It’s not often I write about television, but I would like to draw your attention to Channel Four’s current food season, The Big Food Fight. They’ve lined up their three main chefs, Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, to explore where our food comes from.
It’s a team I have a lot of respect for. Each of them have campaigned for better food in different ways, some of them very successfully. The whole season looks interesting, but I’d like to highlight Hugh’s Chicken Out initiative in particular.
Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall has been a leading voice on ethical meat eating, and will be looking at chicken in a series of programmes called Hugh’s Chicken Run, in which he abandons the usual principles of the River Cottage and takes up intensive chicken farming. In the UK we eat over 850 million chickens every year, and 95% of them are intensively farmed. That means cramped indoor conditions, and short and unhealthy lives. The programme aims to portray the practices behind cheap supermarket poultry, and persuade the British public to vote with their wallets and buy free range.
There’s a website to support the campaign, chickenout.tv, and this is their video introduction to raising chickens for meat:
Names are being collected for a petition to the government and to supermarkets. You can sign it at chickenout.tv
[update: for the latest on the campaign, take the free range challenge.]