man at store pointing to sign next to chicken with caption 'No Hormones Added' (l) chicken at store (c) man holding chicken (r)

Andrey Burstein/Shutterstock @bobbyparrish/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Rose Cox

‘That explains the horrible texture’: Food expert says ‘hormone-free’ chicken is just bamboozling shoppers. He shares what to look for instead

‘Pasture raised eggs are the way to go.’


Braden Bjella


Given the presently high cost of groceries, it’s understandable that people are getting a little pickier when they go to the grocery store.

For example, if one is going to shell out nearly $5 for a dozen eggs, they would hope that they would be getting superior quality at such a high price point.

One way to determine the quality of the items one is purchasing is by reading the label on the packaging. However, these labels can often be deceptive, as manufacturers are aware of what appeals to customers and how to play into those desires.

Now, in a video with over 1.4 million views as of Sunday, TikTok user Bobby Parrish (@bobbyparrish) has sparked a discussion after revealing some tricks to look out for while at the grocery store.

What’s ‘hormone-free’ chicken?

To start his video, Parrish points out that some chicken at the grocery store is being marketed as “hormone-free.” While this is true, he says that this little bit of information is missing some important context.

“When you see chicken that says no hormones added, it’s been illegal since the 1950s to add hormones,” he says. “It’s all marketing at this point.”

This is true. As noted by Chicken Check In, “Since the 1950s, the U.S. government has banned all hormones and steroids in poultry.”

What is water-chilled vs. air-chilled chicken?

Next, Parrish notes that some chicken being sold is “water-chilled.”

“When you see chicken that may contain up to 5% retained water, that’s chicken that’s been water chilled, slaughtered, put into a water bath to cool down, but soaks up a lot of water and affects the texture,” he states. “You want air-chilled chicken. I don’t see it, but that’s superior.”

Smart Chicken elaborates on this.

“In chicken processing, birds must quickly be brought below 40˚ Fahrenheit after feather removal. The industry standard accomplishes this by immersing the chickens in a cold water bath,” the website reads. “By contrast, airchilling is a process by which chickens are circulated through purified cold air to bring the birds down to a safe temperature.”

As far as whether air-chilled chickens are better, it appears to be a matter of preference. While many claim that air-chilled chicken produces superior flavor, one 2021 study found that the researchers “did not detect a significant impact on texture, flavor attributes, or nutritive composition by chicken chilling method.”

Cage-free vs. Free-range eggs

Third, Parrish says that your “free range” or “cage-free” eggs might not be as free range as you thought.

“Yes, they’re not living in cages, but this is what a hen house looks like,” he says, showing an image of a large room filled with chickens. “It’s a windowless warehouse with 30,000 to 50,000 chickens packed in.”

“If it’s free range, the government said it only needs a 10-foot patio fenced in where the chickens can maybe look out,” he continues. “They might not be in cages, but they might as well be because their living conditions are horrible.”

As previously covered by the Daily Dot, this is also true, though there are some other things you should look out for when buying eggs.

American salmon—or is it?

Parrish’s final tip concerns salmon.

“I love wild-caught salmon, but you’ve got to be really careful, because even though this is pink salmon, almost always from Alaska, why does it say ‘Product of China,’ ‘Processed in China?’” he says, holding up a bag of frozen salmon. “Because it’s actually cheaper to take that wild salmon we catch here in the USA, ship it all the way to China, have them process it, break it down, package it, and send it back, than doing that here, which is sad, but you also lose the traceability.”

Here’s how the process works, according to a 2005 article in the Seattle Times.

“The fish are de-headed and gutted on the ship in the Bering Sea, then frozen and sent to China,” writes author Choy Leng Yeong about one company’s practices. “Once there, they are boned, skinned and cut into portions of 2 ounces to 6 ounces.”

To conclude, Parrish advises one to “just grab a bag of USA wild salmon and you’ll be good to go.”


Marketing Gimmicks – Things that make you go hmmm 🤔

♬ original sound – Bobby Parrish

Commenters share their thoughts

In the comments section, users offered their opinions on the tips laid out by Parrish in his video.

“Pasture raised eggs are the way to go,” a user wrote.

“I could care less about water chilled or air chilled if it’s healthy to eat and saves a few dollars,” said another.

“If you have ever raised your own chickens and ate the meat, you will know the difference,” claimed a third. “It’s insane how amazing it tastes compared to store bought !!”

The Daily Dot reached out to Parrish via website contact form.

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