Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

No More Chicken Nuggets for Me

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Photo by Pam Marshall via FeatherSite.com

As a society, I'm amazed by who so very far removed we are from where our food comes from.  My move to raise chickens, start visiting local farmers markets, and growing food in our own garden just felt right.  And that feeling of being on the right track is underscored as I learn more and more about the food industry.

Let's talk tonight about those chickens that we buy in the store.   Believe me, I've bought and eaten plenty of them and, all the while, I thought I was eating healthy.  In fact, I'm not alone because the average American eats 91 pounds of chicken per year.  That's a 300% increase in chicken consumption and it is being placed squarely on McDonald's doorstep for their introduction of Chicken McNuggets on their menu.  Have you had a McNugget lately?  It tastes like cardboard.

Does that chicken in the picture look healthy to you?  It's Cornish Cross, which is one of the breeds that the commercial poultry industry loves.  They are specifically bred to maximize profits and satisfy our enormous appetite for chicken.  They're genetically altered to eat constantly and to grow an enormous amount of white breast meat.  To illustrate the point, consider this:  a normal chicken takes about 12 to 16 weeks to reach full maturity and will weight about 7 to 8 pounds.  The Cornish will weigh 5 pounds at only 5 weeks!  They grow so quickly that their legs literally cannot carry their weight any longer where, propped up by antibiotics and growth hormones, they end up sitting by the food bowl eating until they die.  If they're not slaughtered for consumers, they die of a heart attack.  They never live long enough to lay an egg and usually live out their short lives in a commercial chicken farm with  thousands just like them.  At least one-third of them have respiratory or digestive failures by the time they are killed.  And then they end up on your dinner plate.

Courtesy of  Food Inc.  If you haven't yet watched this movie,
you need to.  It's an eye opener.

Knowing this information makes me sick.  How is this a sane and humane industry?  Efficient, yes - sane, no.  My little chicks are lucky in that they will live out their lives as pampered pets eating grass and enjoying the sunshine.  They'll never be mistreated as these birds are. 

Buy local.  Eat local.  We can make a change through the choices we make.  We can do better.


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