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1,726,400,000 Free-Range Birds?

by 5m Editor
29 February 2008, at 11:11am

UK - What if we all went organic? The anti-battery farm brigade have got to do the maths, reports Martin Samuel.

Funny old thing, the free market. It acts like a bullshit detector for the false prophets of consumer research. Take chicken. According to data gatherers, free range and organic birds are flying off the shelves (not literally), sales are up and shoppers are fighting in the aisles fuelled by a passion for ethically reared meat.

Yet down at my local supermarket, by the organic chicken counter, it is tumbleweed time. And has been for a week or so. I'm looking at three packs of organic, free-range chicken, should cost £34.61, knocked down to £28.62, a reduction of 17.3 per cent. Next stop the dump. Quite a big discount for the hot trolley item of the moment, don't you think? Free-range birds were reduced, too. Whoosh, what was that? It was the ethical eating spike, folks. Lasted about a month, until the Christmas Amex bill kicked in.

Hey, don't look at me. We've eaten organic for years. You won't find a bit of meat in my fridge that doesn't come with a certificate of authenticity, maybe even a handwritten note from its mum. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see the poultry consumers of Great Britain being given a wholly free-range option by the end of the year. And all we would need is an area the size of the Lake District and we could do just that.

Source: TimesOnline

5m Editor