News all over the media about chickens. First, a few weeks ago, Mark Bittman, born again as an environmentalist, having left behind his Plato’s Retreat version of food, writes about a soy factory in Holland that produces good facsimiles of chicken. Sounds good too me. I like tofu. I like tofu skin (yuba), fried tofu, miso, dried miso, and what-have-you.
Then this week the FDA is talking about transferring its monitoring to the industry. They want to reassign their field experts from inspecting the assembly line of CATBS (chickens about to be slaughtered) to other areas in the factory where the risk of microbes, diseases, and all sorts of bad stuff gets into the final, raw “product.” Talk about letting the fox into the henhouse!
Ever see a fox in a henhouse? Not a pretty sight, not at all. Picture Scalia on the High Court and you get the idea. Sort of.
Then today, in a near segue from the FDA story, Nicholas Kristof writes about a study that found caffeine and Benedryl in chickens in many slaughterhouses. Seems the birds are drugged routinely. It’s not what you think! It’s not to keep them awake or to have a cup of Joe with that morning cigarette. Nor is it to cut down on itching. It’s to serve as an antibiotic. Or something. Anyhow, although the effects of the drugs are not found to be harmful, NK (Nicholas Kristof) objects to the bird tampering. As well he should!
How to solve the problem? Tofu or not tofu?
Wednesday’s NYT had the answer: Grow your own, man. That balcony? That backyard? That rooftop? Perfect for caged birds! Um, OK, just try it. Go ahead. But don’t blame the NYT when you find yourself so attached to Missy, June Bug, Henrietta, and Queenie that you can’t bear to snap their necks, pull off all their feathers, scald them, tear out their guts, wash them clean, dry them, steam them, roll them in flour, add lots of salt and pepper, fry them in blazing hot oil, correct the salt, and then have them for dinner with a cold beer while watching the game.
This is not Ma Pa Tofu: