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 The chicken and the egg

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Poll :: Has it made a difference?

I watched and will be changing my buying habits
15%
 15%  [ 5 ]
I watched but will not be changing my buying habits
18%
 18%  [ 6 ]
I already buy free range chicken and eggs
66%
 66%  [ 22 ]
Total Votes : 33


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Eight
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:26 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

This week, Channel 4 have been running a series of programmes about the food industry, and particularly chicken and egg production. For the sake of the squeamish, it might be better not to be too descriptive, but the series has highlighted welfare issues for the chickens in a visual and striking way. I wondered whether it will make any difference to buying habits for people who have seen the programmes and can afford the extra cost. For those who will not be changing their habits, it would be interesting to know whether it is primarily that price is a disincentive.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:10 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Already buy free range, It's worth the extra cost not to eat some poor chicken who's been bred in a cage the size of A4 paper.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ I'm with Rodus on this

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:25 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

It is terrible what they do to chickens that are not free range, I do wish all lads come back in their next lives as battery hens.

In saying that the poor neglected chicken that has spent all 12 weeks of its short life in a tiny cage eating pellets is much cheaper than the chicken that has spent its life running around a small yard with heaps of other chickens eating most likely the same pellets.


I will continue to buy caged chickens

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I made the switch to free range eggs since years, as I live in a rural area now getting eggs like this is easily and cheaply done.

Besides, the eggs taste better--the yolks are darker and have a much richer taste. The eggs I eat are also from hens that are fed with corn and since they are free range, they can scratch for insects to supplement their diets, and give me even tastier eggs.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Even "free range" is subject to differing definitions.

For chickens to really be "free range," the range has to be quite large and have its location rotated.

The normal industrial "free range" allows the birds to run around, but they still can't survive without heavy medication due to the contanimation of the ground from their droppings. So "free range" isn't as good as it sounds.

It is said that if all the chickens in Europe - battery and slaughter - were to be able to live in a naturally healthy way, the chicken yard would have to be about the size of Europe itself.

It makes me sick when I see people buying painted eggs at Easter, which they don't intend to eat, but which are just for decoration.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I buy the cheap stuff 'cause that's usually what the grocery budget allows. My goal for next spring, however, is to get the rest of the family motivated to build the chicken coop. We live in the country, with lots of land, so there's no reason to *not* raise chickens again (we did it when I was very young).

Super-fresh eggs - as in, laid yesterday or even today - are the very best. I don't care *how* much you pay for the good stuff at the store. It's not the same *grins*

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

^^ Royal,I grew up being the one that cut the heads off, my Da used to faint after the first one, well, actually, he fainted as soon as the axe fell, it's surprising how rabid pople get when they are confronted with how their food is actually grown/prepared for them

I'm not a fan of battery farming, our ducks/fowls had 5 acres of land, and ponds to grow on, and we made a good living from it

OK, we also grew market crops and they got the leavings to supplement their diet

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm with Akai Ryu on this.

I've always bought free range, organic corn fed Chicken. It tastes great.
I also buy the free range eggs, I like the nice dark orange yolk, and they taste damn good. And of course I do have my concerns about the chickens welfare.

Trouble is, it's easy for me to say and do what I do. I earn a good wage.
But I fully understand why some families have to go for the cheap chicken, so I don't expect everyone to join me on my (slightly aloof) moral high ground.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I think that the worst battery cages are to be banned in the EU by 2010 Smile

I find that chicken really bland, however good the bird or preparation method. I don't like eggs either, by themselves, but if I need them for cakes I always buy free range eggs.

When I was young I went around an intensive farm for school and it gave me nightmares, still can't believe how cruel intensive farming is to many animals. I'm pleased that this programme is showing how vile battery cages are. Even if just a few more free-range chickens are sold that's good.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:38 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

The problem is that only so many chickens and eggs can be produced free range, by more people turning to free range it will most likely only mean higher prices and not less caged hens.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:45 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I raise free range chickens, turkeys and ducks. The eggs are fantastic. Our birds eat insects, grass, some organic grain, table scraps. They have a few acres of managed land to wander around on. I can barely bring myself to eat a commercial egg when I am out in the world as they taste like what the birds eat....

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2008 11:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Having to feed a family of 4 on a limited budget, I have to go with the cheaper option. If organic or free range is on offer I'll buy it, but otherwise I go with what's easier to afford.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:12 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I rarely eat whole eggs (as in cracked from the shell as opposed to baked/cooked into something), despite what my profile says. I also buy only what I can afford to buy... (they rarely put out coupons for meats)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:45 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I only buy organic and free range.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I think you should have another voting option ..."I watched and would change my eating habits if my budget allowed me to do so".

Speaking as somebody who had jacket potato with baked beans for my Christmas dinner the year before last, chicken in any shape or form would have been a luxury.

There are millions of people on limited budgets,so sadly, I think intensive methods of rearing are here for the foreseeable future.

