Chicken in the UK

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simon silverdollar

Guest
i find the 'wholefood' thing so repellent- any one been to one of those 'planet organic' places? jesus christ. i don't know what it is, but it's not food... i would prefer to die of a heart attack at 40 years old than eat that shit for the rest of my life.
 

dogger

Sweet Virginia
i agree you can eat very well very cheaply (especially if you willing to eat a lot of vegetables), but poorer families can't eat as other, middle class, families do without buying intensively farmed meat, and that's important; if you want to give your children what they see other children getting, like a roast on sunday, pork chops, bangers and mash, whatever, then you either have to pay a lot, or buy battery farmed stuff.

it's because the food we eat and offer to others is so wrapped up in feelings of social status that i'm not sure it's a good argument to say that poor families could just serve their kids vegetable bakes and there'd be no problem.

this is a very good point. and of course the reasons for this are societal and systematic, i.e. the constant pressure to be seen to spend, to have what richer people have (whether or not you can afford it), to not look poor. the deeply unfashionable nature of thriftiness was something hugh f-w was also confronted by on another progrmame in a similar vein for c4, where he took a group of 'fast food addicts' to his farm and showed them how veg was grown, chicken reared and killed etc. he showed them how a roast chicken can feed a family for two main meals, the scraps can make e.g. a risotto as a third, then the stock from the bones can be the base for a fourth etc. and so suddenly spending an extra three pounds on a chicken doesn't seem so outrageous. the reaction from one guy was 'he thinks we're living in the stone age, boiling up old bones in a pot like that'. of course, as k-punk would argue, it's not the fault of working class people like this - they have been conditioned to reject such thrifty, money-saving techniques in favour of spending at every given opportunity, and wastefully buying new (and most likely pre-packaged and prepared) food for each meal - BUT it was nevertheless deeply depressing to see people unable to grasp the value of thriftiness, to them personally, when offered it as an option....and so to see poople from the 'chicken run' programme complain that they can't afford anything but the 2-for-a-fiver chickens when also admitting they only ate the breast meat, only confirmed the necessity and value of hugh f-w's project....and i agree absolutely with stelfox re: the idiocy of attacking anyone with a public school/oxbridge education as an imperious and patronising 'improver', for the crime of trying to make a difference to people's lives without systematically restructuring the way our society is run (cue gek-opel leaping in with his usual argument that improving things on a small scale is actually worse than doing nothing at all, and certainly much worse than doing nothing but theorise in cyberspace).
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Organic food is a funny one...I don't buy it, unless it's on offer, as it's generally just much too expensive. The only good argument in favour of it that I can see is a purely environmental one, in that it doesn't involve drenching the landscape in pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Aside from that, there have been studies that show that its nutritional value is little better or the same as non-organic food, I'm pretty sure I can't taste any difference and as I can generally spare the few seconds it takes to wash fruit and veg before eating it, I'm not too worried about actually ingesting any of the chemicals that are used in their production. The one kind of veg people swear blind tastes much better organic/market-bought than mass-produced/from-a-supermarket is fresh tomatoes, which I don't like anyway.

Edit:
(cue gek-opel leaping in with his usual argument that improving things on a small scale is actually worse than doing nothing at all, and certainly much worse than doing nothing but theorise in cyberspace).
Hahaha, OTM as they say. :)
 
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Immryr

Well-known member
i heard organic milk was a lot healthier than non-organic, same with apples (in a sense of "if youre going to buy anything that is organic, it should be these" kind of way). i have no idea how much truth there is in this though!


-edit- and when i say healthier i mean the non-organic stuff is missing key nutrients / minerals or whatever.
 
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stelfox

Beast of Burden
the whole foods question is a bit of a red herring anyway because most of the stuff in that store is actually pretty bad for you too. it's a great place to shop in the states because it's a bit cheaper than here - the kensington one is extortionately expensive - and a lot of the food tastes fantastic, but it's not good for you at all. canolis and bacon aren't exactly abstemious and healthy
 
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Lichen

Well-known member
viewing a well-motivated attempt to highlight the problems of intensive farming as the arrogant proclamations of a paternalistic british master class.

Precisely. I'm certain HFW is well aware that his class and celebrity (of whom there are now so many, they seem to constitute a class) make it doubly hard for him to forward any opinion.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"k-punk's piece was interesting, but wrong. i'm really not buying the idea of advising people to eat decent food as an act of bourgeois oppression of the proleteriat."
Spot on, that's just bollocks.

"Also: does anyone else read the tltle of this thread in John Lydon's voice?"
Sadly yes.

"The one kind of veg people swear blind tastes much better organic/market-bought than mass-produced/from-a-supermarket is fresh tomatoes"
Ha, I was just gonna say that the toms from the supermarket aren't even vaguely comparable to those from the actual market.
 

swears

preppy-kei
Cartoon-Cage-Free-Eggs.jpg
 

noel emits

a wonderful wooden reason
I get locally sourced organic veg delivered to my door and including that I can feed myself amply for about £15 a week.

