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Old 10-01-2008, 12:33   #41
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Aside from the issue of humane chicken farming a free range chicken tastes a hell of a lot nicer than a battery farmed one. I'd rather pay the extra or if I can't afford it go without until I can.
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Old 10-01-2008, 12:53   #42
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You have to remember that the chickens you buy for cheap in a shop are kept in horrific conditions, walking (well not much of this takes palce), sitting, eating in there own excrement for 39 days.
There was a show about battery chickens a while ago and it was said that the chickens would be up to their undersides in chicken poop and because of the high ammonia content the birds would suffer chemical burns on their legs. THis would show up as white patches on the legs of the birds. So next time I went to Tesco I looked at their "2 for £5" chickens on sale and I'd say 70% of the birds display had one or more white patches on parts of the legs.
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:15   #43
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*slightly embarassingly it's from "The Baby and Toddler Cookbook" by Annabel Karmel! It's not the only recipe we regularly use from that book...we no longer have any babies or toddlers in the house
We make these as well! Very tasty they are too.
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:18   #44
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My Mum always buys the 2 chickens for £5 at Tesco because we stick to a budget. Free-range chicken is all well and good if you can afford it!
Those 2 for £5 chickens are horrible though. The meat has no taste and the meat always goes off really quickly. Also that is a chicken that has been sitting in it's (and hundreds of other chickens) own **** and **** for 40 days.

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There was a show about battery chickens a while ago and it was said that the chickens would be up to their undersides in chicken poop and because of the high ammonia content the birds would suffer chemical burns on their legs. THis would show up as white patches on the legs of the birds. So next time I went to Tesco I looked at their "2 for £5" chickens on sale and I'd say 70% of the birds display had one or more white patches on parts of the legs.
That would be Hock Burns, you can spot them on almost all of the cheap chicken in supermarkets. And if you can it usually means that the tops of the legs have been cut off so you don't see the burns.

We try eat free range whenever possible but sometimes it's just not possible (usually as the supermarkets don't have any in stock) so we go without. You can have many nice meals without meat.

Myself and my wife watched this program over the past few nights and although it was preaching to the converted with us it was amazing to see the attitudes of so many people who's attitude was "I buy what I can afford and I don't care how it's made". These people were generally fat or in the pub, so it's obvious eating well is not as important as quantity of food or drink. There are three of us in our house (myself, my wife and a baby) on one salary and we get buy never having to buy 2 for £5 chickens.

All those people who claim not to give a **** about the chicken at least think of the quality of food you are eating.

One thing though he never denied that chickens cost £22 in his shop
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:23   #45
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One thing though he never denied that chickens cost £22 in his shop
Wouldn't really surprise me seeing as I saw turkeys getting on for £100 over xmas
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Old 10-01-2008, 13:37   #46
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Originally Posted by Kirs-tea View Post
My Mum always buys the 2 chickens for £5 at Tesco because we stick to a budget. Free-range chicken is all well and good if you can afford it!
why not just not eat it if it's cheap and save your money till you can afford some decent quality meat, then it's a treat, not a staple?
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Old 10-01-2008, 14:28   #47
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There are people out there who are completely price sensitive and have to buy "blue stripe" basic tesco brand. Taste is secondary to price.
Preaching to them to go without, save up for 4 weeks and spend £8 on a chicken will never get through to them.

Its the other people who can afford to switch that need to change. Once the numbers are up ,the prices will come down so the differnece will not be noticable.
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Old 10-01-2008, 15:00   #48
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There is some leeway though between 2 for £5 and top price free range, it's not all or nothing. Hugh said on "The One" show that Tesco's Willow Farm birds, while not free range, were given much better conditions and lives, yet cost not much more.

When we can't get, or can't afford free range we buy one of the Willow farm's birds for roasts, mainly because we found they actually still taste like chicken.
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Old 10-01-2008, 16:53   #49
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I had a spicy chicken burger and chips for lunch. Cost £3.30. I could have bought a footlong veggie delight subway, but they put the price up to £3.60.

Why the hell are we paying £3.60 for a bit of bread and salad ?

My gasbill has gone up 17%, my train fare 7.5%, why the hell should I pay way more than inflation increases for my lunch? Yes my decision is cost motivated. We can't continue to splash around cash from cheap credit, that bird is coming home to roost. You have to draw a line or all these small extra outlays add up to a big bottom line.
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Old 10-01-2008, 17:14   #50
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One thing though he never denied that chickens cost £22 in his shop
I bet they taste great though.
It would be foolish if he tried to push free range / organic produce and its benefits on the public and yet didn't sell it to that standard himself.

Only thing I find with chicken is it's chicken, I don't think I've had a really fantastic tasting piece of chicken in a meal, though I have had some stupedously good cooked meals with beef, pork, lamb, venison, game & mutton. Going to a posh foodery and having chicken is a cop out really.
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Old 10-01-2008, 18:07   #51
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think I'll go buy a pigeon from the butchers at the weekend.
Generally if someone says they can't afford something due to their limited budget then they are probably haemorrhaging money from somewhere else. Their heating is probably stupidly high for instance. I would have been interested to see an analysis of Haileys spending. If for instance she was a smoker she could have cut back by a packet a week and bought chickens with less fat on them so a win/win situation
The porkers who say they can't afford free range are probably partly porkers due to eating the cheap chicken as it has been observed that the listed content of chicken meat is based on a healthy chicken whereas the factory farmed ones build up a lot more fat so not quite as low fat as they might claim
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Old 10-01-2008, 18:21   #52
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.....supermarkets apparently pay as little as 3 pence per bird, whatever happens it's the supermarkets that will have to take the hit in the pocket, because if it doesn't affect the taste people will not change, or at least I wont.
The 3p relates to the profit margin per bird, not the actual cost to the supermarkets.
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Old 10-01-2008, 21:55   #53
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I've just watched the last show that I recorded,and from now on will definately make a conscious decision to buy free range.

