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How chicken became the rich world’s most popular meat (economist.com)
43 points by hvo 88 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments

"the chicken now count for 23bn of the 30bn land animals living on farms." - it's not fair to compare count rather than mass. Single pig weights 20x more than single chicken according to google search.

https://outline.com/57eHyc - I'll pay if you let me pay per article!

The Economist is also on blendle.com where you can pay per article.


The problem is the lack of trust; they’ll put out a single decent article a month, and you’re currently required to subscribe to everything to read it.

In a pay-per-article model, you’ll have to pay for the article before you read it, so there’s no telling whether its any good (even more incentives for clickbait). And their current model is exactly that (pay $x for 12 articles); I apparently spent my free articles this month, and barely had a decision in the matter — lead their by HN, and wasn’t paying attention (or rather, tracking) which host I was visiting, with nothing more to inform value than HN comments and the headline. And I’m sure most people don’t get the HN comments.

You can’t properly skim the magazine before purchasing; all you can do is pay up despite lacking information, or not read that article/newsgroup, or steal it.

But you can’t make an informed payment. And most of the news media has dropped any interest in building trust

The problem is that people want to dictate publisher's business models.

> they’ll put out a single decent article a month, and you’re currently required to subscribe to everything to read it.

> But you can’t make an informed payment.

It sounds like you are informed about this publisher, but simply don't think it's worth it to subscribe to them. That's fair, but it's not a valid reason to infringe on intellectual property rights.

I fail to see how allowing readers five or so free articles a month fails to give you a proper way to evaluate whether a subscription is worth it.

> I apparently spent my free articles this month, and barely had a decision in the matter — lead their by HN, and wasn’t paying attention

"I already read so much great content that people find interesting that they TRICKED ME into reading"

What's the theory here? If only you knew which articles would be out in 2 weeks you'd better be able to budget your free reading?

Serious question: what's the threshold at which youre willing to part with $10/month?

The only filter I had was HN, and if I cared about it, those were all surprise usages, as I wasn’t paying attention to the domain. I clicked a link with no intention of using my economist.com credit, but whoops, there it went. I’m certainly not interested in having the same mistake cost me something. (No one said I cared about chickens enough to pay for this insight, and at the very least, when I got blocked from this article, I didn’t care enough to pay for it; my free tier rating attempted to though, and I would have accidentally paid if I had been subscribed).

If I wasn’t going through a content-aggregator, then the only filter I’d have is the title, which is just incentivizing clickbait, and the same issue arises.

As for the threshold question, it depends on trust. I have no issue shelling out cash for (older) nautilus, though content-wise it got me nothing, simply because I had trust that future issues would be (just as) decent, and the print format was nicer.

Same with LWN; it offers me little content-wise (just wait a week, and you’ll get the same thing free), but they’re consistently decent, so I’m fine with ponying up for the week ahead of time.

But economist, nytimes, fox, quartz, etc are much less consistent, and a random selection of 12 articles, or a monthly collection, and you’ll probably get a good deal of trash in there. The good articles are probably better than LWN, but the bad ones are worse, and I have no trust that I’ll get much, if any, value from subscribing.

I shouldn’t have to go to HN for article curation (at least in terms of quality, ideally it should just be subject); I want to pay economist to curate for me, and they’re not doing it. Or rather, they’re doing a poor job of it, and I don’t want to pay up for a poor job done.

A newspaper has two jobs:

1. Put out the news

2. Curate the news and writers

Afaik, they’re generally only managing the first one. On the latter, its a crapshoot.

Not being much of a gambler, I don’t have much interest putting actual money into that crapshoot.

I just came back from Japan and couldn’t get over how much more delicious the eggs were over there than in the U.S. Even at 7-11 you could buy these peeled hard boiled eggs in soy sauce with a slightly soft, dark orange yolk that were amazing.

It's difficult to appreciate how freakish industrially farmed chicken is until you have a comparison point. I'm typing this in Fiji, and yesterday purchased three local chicken breasts: the total weight including skin and some cartilage/bone was around 500g, which is about the same as a single factory-farmed, boneless, skinless breast fillet in Australia.

Modern farms didn't supersized chicken. We are comparing a yorkshire terrier with a St. Bernard.

As with dogs, There are many types of chicken for different purposes. Some are good egglayers, other are selected for its meat. Red junglefowl roosters range around 2-3 Kg, whereas purely ornamental Serama can reach 340g and are a little bigger than a blackbird.

On the other hand, anybody could grow huge chicken in their backyard, bigger than any industrially farmed bird. You can breed easily 6Kg `Giant Jersey' or `Brahma' roosters if you want. There are even 10Kg roosters (bigger than a turkey). Is just that they eat a lot and take its time to grow, so the rate conversion between grain and meat is poor. Industry does not breed it. Biggest chicken are farmed organically by a few farmers.

Fiji chicken are probaby a landrace, a genetic mix of multipurpose bantam, egglayers and game fowl that are much more easy to keep (being active, healthy and smart birds able to free-range and care for themselves). Nothing bad with that. Meat of those would be definitely harder (more muscle and less fat) but tasty, top quality and from chicken living much happier lifes probably.

Free range chickens in Asia are similar - the ones you would see wandering the local village. Freshly killed and the taste is amazing like you somehow marinated the meat in chicken stock to get a strong, almost gamey taste.

Nothing like your standard supermarket frozen chook.

> strong, almost gamey taste

Many people don't like that so farmers spent quite awhile breeding out the gamey taste. Only recently is it coming back into favor.

The organic chicken from the local butcher is the only sort that comes close and it usually far less stringy.

I was skeptical and looked it up,200g for 1/2 a breast fillet, that was surprising heavy


500g is about weight of 3 boneless chicken breasts with no skin, at most grocery stores in BC Canada.

It is farmed chicken.

Australia must have some really bad chicken.

>As raising a single big bird is more efficient than raising two smaller ones, it now takes farmers just 1.3kg of grain to produce 1kg of chicken,

The 1.3 kg of grain for 1kg of chicken statistic is amazing. Chicken is really the closest thing we have to “lab grown meat”.

That reminds me of Mike the Headless Chicken. I wonder if it would be doable to run a chicken farm with brainless chickens. In the end I'm unsure that people would find it more ethical to scoop out their brains.

That doesn't include the needed protein, fats, vitamins and so on. And it is even completely wrong unit, it is the calories in food that matters not its weight.

Fred Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth "the space merchants" (1952) has chicken little...

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