J500 Media and the Environment


Sunny side up leaves a bitter taste by denzylj
March 4, 2008, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Food + Health

I remember a friend back home who had a penchant for buying live chickens. “They taste better,” was her usual explanation.

They certainly tasted different. Better? I’m not so sure. But I thought it particularly inhumane to see them, amidst the hubbub of a fruit and vegetable market, stuffed in rows of tiny cages on the back of a truck as an animated trader lauded the quality of his frightened, trapped and smelly white hens. What good chicken curry could that make?

Which brings me to the subject of eggs and why I try to make sure I buy free range. The thought of a chicken being force-fed chemicals and living in some matchbox so that I can have fried eggs for breakfast is enough for me to consider the less than appealing prospect of daily cereal consumption. Not that cage-free is any better than battery-cage chickens, but as this article states, at least the chickens are able to spread their wings, can walk and nest.

Eggs-treme cruelty for hens satisfying consumers

So, the first Monday of March it was a fried egg minus the oil (my last physical said I could afford the cholesterol intake) and with that, two slices of toast and coffee. For lunch it was another egg – a boiled one this time with toast and coffee. Since I’m not snacking and only having one mail meal a day – dinner, it’s been a good discipline and no real temptation to speak of. I tend to avoid fast food dinners and listening to Professor Michael Pollan, I’m forever going to be thinking about corn-based products that are so filled with all manner of preservatives and colorants that supermarket shopping is not going to be fun anymore. Now it’s paying closer attention to all the ingredients on the various products, and who knows in the next 20 years or so I’d do Beth Bader proud by being able to tell which items have sodium phosphates, potassium benzoates, and hydrogenated soybean oils.

Dinner was going to be grilled fish. I’d left the fillets out to thaw, but Monday caught up with me and I settled for the easy way out by ordering fish with shrimp and chips. Having anything in batter is my least favorite choice of meals, but my hunger needed to be satisfied and immediately.

Although, with hindsight, I could have just gone home, opened the fridge and figured out what would be fast and economical and a good source of protein?

Salade Lyonnaise. Sounds rather posh, but from what I hear it’s quite an en vogue dinner treat, according to a New York Times food critic. Just so long as you don’t think me overly obsessed with eggs.

-Denzyl

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Eggs, glorious eggs! You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No judgments from me. However, I must tell you that while cage-free is a great label, it isn’t really enforced in any consistent way. So make your tummy even happier and look for local eggs. They are easy to find.
Simran

Comment by j500

Cage-free is a better option, but pastured is best. Cage-free means the chickens are housed, with some (not defined) access to the outdoors. True pastured eggs (Campo Lindo for example) are from chickens who graze on pasture. There, they exercise, eat grass and bugs (chickens are NOT vegetarians) and this natural diet is supplemented by grain. These eggs are the highest in nutrients. It is true that what is best for the animal is often best for the eater. A most convenient relationship for anyone who chooses ethical meats and eggs. You can get a whole primer on sourcing eggs at this link: egg info. Thanks for the link, I am proud. But, you could bake that fish in less time than the drive to the fast food place … 🙂

Comment by ExPat Chef

Thanks Simran, you’re all heart. And as for finding local eggs, I think I’ll keep my beady eye out for them.

Expat: Pastured is best I agree. I’ve just Googled Campo Lindo and see what you mean. There’s a veritable feast of organic produce. I could go broke shopping. Thank you too for the egg primer link, it’s a very useful source. All this is making me hungry again.

A shark wrangler? Now I’m intrigued.

-Denzyl

Comment by denzylj




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