It makes sense on many levels (health, business, environmental, convenience) and in this case putting my money where my mouth is actually ends up costing me less than I would spend in a supermarket.

I also happen to think it tastes better and makes me feel better than veg produced to look good and have a long shelf life. You don't seem to need to eat so much when the ingredients are good quality. Also if you think that dodgy chemicals used in growing food just sit on the outside and can be washed off I think you are mistaken.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
... as k-punk would argue, it's not the fault of working class people like this - they have been conditioned to reject such thrifty, money-saving techniques in favour of spending at every given opportunity, and wastefully buying new (and most likely pre-packaged and prepared) food for each meal - BUT it was nevertheless deeply depressing to see people unable to grasp the value of thriftiness, to them personally, when offered it as an option....and so to see poople from the 'chicken run' programme complain that they can't afford anything but the 2-for-a-fiver chickens when also admitting they only ate the breast meat, only confirmed the necessity and value of hugh f-w's project....and i agree absolutely with stelfox re: the idiocy of attacking anyone with a public school/oxbridge education as an imperious and patronising 'improver', for the crime of trying to make a difference to people's lives without systematically restructuring the way our society is run (cue gek-opel leaping in with his usual argument that improving things on a small scale is actually worse than doing nothing at all, and certainly much worse than doing nothing but theorise in cyberspace).

K-Punk, for all his usual (and frankly a little tiresome) Frankfurt school via-Daily Mail hand-wringing about "superbugs raging through privatized hospitals, mental health plagues and homicidal youth violence" (Politics of despair anyone?) is spot on when it comes to the matter of the depoliticisation involved in acceding to the market within H F-W's project. Its not offensive because of his class or education per se, but rather because he fails to actually attack anything near the root cause of the problem, merely addressing a minor symptom. Is it worse than doing nothing at all? Perhaps, but it really is very little indeed in the first place. There remained a degree of ambiguity as to whether he was attempting to make a difference to peoples' lives or merely those of his beloved chickens. However an earlier programme he did based on confronting alienated consumers with the means of production of their meat in far more graphic terms was indeed illuminating, if simply for the potential political project which you could see intimated if only Capitalist realism wasn't so irreducibly strong. I'm not denying H F-W's sincerity, that was obvious... (indeed he is immensely well-intentioned and a likable fellow) but even he himself appeared frustrated with the limits of the market-based campaigning available to him within the straightjacket of (a) capitalist realism and (b) lifestyle television.

The alternative option to all this of course remains to say that we simply aren't alienated enough.
 
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mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
The alternative option to all this of course remains to say that we simply aren't alienated enough.

But then listen, listen to that which IS alienated enough to actually say no, regardless of consequences, morals or benefit. The phrase (k-punk) :

"famously resisted by parents who passed fast food through the fences of schools that had converted to more nourishing meals, but whether this was an act of class defiance to bourgeois do-gooding or an act of entrepreneurialism, or some combination of both"

stuck with me, it's none of the suggested. It's saying 'No', enough, enough is enough. How more alienated do you need to be? How more alienated do you REALLY want to be? How more alienated can you be than no without consequence? Stelfox is totally on the money, and I still put my hands up in respect for anyone that says no.

My fucking farmer's market - and I gotta give a big shout out to my man that sells chillis -
www.edibleornamentals.co.uk - cos anyone that knows their chillis - and by god does this guy - is OK with me - had a fucking queue for organic chickens this week. I bet that didn't happen in Byker.

I hate fucking TV and every fucking argument it fucking brings up, it's nothing to do with us.
 
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UFO over easy

online mahjong
Its not offensive because of his class or education per se, but rather because he fails to actually attack anything near the root cause of the problem, merely addressing a minor symptom. Is it worse than doing nothing at all? Perhaps, but it really is very little indeed in the first place. There remained a degree of ambiguity as to whether he was attempting to make a difference to peoples' lives or merely those of his beloved chickens.


There was no ambiguity at all from what I could see, he was campaigning for chickens not for people. What's wrong with that?

He's a chef, not a revolutionary theorist.
 

KernKätzchen

Well-known member
Organic food is a funny one...I don't buy it, unless it's on offer, as it's generally just much too expensive. The only good argument in favour of it that I can see is a purely environmental one, in that it doesn't involve drenching the landscape in pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Aside from that, there have been studies that show that its nutritional value is little better or the same as non-organic food, I'm pretty sure I can't taste any difference and as I can generally spare the few seconds it takes to wash fruit and veg before eating it, I'm not too worried about actually ingesting any of the chemicals that are used in their production.

Apparently the 'biggest study yet' into organic food has found that it is significantly better for you.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article2753446.ece

Re: expense. Unless you are literally on the breadline/on benefits, 'expense' for most of us in the developed world largely a matter of what you are prepared to pay for something, which is a psychological issue, not a directly economic one. Our expectations of what food 'should' cost have become lower and lower in real terms over the past 30 years or so, most people's food bills do not account for a significant proportion of their expenditure (we spend something like 10% of our income on food now on average, as opposed to a third in the 70s - no time to look for exact figures but you can look them up). This is the result of the cheap food boom, as well as rising incomes. We could afford to pay a lot more if we prioritised food above other things like entertainment and new clothes. And I would argue that we should.

