bone in chicken

First World Food Problems

I admit it. I get a lot of ideas for my blog posts while I am at work. Today’s post was inspired by comments made by two of my co-workers during lunch. We are always sharing food where I work. Several of the women in my department are excellent cooks, and we often find ourselves serving as taste testers for new recipes.

On this particular day, one of my coworkers had prepared a chicken stew. I had already sampled some, and it was quite good. My other co-worker served herself a small portion and proclaimed that she didn’t like it. Why? She apologetically explained that it was because it was made with chicken thighs. She didn’t like dark meat. She only eats breast meat.

Later in the week, another person had prepared a chicken dish. This time, using a variety of chicken pieces. To this, one of my coworkers complained.

“I don’t eat meat with bones in it.”

In each of these incidents, I commented “That sounds like a first world problem.” This resulted in a heated discussion about the amount of food waste in this country and personal preference.

I wonder what my grandparents, who were farmers, would’ve thought about someone who only eats chicken breasts. I guess it would be okay if they shared their dinner with people who preferred the other parts. Would someone actually kill a chicken, eat only its breast, and then throw the rest away? I doubt it. I wonder if any of my co-workers would even have the slightest idea how to kill and dress a chicken so that they could eat it.  For that matter, would they even know how to cook an entire chicken?

Part of the problem in our society is that we are so far removed from our food source, no one really understands the sacrifice that is represented in the piece of meat on their plate. I’m not advocating vegetarianism, nor am I criticizing those who embrace it. The decision to eat meat is an individual choice.

The point I am trying to make is that we need to think about what we are eating. Chicken breasts, while a lean protein source, have less flavor than legs and thighs. Boneless chicken also falls short in the flavor department when compared to chicken on the bone. I challenge each of you who reads this post to think about the choices you make and try something new. What about buying a whole chicken instead of boneless and skinless parts? Throw it in your crock pot or roast it in your oven. It’s simple and it’s delicious.

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