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Old 12-01-2008, 14:10   #81
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It seems that a lot of people are prepared to eat crap because it's cheap. Get your Hospital bag packed for the time when you have your heart attack or gut rot!
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Old 12-01-2008, 14:24   #82
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Originally Posted by BigPappa View Post
Jamie Oliver fell short on his programme last night. He should have gone through the supply chain of intensive chicken farming to show who is profiting from the current set up.

If as it was mentioned by Jamie Oliver the purchasers pay 3p per chicken then I would like to know how the price we pay in the shops comes to about £2.50. I suspect Jamie did not go into the fact that in the UK we have an overly strong supermarket cartel.
Think it was 3p profit for the producers, not the price paid, but even so I agree with you, trouble is Oliver is in Sainsburys pockets so was only going to go so far in that respect.
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Old 12-01-2008, 15:54   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigPappa View Post
Jamie Oliver fell short on his programme last night. He should have gone through the supply chain of intensive chicken farming to show who is profiting from the current set up.

If as it was mentioned by Jamie Oliver the purchasers pay 3p per chicken then I would like to know how the price we pay in the shops comes to about £2.50. I suspect Jamie did not go into the fact that in the UK we have an overly strong supermarket cartel.
Whilst some good info on the show, for people maybe didn't know what happens... Jamie Oliver is a bit of a muppet at times, if somewhat hypocritical.

http://news.independent.co.uk/media/article3328390.ece
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...y.supermarkets
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Old 12-01-2008, 16:20   #84
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Originally Posted by stu_69 View Post
Fair play mate. Myself and my wife do a lot of the same. We buy organic milk (because we discovered some of the practices that go into milking cows - they are milked constantly so they get blisters and scabs on their teats which in turn get burst by the milking machinery and the puss ends up in your milk) and organic vegetables. We also don't eat meat every day of the week. As you say vegetarian food is not all lentils and carrots.

As I have said before even if you don't care about the animal think about the quality of food you are eating.
I don't quite see why you think organiclly reared cows are milked less than non-organic. Cows are not milked constantly - they are generally milked twice a day, otherwise their udders will become too heavy for them causing a list of other problems for them. Cows are not attached to milking machines 24hrs a day!

Some cows are milked using robotic milking machines which allow them to "free milk", given the choice many cows will milk themselves up to 4 times a day.

EDIT - If you try and milk a cow who has scabby and blistered teats she simply will not tolerate it. There are also very strict standards about what gets into the milking machines. Cows get their teats damaged by other cows standing on them etc. Generally each cow will have a small amount of milk expressed before the suction cup is attached. This checks for mastitis - any cow with masitis is removed from the milking line and treated. The teats are also cleaned before the suction cup is attached.

Last edited by pyrogena; 12-01-2008 at 16:30.
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Old 12-01-2008, 17:48   #85
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Exactly, organic isn't a quality or welfare step up above free-range, it's just reassurance in what it's been fed.
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Old 12-01-2008, 19:34   #86
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A lot of the cheap (cheep) chicken that you see on the discount shelves arrives in this country lumped together into frozen metre-cubed cubes from predominantly Thailand and Brazil.
No wonder it tastes a bit mushy and maybe watery.
I was reading the back of my Sainsburys curry earlier and that's where it said it came from. I thought it would be British or Dutch maybe.
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Old 12-01-2008, 22:27   #87
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Was in the meat section in Asda this afternoon, there were quite a number of people asking for free range chickens... they have none !
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Old 13-01-2008, 01:05   #88
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i seem to remember pus in milk being an American thing due to them using hormones to stimulate milk and meat production in cattle. I think the EU attempted to block importation of US beef due to this practice but the world trade organisation aka the Major producers protection organisation stopped them. Though I'd have to check that out as it's only from memory
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Old 13-01-2008, 10:07   #89
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Was in the meat section in Asda this afternoon, there were quite a number of people asking for free range chickens... they have none !
We were in Tesco yesterday and there were loads of people buying the 2for chickens. There were no free range out on the shelfs. There did have a load of willow farm chickens though.
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Old 13-01-2008, 10:38   #90
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Was in the meat section in Asda this afternoon, there were quite a number of people asking for free range chickens... they have none !
There were people doing the same when I was in Morrisons last night!
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Old 13-01-2008, 11:54   #91
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I was reading the back of my Sainsburys curry earlier and that's where it said it came from. I thought it would be British or Dutch maybe.
It's purely economic. The cost of production, predominantly the cost of labour, over there is very low and so they can produce chicken for relatively a very low cost over there.
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Old 13-01-2008, 14:51   #92
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THere is an interesting article with SOME interesting comments (not all!) here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...239989,00.html

I don't particularly care about the welfare of chickens as I don't think they 'suffer' as such, physiological pain which is sort of different. I don't particularly see why they suffer more from being bred and killed to eat, is being outside pecking particularly their natural state anyway? Feeding the world with organic, free range chickens and other meat would surely be incredibly unsustainable in that so much land and grain would be needed which could be protein more directly for people.

