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Poll

Do you care if your chicken goes from the U.S. to China then back to the U.S. again?

I just plain don't know
Yes - it concerns me environmentally
Yes - it concerns me because of health reasons
Yes - but I am not sure why
No - who cares?
No - I think it is a smart move for us and China
No - I don't eat animals, so all you meateaters can do whatever you want
I just plain don't know

Author Topic: Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice  (Read 1154 times)

Offline wasabisam

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Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice
« on: May 21, 2006, 09:01:22 PM »
From CNNMoney.com:

Quote
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - American chicken could soon be making plenty of round-trip visits to China.

The Department of Agriculture last month certified China as eligible to export processed chicken meat to the United States -- but with one caveat. The chicken has to be American.

In other words, American chicken will travel across the ocean once and return cooked and canned - to be sent on its way to a supermarket shelf near you.

The U.S. is the world's largest poultry producer. Almost all of the chicken consumed by Americans last year, valued at $50 billion, was produced domestically at about 30,000 chicken farms across the country. Total chicken production in 2005 totaled about 35 billion pounds.

If the U.S. is already self-sufficient in meeting its own chicken demand, what's the economic rational behind this China deal?

For the full article, click here.

So does this ruffle your feathers? Or do you really care?
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flooz

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Re: Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2006, 09:07:51 PM »
oh i'm ruffled alright. does this make sense to anyone? i went spastic when they told me that when i call for computer help at work, i'm talking to india and then they refer me back to someone in my building for crissakes. i just can't wrap my brain around it.   :?

Offline Harlan

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Re: Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2006, 09:16:09 PM »
I said "for environmental reasons" in the survey, but I'm not really all that strongly against it. Shipping deep-frozen stuff in container ships is fairly efficient, in terms of environmental impact from transportation. I'm happy to buy New Zealand racks of lamb, which is also frozen and shipped, so why should I be too critical of frozen chicken parts? Besides, given that it has to be originally American chicken, I suspect this is not going to be a very widespread practice. Oh, and canned chicken? That's the real catastophe here!

And I can't get all that bent out of shape over outsourcing first-line tech support jobs to India, either... I'd rather talk to "Frank" from Bangalore with a Hindi accent than to a computer with crappy voice-recognition, that's for sure...

flooz

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Re: Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2006, 09:20:57 PM »
I said "for environmental reasons" in the survey, but I'm not really all that strongly against it. Shipping deep-frozen stuff in container ships is fairly efficient, in terms of environmental impact from transportation. I'm happy to buy New Zealand racks of lamb, which is also frozen and shipped, so why should I be too critical of frozen chicken parts? Besides, given that it has to be originally American chicken, I suspect this is not going to be a very widespread practice. Oh, and canned chicken? That's the real catastophe here!

And I can't get all that bent out of shape over outsourcing first-line tech support jobs to India, either... I'd rather talk to "Frank" from Bangalore with a Hindi accent than to a computer with crappy voice-recognition, that's for sure...

my problem with the outsourcing IT peeps isn't the people themselves, its the fact that i have Tracy Anderson's extension in my building who i call with a question, then he tells me he'll help me but i have to call the 1-888 number to get a ticket so they contact him and then he can come. ummm, backwards much?
and the chicken- i eat it all, shaped or not! and if it were chicken from whereever they send it from, fine by me. i just think it might be easier to already do it here, no? maybe i dont know enough about the matter to really talk about it in depth, but initially-thats my 2cents.  :-D and thats all the brain powere for the day folks-going to pass out from my pulled pork coma...

Offline wasabisam

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Re: Why the chicken crossed the ocean -- twice
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2006, 08:22:29 AM »
Well, I am concerned for environmental/energy reasons. And I am also concerned because of the "outsourcing" issue, although I am probably thinking a little differently than you Flooz.

*Note - I am currently finishing The Omnivore's Dilemma, so some of these ideas are rather knocked off of Michael Pollen's research. ;)

Environmentally - it is amazing how far our food will travel to get to our plates. A lot of products we buy at the store (esp. produce) comes from California. So that means that our salad has to travel more than 2000 miles to get to us. The amount of fuel used to get that salad to our plate is tremendous, especially if it was also flown. The energy and calories it takes us to eat it within a matter of minutes doesn't equal the total energy/calories it takes to grow it, process it, ship it, stock the shelf at the supermarket, and us buying it and carting it back to our house. It is not sustainable energy-wise, and chipping away at the environment, too - even if it was an organic salad.

So to grow chickens in the U.S., ship them off to China to be processed, and have the cans of chickens get shipped back to us is an amazing amount of energy spent for a meal that will last only a few minutes. It may be more economic, but the cost to the environment is way too high in my opinion.

Outsourcing - well, I am all about supporting the local farmer. I think that this kind of thing will only hurt the small farmer, however it does help that more people are becoming more conscious of what they eat and where it comes from (of course, is this chicken from the U.S. or China??). It just seems like the more we go towards industrialized, pre-packaged food, the more we are going to hurt our local economy in the long run. It may not hurt us now, but our kids may have to pay for our current convenience.

I am vegan, so the chicken thing doesn't affect me directly, however I think it probably DOES affect me indirectly. I still have to deal with breathing gas emissions that get caught up in the air, my food does cost me more when gas prices go up (therefore me helping to pay for the chicken's round-trip ticket), and when my local farmer goes out of business because of the ever growing industrial food economy then I lose out on high quality local food. And then I am forced to buy my organic California salad from Key Food. Maybe it does affect me more directly than I originally thought....
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