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The Dogmother

Big Barn supports Hugh

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I get the Big Barn newsletter, an organisation in support of local food producers.. They said this today:


In search of a better chicken?


Hugh's Chicken Run, on Channel 4 last week, woke even more people up to what really goes into making their cheap chicken. The vast majority of people are shocked (if they didn't know about it already), angry and disgusted at what the programs have revealed. There seems to be only one line of defence left in the fight against intensive poultry farming practices, which is that cheap chicken is all some people can afford. Let's address that right now.


Cheap chicken is NOT all that some people can afford. Food used to account for 40% of our disposable income. Now, thanks to supermarket practices (of which intensive poultry farming is one outcome), food only accounts for 10% of disposable income. In other words, 30% is being spent on other things. Playstations, mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, you name it - all manner of things that are nowhere near as fundamentally important to our lives as food.


It's about priorities, plain and simple. Anyone who has watched Hugh's Chicken Run and still says they can't afford to buy better chicken actually just doesn't care enough to make a change.


For those that do, here's what you can do right now:


Search on BigBarn to find your nearest proper chicken producer

Visit Localfoodshop to buy high-quality chicken

Visit http://www.chickenout.tv/ and add your name to the petition.


We're 100% behind Hugh and his fantastic campaign. We hope you are too.


Pot-Roast Chicken with Pearl Barley, by William Leigh

In support of Hugh and all his efforts with intensively-reared chickens I thought it only fair to do a recipe involving chicken. He has done such a service in bringing the horrors of factory farming into the public eye - quite how anyone can actually use the term farming when referring to this practice is beyond me - factory yes, farming no. This production line of creatures is bizarre and cruel. Having watched all three episodes of the program the one point a lot of people seem to discuss is the question of affordability, which I actually do take issue with. There aren't many people who can afford to eat select cuts from their butcher (ok, or supermarket) every day. Organic and free range meat is expensive, and so it should be. It should be a treat. We do not need to eat meat every day, and to say that you need to buy two for a fiver chickens to feed your children is rubbish. Personally I would rather eat a decent piece of meat once a week and live on vegetables the rest of the time, and I imagine most people with a good sense of taste would do the same. I know my friends involved in the food industry certainly would. The practice of eating so much meat so often is really only a recent thing and is just indicative of the throw away society we live in; so much can actually be done with just the chicken carcass. When I was young we would almost always have chicken in cream sauce the day after a roast. For £2.50 people can't be bothered.



:clap: :clap:



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Well said :clap::clap: .


I've been asking a few people if they've been watching these programmes and I'm getting a bit cross (actually, very) at the number of people who've said "oh, I couldn't watch them". I try to diplomatically say that that's part of the problem, people are squeamish about what the programme might show so don't watch but they are then completely ignorant of the facts and continue to bury their heads in the sand :evil: .

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Thank you Vicki - I've had virtually the same response from a new colleague at work - she eats meat, but refuses to acknowledge where it comes from. She simply cannot understand how I could enjoy our Christmas chicken when I had enjoyed watching it running around at Lesley's farm. She just doesn't want to knw.


While I can understand that everyone is entitled to their views, personally, I feel that if you are prepared to eat meet, then you should also be prepared to show it some respect and ensure as much as you can that it has had a decent and confortable life.


Egluntine, as you know, I agree completely with that sentiment; people need to have a sense of priority, and unfortunately, their luxuries and gadgets seem to be just that, not the food that their families are eating!


Sorry, far too early for a rant :oops:

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What a brilliant response from Big Barn :D


I think you all know my feelings about the "I can't afford it" brigade - and I don't want to start ranting at this time in the morning either :lol:


I have a person interested in a half pig later this year. We're offering emails and photos and visits but she was horrified - she just wants it bagged and boxed :?


Completely off-topic but I'm having the same arguments with people about contents insurance and flooding, as in "can't afford insurance" :roll: The response from Big Barn would apply to that as well.

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When I was younger I always went for the cheap and cheerful with meat - I thought the budget stuff was just as good ( :oops: ). A few years ago, my husband ordered free-range, organic chicken and I was surprised at the price difference, and a little annoyed he was being frittering money on luxuries. Then he cooked an organic chicken breast and a normal one. The normal one shrunk to nothing thanks to all the water that's pumped into it (and goodness knows what else), and obviously the organic one stayed nice and firm and tasted beautiful.


Budget meat is a false economy...it shrinks to nothing, doesn't taste anywhere near as good, and that's before you look at the healthy aspects. I'd never buy anything else and have adjusted my budget accordingly. Of course people do need to have value for money and people are on very tight budgets, but I think it's education as to how to cook and get the most from things. People chuck away leftovers, don't make soups, stocks or whatever. If they did, they might be prepared to pay a little more for their food!

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