I'm a foodie, I love to cook and there's nothing I enjoy more than fresh veg, beautifully fresh meat, herbs and delicious food. Right now, I'm not so hungry.
This week has been all about food and it's not been a pretty sight. Jamie has been killing male chicks in carbon monoxide chambers, Hugh set up his own battery farm and Kill It, Cook It, Eat It showed the whole process from slaughter to dinner plate. Now I love animals but I'm also a carnivore, I need meat and I accept that animals will die to end up on my dinner plate. However I don't believe in going to a restaurant, point a lobster and go 'I'll eat that'. Simply put I won't kill an animal specifically for my meal but doesn't stop me and going and buying meat.
I've seen Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, and I wasn't shocked at all, indeed I found the series factually and genuinely fascinating. I feel sorry for the animals but they had led good lives and had easy deaths: no pain, no panic, no stress. Watching a programme like that makes me have a whole new level of respect for my dinner.
What I refuse to do is buy meat like chicken from supermarkets. I live in Norfolk and am lucky to have a fantastic butchers which source quality meat locally and they also do fresh eggs as well. Yes I'm poor but I make an effort where I can to buy good produce. I used to buy Tesco chickens when I was a student purely because I was on a tight budget and genuinely didn't know much about food. However Fowl Dinners and Chicken Run really opened my eyes, I didn't know, for example that chicks are gassed if they are the wong gender when it comes to egg laying, I didn't know precisely how many chickens could be crammed into a square metre (17 according to Hugh) or that reclaimed meat (which looks frankly disgusting) is used in so many foodstuffs from nuggets to hot dog frankfurters.
It broke my heart to watch those little chicks being gassed, their only crime were being male or sickly. When I was a kid, we kept chickens and I used to gather their eggs, it was a weird experience, sticking your hands under the warmth of a chicken to feel an egg nestled underneath. At the same time seeing adult chickens hopping around with burns from ammonia, hardly compassionate conditions for a bird living with 16 brothers or sisters invading it's personal space.
After watching Jamie exploring different types of egg: wet (as in farmed), long as in made into a long cylinder and dried (I'm honestly not sure which of these last two is worse). I checked my eggs I bought from Tesco last week, they're part of the big brand and you get ten large eggs for around £1.50. I usually buy them because I like to make scrambled eggs, bake, pancakes and such so use quite a few. After watching the programme, I checked my eggs - thanks to really small print and a stamp on the egg, it turns out there were caged. I'm never buying these eggs again. When I've previously bought fresh eggs from the butchers or local greengrocer in Aylsham, it's clear to see how much better quality the egg is just by looking at the yolk. From a farmed, caged hen they're pale yellow but free range (that's really free range not farmed free range) are a vibrant orange. I'm going shopping tomorrow and I know what I'm going to be buying, they might still be Tesco but at least I can do my bit to get and make sure they are organic and not caged or battery farmed.
Will you be doing the same? I do urge everyone who hasn't seen these programmes to watch them, you'll definitely learn a few things, I did.