The Dueling Realities of Chicken in America

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We hope this one ate Per Se scraps. Photo: iStockphoto

Chickens! The animals that provide America's most-eaten meat are both "killing the planet" (per Salon) and feasting on scraps from restaurants like Gramercy Tavern and Per Se in an effort to create tastier birds (per the Times). The former story is all about the evils of industrial chicken production (spoiler: it's pretty evil). The latter is about "an experiment that is bringing together elite chefs, preindustrial farming practices and a breed of French poultry that is rarely found in the United States." The chefs hope to create the "table-to-farm-to-table chicken of the future." (Key quote from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who was reportedly brought almost to tears when he ate the pampered birds: "When I tasted it, I was like, 'Whoa.'") So, to recap: The terrible truths behind industrial chicken will cause you to weep for Earth's welfare. But the chicken that rich people eat is so delicious it will literally make you cry. [Salon, NYT]