Blog Post – “Chicken”

This book was probably the most interesting reading all semester. It gave me a lot of insight into the chicken industry and how it’s changed and evolved through time. In the first chapter, the author talked about the popularity of chicken and how it blew up after World War. Companies like Tyson started the wave of processed chicken to feed the masses. This chapter focused on chicken around World War II times. It talks about how during the technological revolution, processed foods like chicken and others blew up due to mass media. The thing about chicken is that it satisfied what the average American wanted, which was to be both efficient with their time and money. Companies like Tyson took advantage of this and started to give the public what they wanted. It was interesting to hear that the Delmarva peninsula was the start of the chicken revolution and started the processed chicken wave. It was crazy to hear that companies like Tyson not only treat their livestock poorly but also treat their employees horribly with low wages and poor working conditions. And much like other franchises, big brand chicken companies forced farmers to constantly upgrade infrastructures causing farmers to go into a drowning sea of debt. Basically, these brands treated their farmers like crap, but due to the contracts and financial pressure, the farmers couldn’t leave and go independent. There was even talk of companies like Tyson employing an illegal workforce including underage employees. From the treatment of animals to people, it makes me really frustrated with these big chicken brands. 

After hearing the horror stories presented by the author about the chicken companies, I was interested in hearing about healthier and better alternatives instead of supporting these brands. The author brought up supporting local and organic farms, but this calls into question the cost and efficiency. The big turn-on to chicken in the first place was affordability. A lot of Americans wouldn’t be able to afford this healthier option.  

Overall, this book was a lot to cover, but it opened me up to what these horrible chicken companies are doing. I enjoyed reading this book and can say with confidence that I will not be eating Tyson chicken nuggets any time soon.

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