Free range chickens laying eggs Photo: Jessica Shapiro The taste for chicken in growing. Photo: Marcel Aucar
The art of cooking of cooking the perfect roast chicken
Once, pork could do no wrong. It was cheap, plentiful and versatile. Now its day is done.
The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2014 report has revealed that the world’s insatiable appetite for chicken is surging to new highs.
“Currently, pork accounts for the greatest share in world total meat production,” the OECD report said. “However, a comparatively slower growth rate through the next decade will result in it being surpassed by poultry by 2020.”
Increasingly pork and beef are being left behind by consumers more interested in the cheaper poultry alternative.
Australia consumption habits mirror the global trend. A report from Griffith University released in 2013 shows that chicken is king in the Australian market.
Out of the 111 kilograms of meat consumed per capita by Australians each year, 43 kilograms of that was chicken.
By comparison, Australians are spending nearly twice as much on beef as they are on chicken – for half the amount of consumption.
Worldwide, chicken remains the cheapest and most accessible meat.
The OECD report found that unlike pork, which is not eaten by Jews or Muslims, “poultry faces few cultural barriers related to its consumption across geographical areas”.
However there remain lingering concerns over the welfare of chickens bred for their meat on Australian farms.
“More than 85 per cent of meat chickens in Australia are raised in conventional systems,” said the RSPCA in a statement. “These sheds can hold up to 60,000 birds. This high stocking density results in lack of space, which can increase the risk of lameness and even death from heat stress. Chickens can also suffer feet and hock burn and breast blisters.”
“The low space allowance, inadequate lighting and barren environments can lead to serious welfare issues, even death.”
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