Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Eggs vs Sad Eggs

The debate in the West about organic or non-organic food never failed to amuse me when I was in Nigeria. I lived in a Country where 80% of our food -fruit, vegetable, meat grew at their natural God-given pace. Yes Sire! Bulls are slaughtered at the ripe old age of 2yrs, Cows at 5yrs, the hardy local poultry takes a year to get to an eatable size. Only the genetically engineered broilers and cockerels can be relied on to get obese in 8 weeks. 
I took naturally maturing, non-fertilized and non-hormone stimulated grown food for granted.
Till I came to the UK.
   And I tasted beef that didn’t taste like beef.
   Chicken that I marinated overnight but was still tasteless after steaming.
   Carrot that tasted sweet but metallic and left my lips and tongue itchy.
   Banana that was gigantic but sweetly bland.
Then I understood. 
I've even heard there’s organic and non organic milk too. Though I can’t really be bothered about that. I’ve been drinking inorganic powdered milk all my In fact Cowbell (a popular powdered milk brand) contains vegetable fats instead of butter fat; if that’s not inorganic I don’t know what is!!

What really gets my goat is the mighty debate about free range poultry and caged poultry.
I can understand if you tell me you like free range poultry because they taste ‘Better’ (from the added insect and veggy flavor in their diet). I assume this great taste also extends to their eggs.
You can tell me keeping food producing animals in good health is essential to maximize their productivity for man. 
You can complain about poor hygiene practices in Poultry farms. 
You can tell me about over-crowding.
You can even complain about the additives in their feeds which might not be okay for human. (mind you, the above complaints are seen in both poultry systems!)

But please, please, spare me the platitudes about happy free range birds and suffering caged birds.
Please don’t talk about being humane and compassionate and show me pictures of birds who died in cages implying they should have been running free.
Death is a natural occurrence in battery cages and free range. Birds get sick and die. Birds get old and die. Birds in captivity develop bad habits and turn savage on each other. Life is not perfect, Sorry!
Note: It happens in prisons too so why are we not talking of letting criminals roam free? (Forgive, but that’s the nearest comparison I could come up with).

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a population explosion going on globally with an inverse proportion of land available. Battery cages maximize land space available while ensuring that you have the cheap protein you need.
I love animals; I couldn't have studied Veterinary medicine if I hadnt. But I also respect animals' roles in our Ecology. As food to man. As beasts of burden. As companions.

So dear lady in the lilac cardigan at Tesco, don’t gimme the evil eye cause I picked up the crate of eggs clearly labeled 'battery cage eggs' which I noticed shoppers were avoiding.
A crate of 15 eggs for £1.82 makes great nutritional and economic sense to me than a crate of 6 free range eggs at £1.45!


  1. Oh baby, I know. People can be absolutely stupid about some of these things. Still, I do buy organic produce whenever I can. Also the "free range" stuff when they just feed the animals a natural diet (sans insecticides). I don't know if chickens are happy or not. I know one flew right at me and scared me to death. So I'm not that concerned with their happiness!

  2. made me glad i live in Africa. Eating the real stuff everyday. maybe i should send you an organic care package

  3. Linda visited me on the farm where I live and that chicken that flew at her was mine. Well, she entered the hen house in high heels -- imagine how scared the chicken was.

    Our chickens walk all over the farm and are just put in at night. They all have names and they give us the best eggs. I can't even eat the store bought ones anymore. Completely tasteless.

    I do eat a lot of chicken, but never ours. And I admit, I buy whatever's cheapest most of the time, but when I have bought the free-range at one of the health food stores, the difference is amazing. I don't know about the happiness factor of a chicken. I just know what tastes better. Although, I have to say. Our chickens seem pretty damn happy.

  4. lol.Thanks for spilling the beans on Mom, Jayne. Heels in a hen house? Nay totally inappropriate! And thank you for stopping by my humble site:).

    I am sure your chickens are happy. In small doses happiness is easily managed and achieved. Commercially? lets be real..

    @Mbabazi - send that care package quick!!

  5. As the former and founding editor of "Organic Times Magazine," I can tell you that the main reason to eat organic foods has nothing to do with taste or the humane treatment of animals--not that those are bad things--but a lot to do with reducing chemical inputs that harm the environment. Our overuse of herbicides, pesticides and other ag chemicals is literally poisoning our land and water. The ocean's dead zones are growing at an alarming rate, and land that was once fertile is now blowing away or unable to produce crops without heavy fertilization.

    That said, organic food is really expensive, and I'm having more and more trouble affording it.

    Also, I'll be dead in a few decades, and don't really give a shit.

  6. Michael has on his cranky pants today. Never mind, Love.

    I just wanted to add that in England I never had one good thing to eat. Not once, not ever. What is up with that?

  7. I feel your pain Uncle Mike. Death to the Polluters!!

    @Mom. I can deal with cranky. I don't know about the rest of England but I can cook. And it tastes good too.

  8. Organic foods can get expensive here sha. I do love organic eggs however because they taste so different

  9. lmao!

    I don't eat bananas in this country. They taste like crap.

    It took me two years to stomach the taste of kitchen. In fact, the first thing I ate when I came here was kfc. I have never been back at kfc...not even after 12 years. That was how traumatized I was.

  10. Specy and tasty food cooking ideas and recipes. Thanks for sharing here. We are providing online which is best for getting help in solving your assignments and papers. It will help you in study and class.



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