Ok, rant time. Can I just say that there are two things I hate buying at the grocery store? They are relatively similar but very different: chicken and eggs.
First off, why is chicken so expensive? Are chickens not prolific creatures? Even conventional birds are pricey, and god forbid you want meat that’s somewhat humane and actually fit for human consumption. Organic, free range chicken in the Bay Area is at least $7 a pound at the butcher counter, and we can pay anywhere from $6-9 a pound in those little plastic-wrapped packages. And I don’t know about you guys, but those vacuum sealed things give me the creeps. Meat is not supposed to soak in its own juices unless the bird in question is still alive. It’s not good for the texture of the meat and it certainly doesn’t contribute to any sense of “freshness.”
And don’t get me started on eggs – I can’t even tell you how much egg guilt I have. Every time I go to the grocery store, I sit there for 10 minutes staring at row after row of egg cartons, and honestly, I never know which to buy. It seems like there are 50 different choices, many of which are some mixture of free range or organic. But how do you know for sure what’s really free range? Do the chickens that laid these eggs have actual space to run around outside, and for how many hours a day do they have that freedom? Or do they just have a window in their cramped little cells? I know I can buy eggs at the farmers market, which is what I try to do, but honestly, paying $7 for a dozen eggs is a little ridiculous in this economy.
My goal is to eventually raise my own poultry so I have all the chicken and eggs I can eat. I’ll know exactly where they came from, I’ll know exactly what they ate, and I’ll know exactly what lifestyle they’ve lived and what sort of freedoms they’ve had. Unfortunately I don’t have the space to do that right now, but I can guarantee you that someday soon, I will live in a place large enough to raise my own chickens so that I don’t have to deal with this stupid confusion anymore. Want to know more about why free-range chicken and eggs are better for you? The lovely Melanie McMinn tells us all about the nutrition behind battery and farm-raised chickens.
What are your thoughts on buying chicken and eggs? I’m interested in hearing your opinions and struggles, and I’d love any advice you can offer.