The time has come, WiseFins is hosting its mystery guest. A food that you probably all know of, but may not be aware of its ecological impact. Can you guess what this food product is? Find out what is behind this portrait.
I am an animal.
More precisely, I am a land animal belonging to the gallinaceous family. I like to scratch the ground, preen my feathers, take dust baths and stretch my wings. With different names depending on my age, my maximum lifespan is 110 days before I end up on your plate.
You know me.
You see me everywhere! In all my forms, whole or cut, in all my colors, yellow or white, I am the star of the supermarket shelves. I come in several breeds, some of which are very famous, such as the French breeds of Bresse, Faverolles or Mans. Occasionally and to underline my quality in terms of production or manufacture, I am labelled and decorated with a red sticker.
You cook me.
I can be eaten cold or hot, but also simmered, sautéed, braised, roasted, fried, stuffed and in sauces. Some recipes where my name appears? Basquaise, celestine or even teriyaki. A famous colonel has also developed a fast food chain where I am the main ingredient.
You like my nutritional values. I generally contain little fat, which is mainly concentrated in my skin. White or dark meat, I am rich in proteins and more particularly in amino acids. I am a source of phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc. As the best ally of sportsmen, I contribute to the proper functioning of the muscular system and the reduction of fatigue.
You LOVE to eat me.
I am an animal mainly raised for food consumption. Every year in the world, 66 billion of my fellow creatures are raised and slaughtered, including 800 million in France. In 83% of the cases, my breeding and farming is intensive with a high population density that can have an impact on human health. In some situations, we can be up to 22 in one m², that is to say less than one A4 sheet per animal. It is a controversial farming that raises ethical questions. Easy to cook and inexpensive compared to other meats, I am your favorite menu after pork. You eat me about twice a week, which is an average of 22 kilos per person per year.
Am I good for the environment?
My environmental impact is high because my production emits greenhouse gases and requires considerable amounts of water. It is calculated that to produce 1 kilo of my meat, 5.68 kilos of CO2 are emitted. The production of 22 kilos of chicken would be the equivalent of 650 kilometers by car in terms of greenhouse gas emissions! These are impressive figures, but they don’t stop there, since it’s the same for my water needs. In fact, 134,000 liters of water are necessary to produce 22 kilos of my meat, which is the equivalent of the needs of 183 people in drinking water for a year. This is mind boggling if we then multiply these statistics by over 60 million French people.
I am the chicken.
I am the offspring of the rooster and the hen, I am also called capon or poularde.
Did you find out who our mystery guest was, and more importantly, did you imagine that his or her ecological impact was so great? If you want to cut out or reduce your consumption of chicken, there are many alternatives. One of them is seitan, also called “vegetable chicken”, which provides just as much protein and as little fat. Its texture and taste are very similar to chicken meat. WiseFins is looking forward to seeing you next month to discover the portrait of a new guest.
Written by Maeva Ortega