Thursday, February 23, 2012

Update: 47,000 Chickens Died and 3,000 were sent to Sanctuaries

February 25, 2012: Update from Los Angeles: 47,000 Chickens Died and 3,000 Were Sent to Sanctuaries. 

Breaking News: Los Angeles Times Reports that 50,000 Chickens Were Found Dead or Starving at Central Valley Farm

Stories like this one reported in the Los Angeles Times are absolutely heartbreaking. Warning: This story is not for the faint of heart or chicken-hearted.

For more information, click on the clip from CBS News.

Two rescue groups will be taking in some of the chickens that are still alive reports CBS-Sacramento.

Chinese National Olympic Marathon Team Raise Their Own Chickens

(This is not the Chinese National Olympic Team)

In an attempt to have food that is toxin-free, the Chinese National Olympic Marathon Team has resorted to raising their own chickens. According to Reuters, Clenbuterol, a prescribed bronchodilator for asthmatics, is "sometimes fed to livestock by unscrupulous farmers" in order to produce a leaner meat that garners a higher price.

Food scandals are nothing new to China. In an article by the United Kingdom's Telegraph, here are the top 10 Chinese food scandals:

1.   Melamine contaminated milk - six babies killed; 300,000 sickened
2.   Toxic bean sprouts
3.   Pesticide-drenched yard-long beans
4.   Leather milk
5.   Aluminum dumplings
6.   Glow-in-the-dark pork
7.   Lean meat powder pork
8.   Toxic "take-away" boxes
9.   "Sewer" oil
10. "Cadmium" rice

Sunday, February 5, 2012

IV Types of Super Bowl Fans

Yes, it's true. While an estimated 196 million people will be tuning out by indulging in long mountain hikes, hedonistic spa treatments, or wine tasting in bucolic countrysides, another 113 million will be tuning in today to watch America's 46th Super Bowl. Of these 113 million, most will be sitting on their recliners' edges yelling at their television sets while polishing down a wicked amount of mouthwatering chicken wings. In fact, an estimated total of 1.25 billion chicken wings will be devoured today. 

For some very "lukewarm" football fans, it's not the game but the SuperBowl brew and grub they're after. Hefty bags of nacho chips, salty pretzels, and other "nutritious" nosh will line their coffee tables, along with bottles of beer, an estimate of 1.3 million which will be consumed. That means that nearly every time a chicken wing flies into the mouth of a hungry Super Bowl fan, a brew will rinse it down. (Why does the song 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall keep looping through my mind?)

And, then, there's the handful of  Honest Joe's out there. The ones who freely speak their minds. Patriots versus Giants? Who cares, they guffaw. Chicken wings and beer? Pshaw! For these self-actualized beings, there's only one reason to tune into the Super Bowl: for the ads--those crazy ads, the ones that are priced to the hilt (3.5 million per 30-second spot)? The Wall Street Journal reports ad cost to be nearly three cents per viewer, a much-heftier price than normal ad fare. But, for companies hoping for "Big Bang for the Buck", the extra cents seem to make sense.

In a surprising trend this year, over half of the ads are already posted on-line for previewing. Samples of these include the Volkswagen ad aimed at fitness and canine freaks. For saucy, check out Go Daddy's ad.

Unfortunately, it seems, that almost all of the advertising creative teams forgot to include our feathered friend--the chicken. I guess they figured chicken was better left fried and on the plate. Only PETA gave a nod to chickens with their protective billboard campaign.

As urban farming throughout North America takes flight, reflections of the trend should start appearing in national ad campaigns. I guess we'll have to wait until next year for the Red Wings and the Ducks Super Bowl face-off. Oops. Wrong sport.

Forget the game. Forget the nosh. Forget the ads. I'm not interested in any. It's time for me to slip  into my Patagonia, lace up my hiking boots, and head to the mountains so I can miss this year's chicken wing-heavy XLIV Super Bowl.

A Super Bowl ditty from songwriter Jesse Rhodes: