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Quite so, quite so

The “Chicken King” himself has said the price of a bird has now become too cheap.

“How can it be right that a whole chicken costs less than a pint of beer?,” Boparan said in 2021.

Reduce beer duty now!

33 thoughts on “Quite so, quite so”

  1. “A build-up of nitrogen and phosphorus from chicken manure, which is used as fertiliser in the area, is responsible for the changes in the river, campaigners claim”.

    A load of bollocks then most likely.

  2. I don’t much enjoy chicken. Goose, now – different kettle of fowl.

    Exception: my wife’s wonderful roast chook and tarragon sauce, and even then it’s better if the chook is a guinea fowl.

    As for cause: “Chicken has become ‘the’ protein,” … Red meat got a kicking about diet and obesity, so people went from the red meats to the white meat.”

    In other words it’s all the fault of mendacious government diet propaganda for the last forty years. Dig the buggers up and burn ’em.

  3. “How can it be right that a whole chicken costs less than a pint of beer?,”

    Remember in The Hitchhikers Guide (TV version, 1981), Ford orders six pints of bitter with a £5 note and tells the barman to keep the change?

    And the barman seems genuinely grateful and impressed by this high roller from Guildford.

    Six whole chickens, please! (slaps down a fiver)

  4. I wonder how many chickens end up as dog food that is then shat out and left in not biodegradable poo bags by the side of footpaths.
    Double your pollution for your money.

  5. Bongo,

    Many years ago I had the dubious pleasure of auditing a chicken processing company in the midlands.

    Forget about dog food. Every single partial of skin, fat, gristle etc was destined for the human food chain. The process was impressive in a chilling sort of way and the “dis-assembly” lines were like something from Wallace and Gromit.

    And the smell, Dear God the smell.

  6. Back in the 1950s my family’s Christmas dinner was chicken, but a large bird that fed a family of four with enough left over for cold chicken at another meal, and then a chicken stew after that – turkey wasn’t available in those days, and it was before the days of chicken curry. The chickens were usually free range, and much older so bigger than the birds we get these days. Chicken was a treat, and change from pork, beef and lamb. God knows how it all turned round – perhaps because chicken can be factory farmed, and works with indian restaurants, KFC, Nandos and the rest, and Muzzos will eat it.

  7. A kfc box meal for one can be less than £7. A “bucket” feeding 2 or at a pinch 4 can be less than £15. “Chicken Cottage” type outlets and kebab shops (cash only no cards) are probably a pound or two cheaper.

    Compare that to the price of fish and chips.

    To quote the amusing if hypocritical Al Murray:-

    I’m not saying it’s right, I’m not saying it’s wrong, it’s just how it is.

  8. I get that cheap is better as it allows more efficient use of resource, and I realise this is a first world concern, but I think the industry has delivered increased productivity at the expense of quality.

    Like Excavator Man, I remember chicken for Sunday dinner and it was nothing like the tasteless, undersized and waterlogged crap you get from the supermarket these days. I’m not a veggie, but I’m not sure that suffocating a whole warehouse of 10,000s birds is all that ethical a way to bump them off. And that’s before we get to the processing stage as described by John.

  9. Joining in the old gits Sunday lunch memory session in the 50s and 60s it was de rigeur to stuff the chicken to the gills with paxo and sausage meat (a.k.a. forcemeat – the whole point of which was to make the chicken go farther). And yes, it all combined to produce two family meals plus soup.

    Nowadays stuffing comes in nasty little crispy balls while sausage meat is all but unknown and arguably no longer necessary.

  10. Supermarket chicken in the UK is pretty dire. Here, like Excavator Man, the Brasilian who rules often opts for gallina rather the pollo*. A yellow strongly flavoured bird free ranged in the country. But even the supermarket chicken is far better than UK. You don’t get half a pint of liquid sloshing around in the pan when you try cooking it. And it tastes of chicken. Same’s true in France.
    and Muzzos will eat it.
    Yeah well. Once bought several kilos of chicken quarters offered cheap in a halal butchers in Finsbury Park for the dogs. Cooked it up, one sniff & they wouldn’t touch it. I tried it & it did taste distinctly odd. The skin also had a rather odd colour. Just a hint of green. My suspicion, that was the dye used to mark condemned meat insufficiently washed off. The butchers concerned supplies the restaurant trade. One of the reasons you won’t get me anywhere near an “Indian” restaurant. Better to go hungry.

