Saturday, November 04, 2006

Hugh and the happy chickens

If have been catching up on a stack of my food programmes today and another new one this week was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Hugh has five urban chicken lovers staying with him at River Cottage in the first of his new series and is hoping to wean them off their fast food and ready meals in favour of organic free range home cooked versions of their favourite chicken dishes. Whilst striving for chicken enlightenment they visit an intensive chicken farm (not one of the worse) and view a film of one of the worse intensive farms which gives them some serious food for thought. One of Hugh's guests flatly refuses to eat vegetables other than a rare carrot or turnip and potatoes of course. Hugh manages to persuade him to eat a parsnip and beetroot crisp but nothing else.

Most of the group bond with Hugh's chickens and really start to appreciate the benefits of treating food really well when it's alive and not just in the cooking process. The fifth person just didn't really get chickens but said they'd feel totally differently if they were cuter like ducks!

Hugh's deep desire is to convince the five that if they eat chicken they should eat only happy chicken not mass-produced badly treated pap. At the end of the show, the five are revisited back in their homes again and two are not eating chicken anymore, which I think is interesting. The other three are eschewing the poor quality chicken dishes they favoured before and upgraded to chicken that had led a much better life.
Well done Hugh, long live happy chickens!

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