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Battery Chicken On Telly


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What happens if this debate actually changes the situation, and "cheap shit chicken "is banished to history, what next? I get the feeling that some people will only rest when the general populus conforms to the liberal, middle class lifestyle/aspiration.

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That's why I mentioned the French Label Rouge birds, which typically sell for £6-7. One used to find them at Waitrose, Sainsbury and Tesco. They are infinitely superior to , for example, the Waitrose 'poulet d'or' at twice the price.

For those interested, these are the (exacting) Label Rouge Standards :

Breeds: Only certain breeds are allowed and these are slow-growing breeds

suitable for outdoor production.

Buildings: Area of buildings must be no more than 1324 square metre with no more

than four buildings per farm. Each building must be a minimum of 30m from

each other.

Stocking Density: The maximum stocking density is 0.3m square metre

per bird. No more than 4400 birds per building. Approximately 1 kg of bedding material is required per bird.

Access and range size: All birds must have access to the range from

9:00am until dusk after six weeks of age and must be outside for at least 42

days of the grow-out period. Range area per bird should be 6.5 square metre. Approximately 2 acres are required per house. 0.37m of pophole exits are

required per 31 square metre of building.

Feed: Ration must contain at least 75% cereal and be non-medicated.

Starter rations can be 50% cereal due to a higher soybean content. Rations

cannot contain animal products, growth stimulants or other additives.

Fishmeal is not permitted. Synthetic amino acids are permitted.

Veterinary: Coccidiostats are allowed but must be withdrawn 5 days before

slaughter. Vaccinations are allowed. Antibiotics can only be prescribed by a

vet.

Other: Beak and toe trimming are not allowed

Slaughter age: Birds must be grown for a minimum of 81 days

Minimum dress weight: 1kg without giblets

Sanitation period: Minimum period is 21 days between flocks

Transport: No more than 2 hours or 64 miles to processing plant

Processing: Air chilled post slaughter

Shelf life: Sold fresh within 9 days post slaughter

Inspection: Annually per flock (twice a year for hatcheries). Each visit

includes bacteriology tests and process control inspections. Taste tests occur

five times per year.

One article in my Google search suggested that lack ( therefore high cost) of space is an obstacle to rearing chickens to similar standards in the UK.

It would be interesting to have a similar list (or lists) for organic chickens for comparison. For example Soil Association Organic chickens are more stringent than the quoted Label Rouge in some areas (maximum flock size is 1000 and recommended size is 500 compared with 4400 above, and I can't see any rules quoted above about resting the ground between flocks), and require the birds to be outside for 2/3 of the growing periods (against about 1/2 above) but only require 4 square metres per bird rather than the 6.5 above.

Edit: Ah, I spotted the '21 days between flocks'. Soil Association is 2 month a year + an extra year in every three, so I'm not sure how directly comparable that all is.

Edited by Duncan (log)
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What happens if this debate actually changes the situation, and "cheap shit chicken "is banished to history, what next? I get the feeling that some people will only rest when the general populus conforms to the liberal, middle class lifestyle/aspiration.

And the downside to that will be...? :wink:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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What happens if this debate actually changes the situation, and "cheap shit chicken "is banished to history, what next? I get the feeling that some people will only rest when the general populus conforms to the liberal, middle class lifestyle/aspiration.

And the downside to that will be...? :wink:

There'll be no-one for the liberal middle-classes to feel superior to?

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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What happens if this debate actually changes the situation, and "cheap shit chicken "is banished to history, what next? I get the feeling that some people will only rest when the general populus conforms to the liberal, middle class lifestyle/aspiration.

I don't think this particular issue is part of a liberal manifesto to change the world. I think it is about respect for other living creatures.

The point about how its cooked is the most important. People on a tight budget can afford an extra 3 quid if they know what to do with leftovers and the carcass - and not throw it away once you've eaten the breasts as one person said on the show.

HFW has long been advocating eating less but better quality meat. I saw him at the Brighton Festival when his Meat book came out very passionately discussing this issue. Its the way to go for your own personal health, the welfare of the animals involved and the environment.

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This just in.

HFW’s Chicken Run got 3.5 million viewers three nights running, Thursday’s Dispatches on food labelling got 3 million and Jamie’s Fowl Dinners got 4 Million. These are very good numbers. To put them in some sort of context, Big Brother’s Celebrity Highjack (anything BB is seen as ‘an earner’ for the channel) got around 800,000.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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supermarket birds are uniformly awful, particularly the terrible Sheepdrove, revoltingly breast-heavy in the worst british manner. I would no more buy a battery hen than use flora margarine, and never have.

Uh? Sheepdrove chicken is not a "supermarket bird" or a "battery hen" - pretty much the polar opposite of a battery hen, in fact, and superior in quality (and cost) to any supermarket bird I've tried, even organic free range examples.

I expect to pay about £12 for a Sheepdrove chicken (about £7 a kilo), cut it in half, have one half as a roast for two and get two meals for the kids out of the other half, plus make some great stock. Not dirt cheap, but worth paying the extra imho.

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This just in.

HFW’s Chicken Run got 3.5 million viewers three nights running, Thursday’s Dispatches on food labelling got 3 million and Jamie’s Fowl Dinners got 4 Million. These are very good numbers. To put them in some sort of context, Big Brother’s Celebrity Highjack (anything BB is seen as ‘an earner’ for the channel) got around 800,000.

It'd be boring to argue that you can't compare a 1-hour special and a 24-hour spacefiller. Instead, I'll just note that the public seem to have viewed the evidence and concluded: "I feel like chicken tonight". Which is not exactly what was intended.