Fish is the only meat I eat. I believe vegetarianism is the moral thing to do but I base this on human welfare and the environment rather than animal rights per se. I simply feel that there are enough other sources of protein.

I also accept that vegetarianism is simply not going to catch on on a global scale. Thus I support battery/intensive farming. However, I think the problen if it is one of battery farming is simply our expectation of wanting to eat so much meat. This must be relatively new historically?

I also don't entirely buy the arguments of 'poor' people in the programme who happily bought overpriced cigarettes/beer. That is their right to do it, but maybe they just expect food to be cheaper than it really should be.

pigpicker-what do you think of the comments ont he guardian article that free range is actually more linked to bird flu etc. than well regulated battery farms?
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Old 13-01-2008, 15:17   #93
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THere is an interesting article with SOME interesting comments (not all!) here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...239989,00.html

I don't particularly care about the welfare of chickens as I don't think they 'suffer' as such, physiological pain which is sort of different. I don't particularly see why they suffer more from being bred and killed to eat, is being outside pecking particularly their natural state anyway? Feeding the world with organic, free range chickens and other meat would surely be incredibly unsustainable in that so much land and grain would be needed which could be protein more directly for people.
I don't understand your link between free-range animals needing more grain? Animals kept on pasture (cows, sheep) have a lower grain intake than those kept predominately inside. Also, animals eat various things aside from grain.

In regards to your question about chickens "is being outside pecking particularly their natural state anyway?". Does that really need an answer? Of course it's their natural state. Wild chickens originally made their homes in forested areas. One welfare issue for confined chickens is their lack of dust bathing ability - they love to do it and those in battery cages are denied this option. Their beaks are trimmed so they don't peck at each other - usually due to frustration.

We have a poultry unit on campus and it's a battery system. The chickens are kept for 52 weeks before they are classed as "spent" hens. They're removed and slaughtered but their meat is of such a poor quality even soup factories no-longer want them. They go off to be ground down into mink feed instead.

Personally I come from an animal welfare point of view. I accept that animals are farmed and that the world population will always eat meat. There is no viable reason why any animal should have its welfare compromised for the sake of production. I spoke to a local farmer recently who views his animals as workers and he gives them the best environment he can. He argues that they work for him, so who is he to make them suffer in any way? His barn is immaculate, he turns them out onto pasture for the maximum time available and the health of his herd is top notch.

Last edited by pyrogena; 13-01-2008 at 15:20.
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Old 13-01-2008, 15:27   #94
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The thing is, could such a system be sustained on a global scale, with the amount of meat we seem to want to eat? Or would we need to tear down the remaining forests to make room? Remember that biofuels are going to be another use of agricultural land in the near future. Maybe meat should be more accepted as weekly/occasional treat, rather than a staple food?

Interesting point about grain, I always just assumed that being cared for more free range got better/more grain and habitat whereas batteries are fed any old crap as shown on the programme.
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Old 13-01-2008, 15:42   #95
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The thing is, could such a system be sustained on a global scale, with the amount of meat we seem to want to eat? Or would we need to tear down the remaining forests to make room? Remember that biofuels are going to be another use of agricultural land in the near future. Maybe meat should be more accepted as weekly/occasional treat, rather than a staple food?

Interesting point about grain, I always just assumed that being cared for more free range got better/more grain and habitat whereas batteries are fed any old crap as shown on the programme.
My point about grain was mainly directed towards animals such as sheep and cows.

Now, what type of system are you refering to? My post made light of the fact that I support animal welfare, but accept animals need to be farmed. I don't support a 100% free-range environment but I do not see any reason why welfare should be comprimised. I'm not about to suggest that all chickens should be set free to roam the forests.

EDIT - Battery cages are only used for laying hens, which very rarely become human food. It's the egg production. There's current legislation in place that will see them banned from 2012

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Old 13-01-2008, 17:38   #96
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Originally Posted by jaminb View Post
THere is an interesting article with SOME interesting comments (not all!) here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...239989,00.html

pigpicker-what do you think of the comments ont he guardian article that free range is actually more linked to bird flu etc. than well regulated battery farms?
It's an interesting one.
There is only a small paragraph in there on the health implications of intensive vs extensive/free-range.
Salmonella and campylobacter are commonly carried in the guts of any poultry (and pigs) be they organic, free-range or intensive. In fact because of the aversion to medicines/antibiotics in the organic sector there will probably more salmonella in an organic herd/flock than an intensive one.

Salmonella is found in very high concentrations in the dung of pigs, poultry (and humans!) but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are infected. The very nature of intensive animal production means that these animals are more prone to be exposed to and to carry these bacteria.
Antibiotic growth promoters (agp's) such as salinomycin and avilomycin used to be fed to pigs and poultry as a matter of course in their feed to keep salmonella down to very low levels however because of the perceived implications of antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging from our farms this feeding of AGP's was banned throughout the EU in Jan 2006.

