the true partnerships we develop with the farmers and ranchers that supply our stores. Farmers and ranchers dedicated to meeting our animal welfare standards.

Bell & Evans, a leading producer of chickens raised without antibiotics, is one such supplier. The birds are raised on an all-vegetarian diet in a low stress environment — a modern facility equipped with the latest technology.

In this video, Scott Sechler, owner of Bell & Evans, shares the philosophy behind his operation:

Bell & Evan’s attention to animal welfare and quality extends to other parts of their business as well.

An Alternative Take on Processing

Scott spent years researching the best way to process chickens and as a result implemented an alternative way to process chicken: Slow Induction Anesthesia (SIA), also known as controlled-atmosphere stunning.

This system uses carbon dioxide to gently render the birds unconscious – birds are kept in the modular crates that they were loaded into at the farm and moved into the SIA tunnel. When they come out at the end of the tunnel, they are unconscious and are then processed without pain, suffering or stress.

Scott believes this lack of stress also results in better tasting meat.

Air Chilled for Flavorful Meat

Bell & Evans is also one of a handful of chicken processors have recently embraced the air-chilled method of processing chicken, a method that’s been used in Europe for more than 40 years.

Air chilling offers some tasty benefits to the more commonly used water-chilling method: It keeps the meat juicy and tender, and it keeps the natural flavor of the bird locked inside. Air-chilled chicken also cooks faster than birds processed in water.

You can find Bell & Evans frozen chicken in our stores nationwide and their fresh chicken is sold in select stores – make sure to ask your butcher.

Have you tried air-chilled chicken? Could you taste the difference?

Category: Meat

 

9 Comments

Comments

Ana Karlicic says ...
Bell and Evans whole chicken makes the best, most delicious, yellow colored chicken soup, just like those my grandma used to make when I was a child! And that was back in the day (20+ years ago) when chicken was always raised in the countryside, free range, antibiotic free etc. in my home country of Serbia. We usually say that you can tell the chicken is good by the look and taste of the home style chicken soup! My family now anxiously waits the Friday delivery of Bell and Evans chicken in our local Whole Foods.
05/31/2013 7:43:31 PM CDT
Joanna Lawrence says ...
I have been very happy with your chicken and was EXTREMELY disappointed when our local WF in Santa Fe, NM stopped carrying your products and now has chickens that are less good and twice, TWICE, as expensive. I would stock up on chicken legs, which cost $1.49/lb when more than 3lbs was purchased. It allowed me to eat decent meat and be able to afford it. No longer.....!?!?! Can you tell me why? Thank you for your attention.
06/26/2013 3:08:39 PM CDT
Amy Wallin says ...
Are Bell & Evans' chickens fed GMO feed? And is the breading on some of their products made with GMO ingredients? I love Bell & Evans but I am becoming increasingly wary of non-organic food items. Thank you!
07/02/2013 10:15:59 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@AMY - I would contact their company to find out for sure, but I did not see any non-GMO information on their website. They do offer a line of organic products which are regulated by the USDA to avoid the use of GMOs. If you are looking to avoid GMOs, I would suggest looking for their organic line.
07/02/2013 1:02:38 PM CDT
Leslie sharp says ...
Thanks for your commitment to animal rights. I enjoy eating chicken, but not at the cost of causing suffering to animals. It sounds like your chickens lead healthy and natural lives. You have a new customer!
08/04/2013 9:36:15 AM CDT
Don Griswold says ...
Can I buy or order a Bell & Evans fresh turkey during the year other than just beforeThanksgiving?
08/15/2013 8:03:38 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@DON - Our products vary between stores so it is best to check with your local store to see what they have on hand. They will be happy to let you know what they have in stock!
08/15/2013 4:21:24 PM CDT
Cathy Lemburg says ...
I would like to know if you use Slow Induction Anesthesia (SIA) on your turkeys. Also, do you have organic turkeys at Whole Foods during Thanksgiving? Thank you for your humane treatment of your birds.
11/07/2013 10:51:56 PM CST
Lisa says ...
I love Bell & Evans thin chicken breasts. They are very limited in stores. All supermarkets don't carry them. You need to have them in more stores in New Jersey.
06/13/2014 8:02:26 PM CDT