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To put them in some sort of context, Big Brother’s Celebrity Highjack (anything BB is seen as ‘an earner’ for the channel) got around 800,000.

According to the Daily Mail, BBCH got 3.4million viewers for the launch on Channel 4. The rest of the series, shown only on cable channel E4, attracted 600,000.

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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Jamie's crusade on School Dinners made much bigger headlines, had Goverment approval , schools changing their menus and where are we now? Less children than ever taken the food.This Chicken out will be in the same place in 6mths.It's worth trying to educate the population, but really, do think things will change in the long run?

Next he will be campaigning for the plight of the Ecuadorian farmed prawn and the mental health issues this incarceration causes said crustacea. Or maybe against poor farmed salmon, oops I forgot, he actually promoted and advertised them :rolleyes:

school dinners was cynical exercise in self publicity. his prodn team spent 6 months trying to find his targets, sorry schools. he ambushed interviewees in true Ali G manner, the whole thing was a friggin joke. it achieved nothing, because it was never interested in any of the details.

as for animal cruelty. meh, ever seen what a fox does a chicken? mother nature is a lot more cruel than any of us ever would be.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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school dinners was cynical exercise in self publicity.

That's the one thing Jamie Oliver needs of course, more publicity. If that's all he wanted, he could have just made a cookery series, written a book and spent the year promoting it. It appeared from the series that he had made a real emotional investment in that project. Clever editing? Well, maybe, but it certainly looked a lot more like hard work than pottering around his estate cooking tomatoes.

He wants his cake and eat it by getting behind all these causes, while taking pots of dosh from Sainsbury's, but I think ultimately his heart is in the right place.

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school dinners was cynical exercise in self publicity.

I think we've already kicked this particular one to death, not least here. In summary: it's hard to hate someone who's so clearly well-intentioned and on the side of good. Yet somehow, he always seems to make it worth the effort.

as for animal cruelty.  meh, ever seen what a fox does a chicken?  mother nature is a lot more cruel than any of us ever would be.

The latest medical research has actually suggested that people aren't foxes. And, while I understand your point, the "law of the jungle" card just invites people to counter with: "ever seen what a doberman does to a toddler?" etc. This is one of those arguments where, no matter who wins, everybody loses.

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school dinners was cynical exercise in self publicity.

That's the one thing Jamie Oliver needs of course, more publicity. If that's all he wanted, he could have just made a cookery series, written a book and spent the year promoting it. It appeared from the series that he had made a real emotional investment in that project. Clever editing? Well, maybe, but it certainly looked a lot more like hard work than pottering around his estate cooking tomatoes.

well that's just plainly not true. firstly, it's an attempt at manufacturing the St Jamie image, which your example can't do. and again, I direct knowledge of the efforts they went to trying to find crappy schools to fit their agenda, how many they rejected, and they way they blindsided various people at interview level - clever editting only if you believe in the easter bunny. :cool:

He wants his cake and eat it by getting behind all these causes, while taking pots of dosh from Sainsbury's, but I think ultimately his heart is in the right place.

I never said his heart wasn't basically in the right place, but the school dinners campaign was a cynical con.

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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The latest medical research has actually suggested that people aren't foxes. And, while I understand your point, the "law of the jungle" card just invites people to counter with: "ever seen what a doberman does to a toddler?" etc. This is one of those arguments where, no matter who wins, everybody loses.

only the latest medical research? your previous medical research subscriptions must be well out of date :laugh:

your analogy is pretty thin on the ground, at best. since when did we all disappear up own arses to think we were better than the law of the jungle - it's this same law of the jungle that allows us to segregate babies from dobermans. though that's as far as I'll go with that silly example.

when did we extricate ourselves from mother nature, was it in one of those medical research journals :raz::biggrin:

A meal without wine is... well, erm, what is that like?

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Well we know for certain that C4s unprecedented food crusade has already achieved its objectives which were relaunching and reaffirming the channel's public service credentials after a shite year, using readily available assets.

Now they matter has raised a degree of public debate, C4 can point to it and be smug. With the exception of Jamie's off-the-cuff comments about the ones that didn't turn up (for which he has fulsomely and publicly apologised) no supermarket was damaged in the making of these programmes. On the contrary, some have been able to appear on the programmes to look really concerned and then announce the launch of their new ranges or sourcing policies.

Was there anybody out there who thought this was about chickens?

:biggrin:

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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I didn't see any of the series (I'm aware that intensive farming methods aren't very pleasant, in the same way that I know plastic surgery makes for pretty grim viewing) but, as the main effect on me of watching Supersize Me was to trigger a craving for a Big Mac and fries, I'm wondering if KFC have experienced a spike in sales.

"Isn't it terrible what they do to our feathered friends?"

"Oh absolutely... God, I could murder a bargin bucket right now."

Edited by Andy Lynes (log)
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I direct knowledge of the efforts they went to trying to find crappy schools to fit their agenda

Yes, I bet that was difficult. Go out the door, turn right and stop at the first school you come to.

That's unfair and demonstrably untrue Andy.

I trust your restaurant reviews are better informed, more accurate and show greater respect to the people who work in them.

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I direct knowledge of the efforts they went to trying to find crappy schools to fit their agenda

Yes, I bet that was difficult. Go out the door, turn right and stop at the first school you come to.

That's unfair and demonstrably untrue Andy.

I trust your restaurant reviews are better informed, more accurate and show greater respect to the people who work in them.

I have two children, aged 14 and 10, both at different schools in Brighton. Both take packed lunches. That's my experience, which seemed to be echoed in the Jamie's School Dinners series. I take it that your's is different. Do you, or someone you know, work in the industry?

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