Over the last year we have been buying food from local farmers. We joined Whitton Farms CSA. We buy more organic foods, especially eggs and milk. We are doing our best to eat well, support local farmers and overall know where our food comes from.
After reading "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and "Eating Animals" and watching Food, Inc., we became more informed. What we learned was shocking.
-Average product travels 1500 miles to your grocery store
-Transporting food accounts for 30,800 tons of greenhouse emissions every year
-Cancers, autism and neurological disorders are associated with the use of pesticides
-Chickens no longer peck, cows no longer graze, pigs can't root around
99% of the animals raised in the US are from factory farms. These animals are kept in cages, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics and never see the light of day.
Given that the chicken industry is one of the biggest culprits, we purchase regional eggs and the occasional chicken breast from Whole Foods or West Wind Farms. Other than that, we have drastically reduced our chicken consumption. No more Chick-Fil-A for me. That was a hard decision given their new location in Midtown.
So backyard chickens it is!
Shawn has been talking about wanting chickens for years. Until recently I didn't think it was possible in the city. For Christmas, I gave Shawn a copy of "Keep Chickens!" by Barbara Kilarski. It's an excellent overview of chicken tending. All 3 of us have now read it.
When I started talking with friends about our interest in keeping chickens (for eggs, not meat), I was surprised to learn the number of chickens living in Midtown. And yes, it is legal. There is a group of folks working on an updated code for keeping chickens and urban farming in general. If and when that is approved, keeping chickens will be even easier.
We have our neighbors blessing and will keep them happy with eggs. Now we need to build them a nice little home. Next up, the coop!