Yep, the environmental arguments are persuasive, but nothing is 'purely' environmental - in the sense that anything that causes significant environmental degradation sooner or later has a human cost. How would you think about compensating the fisheries that have been ruined by agricultural runoff due to 'conventional' food production (only 'conventional' in the last 60 years, I should remind you)? Should the cost of this destruction (in lost current and future revenues) not be factored into the up-front cost of the food? It isn't at the moment, and this is why conventional food is so cheap: the costs of environmental cleanup are borne by governments here and abroad, funded by taxpayers. We are effectively subsidising the food industry. If these 'external' costs were factored into food prices, organic food wouldn't seem like such an expensive option in comparison. And agricultural runoff is just one example. What about the costs to the taxpayer incurred by the BSE crisis, which was directly brought about by cost-cutting farming practices not tolerated in organic farming (BSE was never found in any organic herd?) My point is you have to see the bigger picture before concluding that organic food is ' too expensive'.

Setting aside these indirect effects, there are obvious, direct human costs associated with agrochemical use. Non-organic farming causes tens of thousands of deaths a year (the WHO says 220,000) from pesticide and herbicide poisoning, mainly in developing countries where regulations are laxer, so therefore we don't hear about them. Should these deaths be factored into the cost of food too?

Whether you can 'taste the difference' is perhaps, in view of this, not important. Although I certainly can. :)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Lot of good points there KK, as I said I think the environmental argument is strongest (and I certainly consider implications for human health and economics to be part of that).

I'll have a look at that Times article in a bit, the studies I'd read about were inconclusive, so it'll be interesting to read about one that comes down firmly on one side.
 

gek-opel

entered apprentice
There was no ambiguity at all from what I could see, he was campaigning for chickens not for people. What's wrong with that?

He's a chef, not a revolutionary theorist.

Of course. However it would be fantastic if he (or someone) was both though! A while back I attempted to argue with a friend of mine that perhaps the only revolutionary art of our present time was avant garde cuisine... although it might fail in terms of its universality (who can afford to eat at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant's after all?) the micro-movement within food towards both denaturalised art-experiment in the actual cooking on the one hand and socially-conscious praxis on the other is fascinating-- if only it were to go further in both directions... (its limitation being the constraints of "lifestyle" and the market as arbiter/instrument)
 

mistersloane

heavy heavy monster sound
Of course. However it would be fantastic if he (or someone) was both though! A while back I attempted to argue with a friend of mine that perhaps the only revolutionary art of our present time was avant garde cuisine... although it might fail in terms of its universality (who can afford to eat at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant's after all?) the micro-movement within food towards both denaturalised art-experiment in the actual cooking on the one hand and socially-conscious praxis on the other is fascinating-- if only it were to go further in both directions... (its limitation being the constraints of "lifestyle" and the market as arbiter/instrument)

Blumenthal's into sound at the moment :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1151565,00.html

although he's got a dish served with an i-pod which is crass. I don't think 95 quid is alot for what he does, at all, people can spend easily that on a night clubbing.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"although he's got a dish served with an i-pod which is crass. I don't think 95 quid is alot for what he does, at all, people can spend easily that on a night clubbing."
Yeah, spot on, you can eat at the Fat Duck (which was honoured as best restaurant in the world by some fairly respected survey in 2006) for about a ton which isn't too bad I reckon. People spend that on clubbing, trainers, it's probably about the price of a train journey from London to Glasgow or something; going there for a special occasion is within reach of almost anybody who really wants to go. It's like KernKatzchen just said:

"We could afford to pay a lot more if we prioritised food above other things like entertainment and new clothes."
I think it's perfectly reasonable to do that for an experience like the Fat Duck.
 

petergunn

plywood violin
Re: expense. Unless you are literally on the breadline/on benefits, 'expense' for most of us in the developed world largely a matter of what you are prepared to pay for something, which is a psychological issue, not a directly economic one. Our expectations of what food 'should' cost have become lower and lower in real terms over the past 30 years or so, most people's food bills do not account for a significant proportion of their expenditure (we spend something like 10% of our income on food now on average, as opposed to a third in the 70s - no time to look for exact figures but you can look them up). This is the result of the cheap food boom, as well as rising incomes. We could afford to pay a lot more if we prioritised food above other things like entertainment and new clothes. And I would argue that we should.

maybe i live in an expensive neighborhood or on the breadline, but eating well is fucking expensive... take red peppers... non-organic are 3 bucks a pound... a head of lettuce is like 2-3 bucks... a small container of strawberries or blackberries is between 3-6 dollars...
to eat a nice meal of vegatables or a "vegatable bake" or whatever the fuck people were saying is simply not cheap... carbs are cheap.... fresh vegatables, besides like carrots and potatos and onions are pricey...
 
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