Why Did The Chicken Cross the Pond?

“While European producers must safeguard the security and hygiene of products through the entire food chain, US producers use chemicals such as chlorine dioxide at the end of the production chain to kill pathogens in poultry meat; a measure that the study says is both cost-effective and hazardous.” (http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2986876/ttip_the_downfall_of_european_agriculture.html)

Another potential benefit of TTIP: a menu including American delights such as Chlorine Chicken.


“Livestock subsidies in the 34 OECD nations alone were $53bn in 2013, including an average of $190 per cow.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/24/meat-tax-far-less-unpalatable-than-government-thinks-research-finds)

Greenhouse gas methane, loss of carbon sink forests, farming subsidy, pollution remediation, animal abuse, antibiotics, food poisoning, health care… You don’t get so much meat per pound these days.

Over-inflated Pests

“A pioneering genetically modified (GM) wheat crop that emits an insect alarm pheromone to ward off pests has not worked in field trials. … Compared to a control crop of wheat, the GM crops showed no improved yields, no reduction in aphids and no increase in attacks by aphid predators (such as parasitic wasps and ladybirds). … Making the site secure added around £1.8 million (US$2.8 million) to the study’s research cost of £732,000.” (http://www.nature.com/news/gm-wheat-that-emits-pest-alarm-signals-fails-in-field-trials-1.17854)

Humans appear to be the only alarming pests here.

“‘Double-muscled’ pigs are made by disrupting, or editing, a single gene … and … the breed could be among the first genetically engineered animals to be approved for human consumption. … The pigs provide many of the double-muscled cow’s benefits — such as leaner meat and a higher yield of meat per animal. However, they also share some of its problems. Birthing difficulties result from the piglets’ large size, for instance. And only 13 of the 32 lived to 8 months old.” (http://www.nature.com/news/super-muscly-pigs-created-by-small-genetic-tweak-1.17874)

And here too the humans rather than the pigs seem to be the sentient monsters.

How about working with nature, instead of failing to trump it?


“Hypercarnivory refers to any animal whose diet is made up of at least 70% meat, so most humans don’t count. … In addition to forest loss, dholes have suffered from a decline in their prey … ‘because dholes are hypercarnivores that need relatively high prey numbers to raise litters and sustain large pack sizes.'” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/radical-conservation/2015/jun/25/dhole-asia-endangered-tiger-ignored)

Researchers have begun explaining to the wild dogs that, as a result of climate change and resource depletion, they’ll have to become more vegetarian to survive.

Lamb gelée

“French authorities are looking into how a lamb genetically modified with jellyfish protein was sold as meat to an unknown customer.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jun/23/french-authorities-investigate-gm-jellyfish-lamb-sold-as-meat-in-paris)

And which customer had the lamb with the sting in the tail.


“In rich Western nations, preaching about how eating a lot of meat is bad for both one’s health and the planet provokes resentment. Meanwhile, in developing nations, the rising middle-classes can at last afford to eat more meat, which was previously a luxury. It’s not surprising that governments worldwide duck out of tackling the problem.” (http://positivenews.org.uk/2015/environment/agriculture/17608/eating-meat-save-planet/)

How about tackling the duck?

“Nitrous oxide is found in manure and fertilisers, whereas the methane emissions come from burping cattle and sheep.”

Have to burp ’em, else they swell up and float away. That’s not clouds; that’s methane-high sheep.


“The 53-foot trailer, dripping the rancid juices of rotting chicken, was discovered Tuesday near the Flying J Truck Stop west of Missoula. It contained an estimated 37,000lbs of chicken worth $80,000, officials said.” (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/25/rancid-chicken-truck-montana)

It’s not just the truck that carried the chuck,
But the tricklin’ that comes from the chicken.


“Already, over two billion people around the world regularly eat insects.” (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/world-on-a-plate/2014/may/20/food-insects-entomophagy-fao-bugs-food-security)

In my case, unintentionally: the insects gulp from a glass of water, shortly before I do.

The article then ascends toward an Abbott and Costello sketch, “fourteen percent of Americans count themselves as foodies—people who, says Why, ‘will probably eat the grasshopper that looks like a grasshopper’,” before suggesting, “we also need to think about a bottom-up approach.”

To food?


A National Audit Office “inquiry has found a dramatic increase in food fraud, with one in six products failing tests for the presence of undeclared species in 2012.” (http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/oct/10/uk-warned-another-horse-meat-scandal)

‘Undeclared species’ is deliciously vague. Can we expect slugs and snails and puppy dog tails? Toads and shrews and badger sinews? No, I’m being hysterically alarmist. Could there be alien meat in burgers?