Can anyone explain quickly why organic chickens are so much more than free range tho? I guess it's down to what they eat,but I'd imagine scratching around for food would be less costly than some chemically treated food provided in feeders?
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Old 10-01-2008, 22:39   #54
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I thought the 3 programmes were excellent and I hope alot of people change to free range as a result, even though the chickens are breed purely for food they still deserve to live there short life in the best enviroment possible.

We switched to free range and organic meat a while back and while it is a bit more expensive it is certaintly worth the extra.
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Old 10-01-2008, 23:08   #55
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Can anyone explain quickly why organic chickens are so much more than free range tho? I guess it's down to what they eat,but I'd imagine scratching around for food would be less costly than some chemically treated food provided in feeders?
Organic animals have to be fed organic feed and be produced on organic land (I kid you not!).

Organic wheat (the main constituent of pig and poultry feed) is horrendously expensive at the moment simply due to supply and demand. There is very little of it in the country (world) at the moment and so it commands a significant premium. (In fact the global stocks of standard wheat are at their lowest levels for approx 30yrs - hence the recent rising prices of bread etc.)
In fact the problem is so bad that organic certification bodies - Soil Association etc - are relaxing their regulations regarding organic feed standards to allow the producers to maintain their organic status. I don't know exact figures but for example they can now have 20% of their animal feed made from non-organic raw materials.
Organic lamb, beef and milk is less expensive compared to their 'standard' counterparts because essentially cattle and lambs are ruminants and predominantly eat grass/silage. Organic grass does not (should not!) cost any more than standard grass.
Also organic crops do not enjoy the protection afforded by standard chemical pesticides and herbicides and so are easy prey for insects and diseases such as moulds, ergot etc. This means organic crop yields are lower than yields from standard crops meaning there is less of it produced per acre and so it's more expensive.


Organic land is land that has had no chemicals used on it for a specific period of time - 2 yrs I think. Over this 2 yr period it is classed as 'in conversion' and until this 2 year time period is up all animals produced on it cannot be classed as fully organic so the whole organic process is a long time in the planning.
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Old 10-01-2008, 23:26   #56
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Originally Posted by Kirs-tea View Post
My Mum always buys the 2 chickens for £5 at Tesco because we stick to a budget. Free-range chicken is all well and good if you can afford it!
I would suggest to your mum that if she cant buy free range to not buy any. Its not like we need to eat chicken to survive.
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Old 11-01-2008, 00:43   #57
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Organic animals have to be fed organic feed and be produced on organic land (I kid you not!).

Organic wheat (the main constituent of pig and poultry feed) is horrendously expensive at the moment simply due to supply and demand. There is very little of it in the country (world) at the moment and so it commands a significant premium. (In fact the global stocks of standard wheat are at their lowest levels for approx 30yrs - hence the recent rising prices of bread etc.)
In fact the problem is so bad that organic certification bodies - Soil Association etc - are relaxing their regulations regarding organic feed standards to allow the producers to maintain their organic status. I don't know exact figures but for example they can now have 20% of their animal feed made from non-organic raw materials.
Organic lamb, beef and milk is less expensive compared to their 'standard' counterparts because essentially cattle and lambs are ruminants and predominantly eat grass/silage. Organic grass does not (should not!) cost any more than standard grass.
Also organic crops do not enjoy the protection afforded by standard chemical pesticides and herbicides and so are easy prey for insects and diseases such as moulds, ergot etc. This means organic crop yields are lower than yields from standard crops meaning there is less of it produced per acre and so it's more expensive.


Organic land is land that has had no chemicals used on it for a specific period of time - 2 yrs I think. Over this 2 yr period it is classed as 'in conversion' and until this 2 year time period is up all animals produced on it cannot be classed as fully organic so the whole organic process is a long time in the planning.

Superb explanation ty - IIRC you were/are a slaughterman so that's an educated answer too.

Purely down to cost i think I'll stick to free range and not organic as it's so expensive,but from what I've seen from the program that will do a little to supress the awful battery suffering.
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Old 11-01-2008, 00:43   #58
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I would suggest to your mum that if she cant buy free range to not buy any. Its not like we need to eat chicken to survive.
And I would suggest eat what you like and dont be guilt tripped.

i still dont get the 'as long as its humane' point. If you have a problem then become veggie.

What about during the winter. im sure free range isnt so great and humane then

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Old 11-01-2008, 01:07   #59
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Superb explanation ty - IIRC you were/are a slaughterman so that's an educated answer too.

Purely down to cost i think I'll stick to free range and not organic as it's so expensive,but from what I've seen from the program that will do a little to supress the awful battery suffering.
Something to remember is organic does not necessarily mean the animals are treat any better than non-organic, in fact I'm sure you can probably get organic chicken that are no better off than the battery chickens. If you're concerned about chemicals get organic but if you're concerned about animal welfare get free-range or better still free-range organic!
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:11   #60
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I would suggest to your mum that if she cant buy free range to not buy any. Its not like we need to eat chicken to survive.
True but then I'm sure most of us have or eat things that we don't need to survive. How many of the people saying "if you can't buy free-range don't eat chicken" are wearing clothes or trainers that have been made by kids in sweatshops for pennies? Or is that okay as long as animals aren't suffering?
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