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Food and Knuckleheads

■ 21 April 2012 by James Martin

I came across an interesting graph the other day. It showed the gross amount people from around the world paid for food. It seems China has passed the US up because their country outspends our country for food. They have more people of course, and spend way less per person, but there you have it.

The big spenders, per person, turn out to be the French. This doesn’t surprise me a bit, having once picked up a whole Bresse chicken, the celebrated kind, all wrapped in plastic in a French supermarket, and almost dropping the thing when I saw the price. 23 euro for a very small chicken!

Another interesting thing is that Americans pay about the same as Italians for food. Italians pay just slightly more. But from my experience, you’re getting a much better deal here in Italy. I mean even the industrial chickens you get here are way, way, way better tasting and have better and crispier skin when you roast them, for example. But real chickens, like the ones the butcher claims are “nostrano” are cheaper than the marginally better than industrial chickens in the states.

Which brings us to this little tidbit, as part of the reasons that “The Myth of Sustainable Meat” exists in someone’s mind:

Advocates of small-scale, nonindustrial alternatives say their choice is at least more natural. Again, this is a dubious claim. Many farmers who raise chickens on pasture use industrial breeds that have been bred to do one thing well: fatten quickly in confinement. As a result, they can suffer painful leg injuries after several weeks of living a “natural” life pecking around a large pasture.

What kinda idiotic argument is that? I mean even Jethro who got kicked outta the second grade and then happened to get hit on the head with a rock the size of Kansas on the way home could still look up at pappy with his puppy-dog eyes and say, “Pappy, how cum dey use deez kinds chickens when theys real chickens what could walk real good?”

I mean the hatchet job argument that we’ve bred chickens that can’t walk so we are forever doomed to having chickens stuffed two million to a barn and injected with all manner of crap before being sold and therefore we have to accept that there are no alternatives to these sorry experiments in nature is absolute crap as anyone with a tenth of a brain can understand. I’ve actually seen Italian chickens walking around like they owned the place. Armando’s chickens. We haven’t made walking chickens extinct. There’s still time!

James E. McWilliams is the idiot who wrote this diatribe against common sense that was published in the NYT. You can read it but don’t pay for it, you don’t want to be encouraging such chickenshit: The Myth of Sustainable Meat.

You can see the chart of various nations and their food expenses here: China overtakes America to become the world’s largest grocery market

Food and Knuckleheads originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com Apr 21, 2012, © James Martin.

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