Thursday, June 14, 2012

Radical Homemakers

Shannon Hayes, author of Radical Homemakers, has updated her web site. She raises chickens and turkeys and sells them locally. She includes advice on cooking pasture-raised poultry. Her focus is on living sustainably, and she includes poultry in her plans.

Her take on comparing costs of pasture-raised chicken with industrial chicken:

Pardon the pun, but the one cut of meat I am most likely to see a new customer “bawk” at is a whole chicken. Our price for whole birds last year was $4.95/lb, 35% less than a pound of grassfed ground beef. Poultry is the cheapest meat at our farmers’ market booth. Interestingly, it is also the most expensive for us farmers to bring to market, owing to the cost of grain and the amount of labor required to produce and process a healthy pasture-raised chicken. Paying $25-30 for a whole chicken may feel like a stretch for someone who is accustomed to cheap* factory chicken from a grocery store, but truthfully, it is the best bargain at the market. A single 4 ½-5 pound chicken can usually generate 3 different meals for a family of four, making a total of 12 servings. Thus, a 4.75 pound chicken winds up costing $1.96 per serving, a modest sum when you figure that a side serving of fresh local swiss chard costs $1.13 per serving, or that a side portion of decent quality potato chips costs $1.25 per serving.

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