It’s no secret that we have something of a food crush on Jamie Oliver, the so-called “Naked Chef.” Not only is he incredibly cute and British, but his cookbook Jamie’s Italy is one of our kitchen mainstays and his shows never fail to entertain us. Recently, Oliver won an even larger segment of our heart with his program Jamie’s Fowl Dinners. On this show, which aired on the UK’s Channel Four last Friday, Oliver attempted to educate the viewing public, along with an audience made up of guests ranging from fast food enthusiasts to representatives of Britain’s major grocery chains, about the true cost of “cheap” chicken.
Over the course of the program, Oliver visited factory farms and egg-laying institutions. He found a system where chickens were treated absolutely inhumanely and the quality of the food suffered tremendously. In one especially moving segment, Oliver showed how male chicks born to egg-laying chickens are routinely suffocated in oxygen-free chambers. At the show’s end, Oliver, who recently became licensed as an approved slaughterman, electrocuted and drained the blood of a chicken. The entire program (which can be found in short installments on one YouTube user’s page) was profoundly affecting and made a strong case against factory farming. We strongly recommend watching the program: it’s not for the faint of heart, but it is interesting and, thanks to a series of segments featuring Ricky Gervais, quite funny.
[Photo: Jamie Oliver]