Ironically (for pigs) the more welfare friendly straw-based production systems where the animals can root and make nests (as opposed to slatted floors where dung drops down into a slurry pit away from the animals) allow the bacteria levels to build up and will cause more and more animals to become carriers. Outdoor pigs (higher welfare) are exposed to the wild birds that come to feed in close proximity on the same food that is fed to the pigs. Wild birds carry salmonella and as a consequence there will be instances where the birds will pass their salmonella onto the pigs.

I would imagine that intensive broiler sheds would be the same i.e. a lot of birds all walking around in their own dung being exposed to salmonella. Free-range animals are afforded more space and so I would imagine would be less inclined to pick up salmonella from carriers BUT being outside they are prone to contact with wild birds who could transfer H5N1 bird flu over.
Intensively kept birds would never come into contact with wild carriers of H5N1 and so the risk of these catching bird flu is minimal in the extreme ... unless you've got Bernie Matthews tramping the virus imported from Hungary all through your shed on his boots!!
So I think it's swings and roundabouts. For bacterial exposure then the intensive birds are more at risk. For viruses from other fowl then the extensive birds are more at risk.

Antibiotic growth promoters (agp's) such as salinomycin and avilomycin used to be fed to pigs and poultry as a matter of course in their feed to keep salmonella down to very low levels however because of the perceived implications of antibiotic resistant bacteria emerging from our farms this feeding of AGP's was banned throughout the EU in Jan 2006.

What I did find interesting in that article was the nod to the increased diversion of global grain stocks to China. As this sleeping economic giant starts to slowly stir its people are becoming more affluent and want a more western-style diet. So it's out with the rice and in with the grain and grain-fed meat and this trend will only grow and grow!
As the competition for global grain stocks increases and with fluctuations in weather patterns causing some of the worlds' crops to fail (Australia) the price of flour, bread, grain, and therefore meat will continue to rise. It was very interesting to see him say "The price rises we have seen so far are nothing compared to those to come".
Maybe Hayley from Axminster will struggle to buy any meat at all in the future be it free-range or intensive?! I bet she still buys her daily 20 Superkings and 8 cans of Ace though

Our farmers feed costs have doubled from this time last year simply due to shortage of supply of wheat and spiralling cost of soya. The cost of pig production will hit 130p/kg soon and the current price we pay is around the 110p/kg mark. This means that the average producer will be LOSING £15 for every pig they sell unless the supermarkets start to pay more for the product and either take the hit on their margins (yea right!) or pass the cost onto the consumer. It's sickening, IMO, how they abuse their power. Personally I anticipate a mass exodus of UK pig farmers from the industry over 2008 and early 2009 unless something dramatic happens to the price

The biofuel situation is also concerning however there will be by-products from the wheat used in ethanol production and the soya used in bio-diesel production which could either be burnt in powerstations or fed to livestock. It won't be as nutritious as unprocessed materials but it can be fed.

I'm actually going down to the Meat & Livestock Commission Outlook 2008 conference on 29th Jan where the great and the good of the livestock industry meet to pick the brains of various industry leaders to try to ascertain what will happen to costs of production/supply and demand of meat and grain over the course of 2008.
http://store.mlc.org.uk/articles/dod...8.pdf&i=293775
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Old 13-01-2008, 18:50   #97
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We were in Tesco yesterday and there were loads of people buying the 2for chickens. There were no free range out on the shelfs. There did have a load of willow farm chickens though.
All the organic and free range chicken / portions had gone in my local Tesco though there was a Chinese family who had just loaded two trollies with 24 of the 2 for £5 chickens (they must not have seen the show).
Also there seemed to be a lot more interest in free range eggs than normal.
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Old 13-01-2008, 23:12   #98
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Fish is the only meat I eat. I believe vegetarianism is the moral thing to do...
So are you going to become one then?
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Old 14-01-2008, 12:34   #99
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When I watched these shows I was struck by the 3p profit figure too.
I was also surprised by the relatively small difference in conditions between standard production and barn production.
Rather than try to do away will all the nasty methods in one go I'd have thought getting rid of the worst type (quickly) would be better.

So, why can't supermarkets add 10p to the price of a bird and pass that sum in its entirety to the producer? That would make their profit per bird 13p rather than 3p.
They can then halve the number of birds they rear in each batch (making the numbers better than barn production) and save on the associated chick purchasing and overall feeding costs.
10,000 chickens at 3p = £300
5,000 chickens at 13p = £650 + purchasing/feeding savings.

The farmers benefit, the welfare of the chickens improves and the supermarkets get brownie points for a change by not screwing suppliers.

I don't understand why they were suggesting improving condidtions would add pounds to each bird rather than pence.

Am I being over simplistic?
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Old 14-01-2008, 14:00   #100
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if they halved the numbers to improve conditions, where are the empty farms going to make up the supply short fall.

interesting article on digital spy - the farms set up failed to meet industry standards and were inspected by officials but this wasnt mentioned in the show.

http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/a8485...icken-con.html
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