Red or white?
Maybe you heard it, too. A long low murmur or rumble, from far away. I assumed it was distant thunder, the way rain announces it is coming for dinner and then sometimes doesn’t show up. I now believe it was chickens. Millions, probably billions, all in a cacophony of joy, like the sound you hear blocks away from a football stadium on Saturday when the home team scores.
The happy hens and roosters were probably cackling about a recent research study finding that white meat, such as chicken, may raise blood cholesterol levels as much as red meat does. One can only imagine the barnyard banter.
“Did you hear the news?”
“That’s got to be good for us, right?”
“Does this mean people will eat less chicken?”
“Hey Leghorn, I always thought you were a mean dude. These folks say you’re as bad as a bone-in ribeye.”
It must have been an uproar you could hear all the way from Goose Creek. Maybe even Arkansas.
I believe in science. Doubting it will leave you looking like Wile E. Coyote. But we do have to agree that we have been subjected to numerous instances of conflicting “science.” Chocolate was bad, now it’s good. Whole milk and eggs were good, now they’re bad. I reckon, nowadays, one can find a scientific study somewhere to support just about anything. Like smoking cigarettes and flicking the ashes is okay so long as you don’t do it on a white rug or a Ferris wheel. For years we have been taught, both by such studies and the Chick-fil-A cows, that a New York strip was a quick trip on the LDL express to clogged arteries. Now a few beers and platter of wings is just as bad? Be still my heart.
I guess ordering meat will become akin to ordering wine.
“Would you prefer a red or white tonight?” the protein sommelier will inquire. “We have a great red from Napa that Meat Spectator rated 96.”
What would happen if we did eat less chicken? It is estimated that there are around 50 billion chickens in the United States. Based on the length of the drive-thru lines at KFC and Cane’s, I’d say that sounds about right. A very small percentage of these chickens are kept for eggs or just pets, I guess, and these can live for eight to 10 years. The vast majority are raised for consumption – the poor critters don’t know that until it’s too late. These birds age to maturity in about seven weeks. That means on each day, while you and I sashay around Daniel Island, 100 million chickens don’t live to see sunset while a new 100 million get hatched. If we humans cut back just half on chicken – either because we are scared by these new warnings or we are just sick of one more chicken dish – we would add 50 million chickens every day to the national flock. In a month, 1.5 billion more; in a year, 18 billion. Think of it as 60 more chickens for every person in the country. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want those extra chickens in my backyard or my neighbor’s yard.
I love a filet mignon and I’ll eat bacon with anything - tofu, grapefruit, you name it. Maybe not kale, but that’s not the bacon’s fault. I’m not a science denier either, not even a science rebel. I’m a tender guy, especially if they come with slaw and hush puppies. I’m not going to get my feathers ruffled by this latest fitness prophecy. I’m going to keep on enjoying chicken. Can you say Boxcar Betty’s? Plus I’ll be doing my part to prevent the dire consequence of a fowl over population. Just imagine a big brood of chickens bobbing up and down Seven Farms Drive. It’s already tricky getting through the new traffic circle.