GAINESVILLE, Ga. — The year 2023 has come to an end and the National Chicken Council looks back on having a great year. In NCC’s “Washington Report,” the organization said “these qualities also position chicken as an essential, high-quality protein that can help end hunger in our nation and world. In fact, the meat and poultry category is one of the most purchased and consumed food items by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) households, and proteins like chicken are one of the top three most requested items at food banks.”
The NCC describes how good chicken is to include in an individual’s diet. Chicken is good for the brain because it provides needed vitamins and minerals for it to function properly. The NCC adds, “dark and white meat chicken contains vitamin B12 and choline, which together may promote brain development in children, help the nervous system function properly and aid cognitive performance in older adults.”
Chicken can be helpful when a person is attempting to improve their mood. The NCC says, “chicken has tryptophan, an amino acid that is responsible for raising serotonin levels in your brain. Serotonin is the ‘feel-good’ neurochemical linked with mood.”
Just like dairy, chicken provides support to strengthen bone health. The NCC added that, “Chicken is a source of dietary protein. Protein can benefit bone health.” Along with strengthening a person’s bones, chicken is also good for developing muscles.
“Chicken is a source of high-quality dietary protein. 30 grams of protein per meal could benefit muscle growth.” Chicken is good for heart health, the council noted, adding that, “Chicken provides under-consumed vitamins and minerals and can be center of the plate for a heart-healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol diet, such as the DASH diet.”
Now that it is the beginning of a new year and people are looking into maybe changing their diets. Eating chicken is also recommended for someone trying to lose weight.
“Lean chicken meat is an excellent source of protein that the body can use easily,” NCC said. “Foods high in protein may be a tool for managing weight and a normal blood sugar.” Chicken is also good for many people that need support in chewing, swallowing or have taste changes. The NCC says, “For those who struggle with chewing or swallowing foods, or with changes in taste, chicken is a versatile source of high-quality protein.”
The organization, in its Chicken Check-In blog, also reported how the industry helped feed many people around the world this year by providing an estimated 123,230,600 meals, 40,630,000 pounds of protein and $81,112,000 in funding. The NCC also provided efforts to educate about biosecurity and preservation of the birds’ health.
Despite struggles such as avian influenza, the poultry industry noted a good year. The USDA, in a recent Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook report, provided many industry statistics, including:
· Projected broiler production is adjusted up for the fourth quarter of 2023 based on strong production in October but adjusted down in the first quarter of 2024 based on recent hatchery data.
· Both broiler exports and imports were adjusted up slightly in 2023 on recent data.
· Broiler prices are adjusted down 1 cent in the fourth quarter of 2023 on recent prices but are unchanged for next year.
· Total table egg production in 2023 is unchanged, while 2024 production is decreased slightly.
· Wholesale prices for eggs are adjusted down for the fourth quarter of 2023 on recent data. Expectations for both imports and exports of eggs and egg products in 2023 are increased slightly on recent data.