8 Fast Food Chains That Serve the Highest Quality Chicken
According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, more than half of those who say they buy organic food say they do so on a weekly basis. In short, organic food is becoming an integral part of our diet. So it makes sense that individuals would expect their favorite restaurants to follow suit and source the highest quality chicken they can find.
Luckily, many fast-food chains have made positive changes as consumers have started demanding more organic options in their restaurants, especially when it comes to chicken. While most have not yet gone organic, many shop locally, are avoiding antibiotics, or are making positive changes. Whether you’re craving chicken tenders, chicken quesadillas, or a simple chicken sandwich, there are several fast food options that offer healthier items.
However, it’s important to note that the definition of healthier chicken can vary from restaurant to restaurant. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines it as chickens “raised in living conditions consistent with their natural behaviors (such as the ability to graze in the pasture), fed 100% organic forage and forage, and not treated with antibiotics or hormones.” “. A restaurant might consider some or all of these criteria when deciding what it considers organic. So use your discretion based on your personal dining preferences.
Here are Nine chicken chains committed to feeding you the finest quality chicken.
The Organic Coup started its business with a mission to serve only the highest quality organic chicken to its customers. The company advertises itself as “America’s First USDA-Certified Organic Fast Food,” and that’s a claim it proudly stands behind. The Organic Coup emphasizes that they only use organic ingredients, and that includes chicken. The organic chicken option is available in sandwiches, wraps, salads and bowls. Of course, you have to live in certain areas of California to take advantage of this delicious chicken place.
Back in 2015, Panera Bread committed to removing a large number of ingredients from its food, including many of the added flavors and preservatives that make something decidedly inorganic. This “No No List” policy extended to its protein, including chicken. Panera announces that as of 2021, all chicken served in its restaurants has been raised antibiotic-free.
Chipotle has been very vocal and proud of the quality of its food over the years, marketing itself as a fast food company that uses only fresh ingredients. Chipotle advertises its food as containing no “artificial flavors, colors or preservatives,” including its chicken. The company says it only uses birds that are “100% vegetarian and antibiotic-free” and aims to only purchase chickens raised in accordance with Global Animal Partnership standards by 2024.
The name of the game at BurgerFi is, you guessed it, hamburgers. But if you want something a little leaner, it also offers a select number of chicken sandwiches. The cage-free chicken used in these meals comes from a family-owned farm and is raised without hormones or antibiotics, according to the BurgerFi website. At BurgerFi you can order almost anything on the menu knowing it’s made with only the freshest ingredients.
Sweetgreen is a small fast food chain with approximately 150 locations across the United States. It differs in that it mainly serves salads and bowls. If your order includes chicken, Sweetgreen would like you to know that it has taken several steps to ensure its chicken comes only from farms that have received Global Animal Partnership (GAP) certification. This not only includes farms with chickens that have received optimal living conditions, but which are also processed more gently.
Lyfe Kitchen is a small restaurant chain with three locations in Chicago. It’s on a mission to do its part to protect the planet and it shows in the reusable serveware as well as the quality of its ingredients. The menu emphasizes that the chicken used in its dishes is either locally sourced or all-natural, which is consistent with its stance on not using any artificial ingredients in its dishes.
Elevation Burger operates primarily in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States with a focus on serving organic hamburgers. The fast-food chain also serves crispy chicken tenders and Sriracha chicken sandwiches (with grilled and crispy options available). On its website, Elevation Burger emphasizes that they only use free-range chicken and USDA-certified organic beef in their products, “with no antibiotics ever.”
Tender Greens is a fast-casual, cafeteria-style chain with multiple locations in California that focuses on serving freshly prepared ingredients. As well as the usual suspects like sandwiches and salads, customers can also order hot items. Menu options include Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Chipotle BBQ Chicken, and Salt and Pepper Chicken to name a few. Across the board, Tender Greens states on its website that its chicken is free-range and vegetarian-fed.
Carly Terzigni is a freelance writer specializing in food, travel, Disney and theme parks. Read more about Carly