Once in a while I read an article that is totally engrossing because it tells me so many new things about a subject that I thought I already knew about. Case in point: Nadia Aramugam’s article on the chicken industry’s problem with excess chicken legs. Breast meat being favored by consumers, there is a huge surplus of legs and thighs which need to be sold elsewhere. According to the article , there is virtually no difference, from the nutritional point of view, between white and dark meat. This perception was created by the poultry industry to make the breasts a “premium product”. It also explains the cultural preference for breast meat in America. This is often a mystery to consumers from other nations such as Asian countries where dark meat ,with a more intense flavor, is actually prefered over white. All this while, Americans have been choosing breast meat and the legs and thighs were welcomed in Russia. Not any more, as President Putin has warned against using them for health reasons (but more likely to implement his “self-sufficiency in chicken by 2012” policy). So where will all the legs and thighs go? The chicken industry which has demonstrated such resourcefulness thus far, will no doubt find a way out. “Legs! The Other White Meat” is a distinct possibility. Perhaps providing nutritious dark meat parts fresh for school lunches might be an option? Or we could go back to the days of using the whole chicken, for stock, soups and then move onto yummy grills and curries? Nose to tail for the poultry world….
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