    *A word of caution. Although generally hens, in Spanish the word for chicken takes the ‘o’ masculine ending. The feminine ‘a’ ending usually refers to a cock, but not the fowl. Don’t be caught out in the carneceria, please!

  11. @ Excavator Man

    God knows how it all turned round – perhaps because chicken can be factory farmed

    A fast growing table chicken goes from being an egg to a carcass in 8-10 weeks. Bigger ones are just a little older.

    They eat a lot while they are growing but as we know chicken feed is cheap. The biproduct is lots of chicken manure (the alleged problem here) which is a valuable fertilizer. It has many uses but I recall chicken manure being sold to mushroom producers and once they were done with it, when the nutrients were used up, it being sold on to gardeners as mushroom compost.

  12. Au Contraire, we now buy all our chicken from an Afghan-owned market in Ypsilanti, MI – it’s halal (like we care), but more-to-the-point, it’s all locally-grown, and butchered the night before, and never frozen. The grandmas in their shapeless bin-bags demand nothing less, they pick out their chicken pieces one-at-a-time, and they castigate the young men behind the meat counter if it’s not just exactly to their liking. I always smile and think of Giles’s granny, whopping them over the head with a parrot-handled umbrella.

    It’s also same-price or cheaper than Kroger chicken.

    I think that’s part of the reason why chicken has become, what it’s become. Chicken has become an efficient protein delivery system, and if you want tasty meat, you need choosy customers.

    And then there’s – a Costco roast chicken for $4.99. A meal for 4, next-day’s sandwiches for work, and then a pot of soup. But I think that’s a loss-leader, not a market signal.



  13. “God knows how it all turned round” My memory is that the turnaround started when you could suddenly buy cheap American tinned chicken. And so chicken transformed from a Xmas treat to (eventually) meat for women frightened by government diet lies.

  14. Come to think of it the cheapest protein we ever ate was probably the garden snails we cultivated one summer. They tasted just like tinned French escargots i.e. of garlic and rubber.

    (That’s assuming you cost your time at zero which is reasonable if you’re doing an experiment for the fun of it.)

  15. “dearieme

    Come to think of it the cheapest protein we ever ate was probably the garden snails”

    I used to have a hobby of racing snails. Bred and trained them. I remember one snail I had particular hopes for which wasn’t living up to the hopes I had for him.

    In the end, I thought “I wonder if taking his shell off would help”.

    I did take it off, but to be honest it just made him more sluggish.

  16. I suspect you get a different sort of Asiatic in the US to the UK. Might be because the success rate for crossing the Atlantic in a rubber dingy is somewhat low.

  17. OT but just spotted this in the Torygraph Opinions column.
    ‘We are witnessing a growing trend where public servants face intimidation and threats’
    Haven’t bothered about reading it but I think we can all regard that as encouraging, can’t we? If this is a growing fashion, which public servant do you feel like intimidating & threatening? There’s an enormous choice.

  18. Martin Near The M25

    ‘We are witnessing a growing trend where public servants face intimidation and threats’

    Thanks. that’s really cheered me up. We should start a list of the most worthy.

  19. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Ford Prefect’s pints of Watneys Red Barrel were not worth drinking.

    And yes, supermarket chicken is for the cats.

    Some things improve, others get worse.

  20. Boganboy, that gag was so old it tottered onto the page with a walking stick & hearing aid, a wonder it could remember its own punch line.
    At one time the UK had a beer so weak it didn’t legally rate alcohol tax. Anyone else remember Starlight? You mightn’t become an alcoholic on it but you were in danger of drowning before you could get drunk.

  21. @BiS – oh, great. Just when I’d finally washed Watney’s Starlight from my last memory cell, you had to remind me. Thank you So Much :-).



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