Wednesday, June 13, 2012

something chicken this way comes

It was definitely at least sixty five degrees this morning and the sun was shining on my way to work. It suddenly looked like faint snow. There was something wispy and white in the air around my car. Ahead of me, I noticed this truck.

It was full of chickens. (And we complain about overcrowding on US Airways.) White feathers were flying out of their crates, and understandably, because chickens molt in times of stress or poor health. The mud flaps on the truck advertised Hugh Pfaff Poultry Farm in Tobaccoville (I know), N.C. They deal in "wholesale live poultry" and they were 2010 members of Delmarva Poultry Industry (DPI's website doesn't contain a complete list of current members).

Although DPI is hard at work cultivating a family-farm-friendly image, I'm not really buying it. The Animal Legal & Historical Center at the Michigan State University College of Law documents a grim picture of broiler chicken production. And if you've seen Food, Inc, you've heard Carole Morison, a now-former contract chicken farmer who founded a justice league for contract poultry growers. (She has since established her own animal welfare approved farm.)

I like to think I've got a healthy understanding and awareness of my food (sometimes, I admit, healthy bordering on snobby). I try to produce as much of my own food as possible. I raise free range chickens. I work at a local, fair food restaurant where I preach to people about building a safer food system. But to be honest, if Abe and I go out for dinner I don't really think twice about the meat that I order and where it came from. That needs to change.

I don't want my food to harm anyone's health. Instead of nourishing us, factory farms and CAFO's pollute our bodies, land, air and water.

Want to know more?
CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding Operations
Facts About Pollution From Livestock Farms (by the National Resources Defense Council)
Food Inc's 9 Ways to Change the Food System

1 comment:

  1. I've started to dislike restaurant food more and more because it's so obviously worse than anything I can make at home with the way better ingredients I have from my garden and CSA. Healthy-bordering-on-snobby pretty much defines me also.


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