Fast food

The West’s industrial-sized chicken farms could be as dangerous as any wet market

It wasn’t Henri IV’s Sunday poule au pot or Herbert Hoover’s less sexy-sounding chicken in every pot, but even in the mid-20th century chicken was a rare treat, not a cheap meal. What has happened to transform the noble Gallus gallus domesticus into what Paul R. Josephson startlingly calls ‘a genetically formed meat machine’? Chicken is a serious subject, even when it’s not the chlorine-washed kind the US President wants to foist on us. I can remember buying a distressingly uneviscerated chicken in a Co-op in Cornwall in the late 1960s; and even ordinary supermarket fowl then came with neck and giblets neatly packaged inside them. You can still buy