Chicken vs. Beef - what's the deal

Thinking about the choices we make

Whether going out to eat or making something at home, when I want to make my meal healthier I opt for chicken as my protein, but is there any merit to that? Am I missing out by choosing a chicken burger over an angus one? For the sake of my taste buds and my heart, I had to find out! I’m going to pit the two against one another based on overall health benefits, their environmental footprint, and their versatility. But first, here are some great half price wing deals and Chicken specials in and around Toronto.


Bar Hop
Bar Hop Brew Co - 137 Peter St, Toronto

"Great beers and vibes at this 3 storey Micro Brewery. A stunning rooftop patio, and some great deals to keep you coming back."

Our Favorite Deals

$1 chicken wings Sunday
$6 draught beers Monday
$10 classic cocktails Tuesday
half price bottles of wine Wednesday

Fox Cityplace
Fox Cityplace - 117 Fort York Blvd, Toronto

"A great spot for sports and live music. Steps from Rogers and Air Canada Centre offering traditional pub favorites."

Our Favorite Deals

half-priced wings Monday
$4 tacos Tuesday

Gracw O'Mally's
Grace O'Mallys - 117 Fort York Blvd, Toronto

"Vibrant Irish pub serving traditional pub grub, craft beer & cocktails, plus regular live music, happy hour, and daily specials." -Checkout our webpage for the full list.

Our Favorite Deals

$9.99 a lb of wings Monday
$16.99 tacos and folly beer Tuesday
happy hour specials Daily 4-7pm

Score on King
Score on King - 107 King St E, Toronto

"WAlking distance from the St.Lawrence Market, this sports bar has a huge streetside patio and crazy caesars worth writing home about."

Our Favorite Deals

$10 chicken/cauliflower wings Wednesday
happy hour specials Weekday 4-6pm

Craft Beer Market
Craft Beer Market - 1 Adelaide St. E

"Restaurant, bar, and beer garden with happy hour food and drink specials, and too many deals to list." - Vist our Apps page to see the full list of deals.

Our Favorite Deals

$10 lb of wings,
1/2 off bottle of wine

Wed

$5 Craft House beer,
$6.50 rotating House Wine,
$4.50 fish taco

Mon-Sat: 2-5pm,
9pm-close
All day Sun


W Burger Bar
W Burger Bar - 10 College St, Toronto

"A variety of burgers, crafty coktails and $2 (12oz) beers and shooters."- Wait, two dollars?

Our Favorite Deals

$8 chicken wings & half price apps Thursday: 10pm-1am
$6 Calamari
$6 Beef Sliders with fries
Mon-Fri: 3-6pm
$2 (12oz) PBR,
$10 (60z) PBR pitchers
Everyday

Crown and Dragon
Crown and Dragon - 890 Yonge St, Toronto

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Voted the best wings in town, and we can't agree more."

Our Favorite Deals

4lbs of wings for the price of 3lbs Tues, Thurs, Sun

Breakwall BBQ
Breakwall BBQ - 1910 Queen St. E, Toronto

The beaches go-to Smokehouse with daily specials and a patio that screams 'Good Vibes Only'." -Visit our Apps page to see full list of specials.

Our Favorite Deals

$10 lb of wings
$5 Pabst beer
Monday
$14 mussels
bucket of Corona
Friday

Too many Wing Specials to list in Toronto - View them all here
deals map Toronto

Back to the Chicken and Beef Debate - Overall Health

The healthiness of foods falls on a spectrum and everyone will have a different set of standards for what they deem worthwhile tradeoffs. Moderation and balance are always preferred over hard and fast rules. With that said, let's look at some data to help us (mostly me), make more informed decisions.

chicken vs beef
Infographics provided by Foodstruct. The 'winning' nutrient name is displayed in the color of the winner. The main source of information is USDA.

Calories: Per 100g of meat, beef clocks in at an average of 210 calories, and chicken averages out around 160 calories. Both meats have lower and higher caloric options: lean vs fatty steaks or white vs dark chicken meat.

Vitamins & Nutrients: Both beef and chicken are high in protein, vitamins B3, B6, B12, choline, zinc, and iron but in most cases beef has a higher percentage of the daily recommended intake of minerals, while chicken over indexes on the different vitamins it offers.

Fat & Heart Health: As nutrient dense as beef is, it also has higher levels of saturated fats than chicken, so choosing leaner cuts, or trimming the fat off before eating is the heart healthy way to still enjoy red meat.

Okay, but about the oft-talked about link between red meat and cancer? - Great question!

According to research, there may be a few culprits in red meat eating practises that can lead to higher chances of cancer that we can mitigate. Dried meats like beef jerky and deli often have compounds added to them during the curing and smoking phases that are linked to cancer, so opt for fresh beef instead of the preserved options.

Heterocyclic amines are a carcinogenic substance that is formed when cooking meat at high heat; the more well done your steak, the more heterocyclic amines are formed, so opt for a rarer steak, roast or stew your beef, or use it in your soups!

Winner - Chicken takes this round with it’s higher protein and vitamin content and lower associated risks for heart disease and cancer.

Environmental Footprint

Beyond our own health, we also have the health of Mother Earth to think about.

food greenhouse gases

According to the data gathered by the Environmental Working Group, beef produces the second-highest levels of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprint). That's 4 times more greenhouse gases than chicken.

Harvesting chicken meat isn’t perfect either; though they don’t create methane while alive and eat far less than most animals, processing poultry for consumption requires more energy and water than other meats. Still, when compared directly to beef production, chicken ultimately creates far less of an environmental footprint.

Winner - Chicken is the very clear winner here with the lower CO2e emissions.

Taste and Versatility

Who hasn’t heard the phrase “it tastes like chicken”? I take that to mean that chicken is very neutral in flavour. Without seasoning to give it more flavor, chicken can be very bland.

Given the small stature of chickens, the range of cuts is quite limited but that doesn’t make it any less versatile. Deep friend. baked, slow cooked, or in soups, chicken can seamlessly fit in any type of dish or cuisine.

Rarely will you find plain chicken breast on a plate though, unless you’re hanging out with my husband or athletes doing a weight cut. Steak cooked in nothing but butter though? Sign me up! The massive size of a cow lends itself to the benefit of having a lot to work with from a culinary standpoint. Roasts, ribs, steaks, even the bones can be used for delicious marrow dishes. Beef lends more of a unique flavour to dishes and isn’t quite the chameleon that chicken is, but that makes it a great star for any meal, and requires limited seasoning.

beef cuts

Winner - Okay, this is a tough one,let's call it a tie. For those of you that like to cook, the numerous ways to cook and season a chicken makes it very versatile. For every one else, a piece of steak on the grill with some salt and pepper and you have yourself a 5-star meal.

Final Thoughts

The winner of beef vs poultry is the humble chicken, by a mile! The versatility of chicken means you can easily add it to any meal for a cheaper, healthier, and less environmentally impactful source of protein. But, if you want a steak, go for it; the occasional red meat can actually be good for you. Just remember, everything in moderation.

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Julia Siegal

Julia S.

Public relations and communications professional, animal lover, yuzu fanatic, and a firm believer that food is the best way to bring people together.

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