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Eight
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:04 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I thought about your option, Tommo, but then it would have isolated those who were choosing not to change even when they could afford to, which may have impacted on the results. I am in the lucky position of being able to choose. Others may have access to land to raise chickens themselves for eggs and meat. If I could, I'd choose that route, because I have tasted the eggs and they are the best, without doubt. I don't blame people for choosing to prioritise cost if they are on a tight budget.

I suspect that the costs would come down a bit if there was more demand, although I accept that battery farming is always going to be cheaper. I think that more awareness of whether things like pasta and mayonnaise have free range eggs in them would drive up better standards with less impact on price.

I voted that I would be changing my buying habits as a result. I already buy free range eggs and pasta made from free range eggs, but I did not always buy free range chicken. I have never checked the other products I buy to see whether they contain free range eggs, although I suspect many will be, since I buy organic much of the time.

The other change is that I will try to shop at Tescos less, despite it being the most convenient option. Two reasons: one is that, apparently, one in every 8 spent in total by us in the UK goes to them, and I am uncomfortable with handing them that much power and influence. The second reason is that they are the largest supermarket yet refused to put up one of their directors or senior managers for any of the programmes. That's cowardly. Evil or Very Mad Waitrose, Sainsburys and the Co-op all fielded someone at one point, so they get plus points in my book. Smile

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:30 am Reply with quoteBack to top

You get what you pay for.

I believe that free range chicken and eggs do taste better. I buy them occasionally but not as often as I would like. To me, it's about keeping cost down.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:46 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I'm already in the "Free Range Camp".

But I'm tempted to buy Battery just because I do not like tongue too big for his mouth, mockney-wankah, full of shit chefs like Jamie "god you piss me off" Oliver, telling me what to do.

If there's one guy who I hope gets the Samonella squitters from an egg, he's it. Evil or Very Mad

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

We raise kids so we feed them hens eggs with high omega-3 content. Rooster eggs are terrible. When the package says free range and high omega-3, we buy that.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:24 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I agree Connie. I love the Omega-3 added eggs.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:30 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I saw the J.O. programme, and also the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall one, broadcast in the same week.

Though I do generally buy "free range" eggs anyway, it appears Hugh's programme wasn't entirely truthful. I quote from today's Digital Spy:


Quote:
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been accused of conning viewers with his recent Channel 4 show Hugh's Chicken Run.

The TV chef investigated chicken farming for the programme, which featured in Channel 4's Big Food Fight season of shows. Fearnley-Whittingstall set up different chicken units for the TV experiment, including an intensively reared farm and a free range run.

The units were investigated by industry watchdog Assured Food Standards, who ruled that both farms failed to meet basic health standards. Hugh was also accused of encouraging animal cruelty in order to exaggerate conditions at the intensively reared farm. However, the footage was cut from the programme.

David Clarke, chief executive of Assured Food Standards, told the Sunday Mirror: "When Hugh set up this experiment he told viewers it would run to industry standards.

"There was no way it was going to pass our inspection. We agreed to give Hugh a 20-minute debrief at the end of the inspection on camera, and we broke the news that they had failed.

"It was obvious some of what we said was not helpful to the message Hugh wanted to give his fans. I was pretty shocked when that wasn't shown on the programme. Hugh didn't pass the test and it didn't fairly represent intensive farms."

Fearnley-Whittingstall hoped to use the programme to encourage consumers to buy free-range chickens.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: "We voluntarily invited the ACP to visit the farm in Hugh's Chicken Run. There was no requirement for us or any other chicken producers to join the scheme or to have an inspection.

"We also didn't include either the RSPCA or the vets' visits in the programme, both of whom told us they were satisfied we achieved conditions comparable to those within the industry. We had hired a thoroughly qualified stockman, and set the farm up as close as possible to industry standards."

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:32 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Chickens are chickens to me. I'd eat em. Laughing
Since I live in the American South, chicken is a staple of everyone's diet. Laughing

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:48 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Well I already buy free-range eggs only, and I cannot remember the last time I actually bought chicken to cook at home. I stick to quorn and soya and such like (quicker and easier to prepare, and much less likely that my appalling cooking skills will poison me).

But I do eat meat in restaurants quite frequently and even before the programs last week, it was beginning to concern me rather a lot that the origins of the ingredients are rarely available to the punter in most ordinary restaurants. I'm talking pub-grub, the local Italian or Mexican restaurants and the indian take-away, etc, here. And not being an exhibitionist, I don't feel like making a fuss and asking the chef each time I eat out.

I wonder what the answer to that conundrum is. Ideas on a postcard please... Confused

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 9:09 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I only ever buy free range eggs. We do without rather than buy battery eggs.
I loathe chicken so never buy it.
I also worry about the conditions that pigs are reared in so avoid buying supermarket bacon. Luckily we have a butcher who deals in free range pigs. Its a lot dearer so we don't buy it that often.

Vegetarian soups are very filling so we usually have a pot of that on the go, keeps most of the family happy . ( We're a mix of vegetarian and omnivores )
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