April 6, 2008

talking chicken

There was a part in Omnivore's Dilemma that I really related to. It was about the chickens (pg. 170). Rosie Chickens, to be exact. The farm that Michael Pollan visited is the same one that supplies chickens to local stores in my area. I frequently purchase the brand of birds he was talking about and was excited to be able to relate to his information on that level.

The Rosie Chickens (and related brands) are better than industrial processed chickens because they do not contain antibiotics and are not fed from animal byproducts. But the Rosie Chickens are by no means perfect. Pollan debunks the illusion of the chickens happily clucking around in cute pens or running in the fields eating bugs as nature intended. Chickens are not naturally corn and soy eaters, you know.

Anyway, I determined that the next time they had chickens at the farmers market I would buy one. The quality is supposed to be amazing. The demand is so great that people show up early on weeks when chickens are available.

But I couldn't do it. I totally wimped out because the farm that sells them leaves the head and feet on. I just couldn't do it. I thought I could manage it, but in the end I decided that the Rosie birds at the grocery would be good enough for me.

Am I a hypocritical meat eater? Seems like if I'm going to eat meat I should be able to deal with the whole animal. Besides, the head and feet are supposed to have wonderful nutrients for broths.

Maybe I'll work myself up to it again. Or maybe not.

6 comments:

Garnet said...

I can relate! We've recently given up most meat (all beef, most chicken unless range, antib free, etc etc, no sea or fresh water fish/shell, but some pork). We've been pondering raising rabbits for the occasional meat we do eat which is down to about once a week now, but the though of killing it, gutting, skinning, etc... Uh, so far I'll pass.

So am I the only one that sees veins and loses appetite?

Sugarmouth O'Riordan said...

Not to be all soapboxy, but the greenest chicken on the market today is the one that you don't buy. The more meat you can cut out of your diet, the better it is for you, the earth, *and* the chicken! ;)

Quorn makes some *great* chicken substitutes. Pricey and made from funky fungus/mycoprotein, but mighty tasty. :)

cmomgo said...

The farmers market vendor actually sells 1/2 chickens that don't have the head or feet. The cost a bit more, but then you don't have to deal with the parts.

dmoms said...

I couldn't do that either...

EnviroMom Heather said...

I couldn't handle the head and feet either. The chickens at our farmers market look just like they do in the store...my kind of meat. Over the weekend I went to this hip restaurant and ordered pigeon for my appetizer (I was feeling brave, and I couldn't resist!). It arrived garnished with a deep-fried pigeon leg. I couldn't look at it until they took that little claw-laden leg away. The more anonymous the meat, the better!

Anonymous said...

I would have done the same, and then I would have come home and felt odd about it too! I did go to a farmers' market recently, full of Omnivore's Dilemma-inspired zeal to get a "good" chicken, and the chicken on display did not have any offending parts left on, but I felt so awkward asking the guy about how the chicken was raised, and his answers seemed so vague, that I ... chickened ... out and didn't buy one. I plan to scour the farmers' markets this spring to see what's available and where and maybe even start up some conversations with the farmers to get a sense for their philosophies ...