It Turns Out That Nando’s Doesn’t Use Free-Range Chicken

And it's not all that healthy for us either

Should You Really Be Eating At Nandos?

by Eleanor Lee |

Stormzy loves it. Ed Sheeran’s a fan. Even Queen Bey has made an order before. Nandos seems to be loved by everyone up and down the country. Whether it’s the array of flavours, refillable drinks, their loyalty card, or just great chicken, I can bet that you’re a fan. Despite being the ‘home of the legendary Portuguese flame-grilled peri-peri chicken’, is the high-street restaurant really as great as it seems?

Although everyone’s fave chicken restaurant is seen as the healthier alternative to fast food, Nandos don’t actually use free-range chickens; and amid the recent chicken scandal rumours, surely, we should be paying a lot more attention to how our food is treated.

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I for one was completely oblivious to the types of chicken Nandos use and quite frequently found myself stopping off for a lemon and herb chicken burger with peri-peri chips and a corn on the cob, but now I’m wondering whether my money is better off spent elsewhere.

Nando’s do admit to not using free-range chickens on their website. ‘Nando’s prides itself in offering great tasting food at great value. Chicken welfare is of utmost importance, however, we also need to consider the price our customers are willing to pay. We continue to engage with our suppliers in the search for practical welfare improvements.’ In short, Nando’s excuse for using cooped up chickens is to keep the price down for us yet surely, in 2017, we’re willing to pay a little extra for healthy, well-bred food?

A petition set up to tackle Nando’s welfare standards states that ‘the chickens are reared in tens of thousands, and pushed to grow very, very fast only to be slaughtered at unnaturally young ages. That causes the animals to suffer cardio-vascular diseases. They become painfully crippled because they are growing so fast that their lungs, bones and heart cannot keep up.' Choosing free-range chicken doesn’t only protect the welfare of the animals, it protects us from any harmful chemicals or pesticides that otherwise could’ve been used on the chickens to help them grow unnaturally.

If the quality of their chicken wasn’t enough, it’s also been proved that Nando’s isn’t as healthy as we first thought. Although the restaurant prides themselves off of being the healthy alternative to fast-food, previous studies have shown that eating at Nando’s can be worse than eating at KFC. ‘A KFC Toasted Twister wrap contains 480 calories and 4.7g of sugar, compared with 594 calories and 16.2g sugar in the Nandos chicken wrap.’ Research also reiterated that the Toasted Twister wrap from KFC costs £4.59, yet the chicken wrap at Nando’s would cost you £8.45. Alongside this, a portion of chips from Nando’s have nearly 240 more calories than those from KFC.

So, what are we actually paying for when we decide to stop for a Nando’s? It’s certainly not free-range chicken and it doesn’t seem to be a healthy meal. Nando’s is beginning to seem like another fast-food joint that’s been dressed up to look like a nice restaurant. Whatever they're up to, it's definitely all rather 'cheeky'.

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Follow Eleanor on Twitter @eleanorlee_

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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