Why Kosher & Organic?
BESHERT is the Yiddish word for “a match made in heaven” — and that’s how we describe the WISE ORGANIC PASTURES double certification. It’s the ideal combination of kosher and organic, bringing you a product that is superior in every way.
For us, producing meat that is kosher — literally “fit” or “proper” — is more than following the Jewish laws of food preparation. It’s a commitment we make every day to the hygiene of our processing, the health of our product and the humane treatment of our animals.
We take careful steps in the preparation of our kosher poultry and beef to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria, assuring the highest-quality product.
We believe that only healthy animals, which have been given a clean bill of health by a trained rabbi, are suitable for preparing kosher meat.
We honor all life, and ensure the slaughtering process is as quick and pain-free as possible.
WISE ORGANIC PASTURES beef and poultry is processed in modern facilities, by a family dedicated to old-fashioned quality, under strict supervision of both Central Rabbinical Congress (Hisachdus) and the Star-K.
We’ve been organic since the beginning.
By the time the USDA’s national organic standards went into effect in 2002, WISE ORGANIC PASTURES had been unofficially organic for a decade. It just seemed like the right thing to do: raise poultry on an organic diet, give them access to sunshine, fresh air and pasture, and keep them off antibiotics and hormones. Not surprisingly, our organic meat label was one of the first ever approved by the USDA.
The official organic seal, present on all of our products, guarantees our animals are:
Raised on a vegetarian diet, with absolutely no animal by-products
Given no antibiotics or growth hormones, ever
Fed only 100% organic feed, grown without pesticides and free of GMOs
Able to roam freely, with access to green grass and blue skies
Just as important to us is that our chickens, turkeys and cows are raised humanely by family farmers we know and trust.
For the most part, a segment of the population requires kosher poultry for religious dietary purposes. However, the stringent processes and articulate procedures which are exercised on a regular basis at a kosher facility, are known to produce a cleaner and less bitter product than their non kosher counterparts. The salting process draws the blood out of the chickens to remove bitterness, affecting the overall flavor of the poultry.
Q and A: You asked. We Answered.
Q: How does free range farming affect the poultry?
A: By providing sustainable farming for our livestock, the land remains intact in its natural formation and beauty. Natural environments mean more space, and less polluted areas for the chickens to breed on. Our chickens range freely, unlike commercial chicken coops fenced in by wire tentacles. The manure is removed from the ground on a daily basis, to prevent the incubation of illness. The cause and effect of this method of farming, leads to antibiotic free chickens, reducing the need for intervention as nature takes its course. A healthier environment means a healthier product.
Q: In what way does Organic differ from Natural?
A: Federal and State regulation has a gap when it comes to listing an item as Natural. The specifications range with no definitive procedure or content. The requirements for a natural seal on a product are very few, rendering many commercially packaged products natural by label, but a far cry from healthy. The big question remains as to what “natural” really means. Organic, on the other hand, has been taken on by drastic measures. Legislative requirements are stringent and specific, with farms and facilities closely watched before bearing the seal of “Organic” for production. Wise proudly boasts the organic seal of approval by the USDA
and QAI’s regulations and requirements.
The NOP, a subsidiary of the USDA, quotes the following:
“Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”- USDA NOP informational division.
Q: What’s different in the feed, as opposed to standard chicken feed?
A: Standard chicken feed may contain large amounts of Genetically Modified Organisms( GMO) in the grain which the chickens graze on. GMO consumption is a leading cause of gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies indicate that lasting effects of GMO in our diets have been cause for the skyrocketing increases in food allergies, autism, and reproductive disorders. Toxic insecticides produced by Genetically Modified foods have been found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.
In addition to the GMO free feed, our chickens are fed a diet rich in organically derived soybeans which infuse unique flavor and quality to the chicken flesh. Since the feed we provide our chickens with contain no traces of gluten, there comes the added bonus of a ‘gluten free’ product.
Q: When thawing chicken which is frozen solid, can I stick it in a bath of hot water to quick start the process?
A:While all meat products are considered safe indefinitely while frozen, bacteria can be introduced anytime they hit temperatures warmer than 40’F. Exposing frozen chicken or meat to scalding water can lead to foodborne illness. Even in the event that the center of the package may still be partially or completely frozen, the outer layer of the food can be within the DANGER ZONE ranging between 40 and 140’F. Planning ahead is always advisable.
Here are 2 options to consider:
1. Cook or broil the frozen chicken without defrosting. Remember to estimate about 50 percent longer than the usual cooking time for thawed chicken. So if you’re preparing a chicken breast recipe which calls for 40 minutes cooking time in the oven or stovetop, calculate approximately an hourw hen using the frozen chicken alternative. To determine if your cooked chicken is safe to eat, be sure to use a food thermometer. When the chicken’s internal temperature has reached at least 165°
F throughout, you can safely dig in.
2. Place chicken in refrigerator and use the following day at advisable temperature.
Q: For how long is it safe to leave raw chicken out of the refrigerator?
A: Perishable foods should never be left at room temperature for more than TWO HOURS. After that you can stick the products into the refrigerator until ready for use. Or you may opt to refrigerate the frozen chicken overnight and remove from cooler/ refrigerated temperature 2 hours prior to preparation.
When thawing frozen food, it’s always best to plan ahead and thaw in the refrigerator where it will remain at a safe, constant temperature of 40 °F or below.
Q: How can I safely thaw chicken products in the microwave, when short on time?
A: When thawing food in a microwave, plan to cook it IMMEDIATELY after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm while beginning to cook during the thawing process. This can bring the food to Danger Zone temperatures, which has been previously mentioned. As a precautionary measure, storing PARTIALLY COOKED
food is also not recommended.
Q: How much time is needed when thawing chicken in the refrigerator?
A: Planning ahead is the key to this method because of the lengthy time involved. A large frozen item like a turkey requires at least a day (24 hours) for every 5 pounds of weight. Even small amounts of frozen food — such as a pound of ground meat or boneless chicken breasts — require a full day to thaw. When thawing foods in the
refrigerator, these are the variables to take into account.
-Some areas of the appliance may keep food colder than other areas.
-Food will take longer to thaw in a refrigerator set at 35 °F than one set at 40 °F.
After thawing in the refrigerator, items such as ground meat, stew meat, poultry, seafood, should remain safe and good quality for an additional day or two before cooking; red meat cuts (such as beef,lamb roasts, chops and steaks)last 3 to 5 days. Food thawed in the refrigerator can be refrozen without cooking, although there may be some loss of quality, and is therefore not advisable.
Q: Can placing the chicken under cold running water introduce bacterias as well?
A: The cold water thawing method is faster than refrigerator thawing but requires more attention. The food must be in a leakproof package or plastic bag. If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Also, the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product.
The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes so it continues to thaw. Small packages of meat, poultry or seafood — about a pound — may thaw in an hour or less. A 3-4pound package may take 2 to 3 hours. For whole turkeys, estimate about 30 minutes per pound. If thawed completely, the food must be
Foods thawed by the cold water method SHOULD BE COOKED before refreezing.
Air-chilled chicken is an increasingly popular way to minimize bacteria, but the process is not kosher. WISE ORGANIC PASTURES’ answer? Our chickens are first washed in a Cold-Water bath, then salted to remove impurities, and finally rinsed with cold water. Clean and kosher!