Have you ever wondered where the chicken on your plate came from? More specifically, what it took to transform a live animal into a topping for your sandwich? In this video, we explore the labor and love that goes into processing poultry. Similar to butchering, it is an intensive practice that involves slaughter, de-feathering, evisceration, cleaning, packaging, and chilling. Last month, I visited Jordan Farms in the Southern Tier region of New York to learn more about organic, on-farm processing at their NYS 5A inspected facility. A lot of dedication and time goes into farming at all levels of the food industry. If you can, try to personally connect with the food that nurtures you, and engage with those who are providing or handling your food. You can support our farmers by: - Purchasing products through localized food stores, farmer's markets, and community support agriculture (CSA) programs. - Examining the federal and state legal structures that govern the lives and well-being of farm workers and promoting the changes necessary for improved livelihood and well-being. - Educating yourself about the agro and industrial chemicals that farm workers and, to a lesser degree, produce consumers are regularly exposed to. - Investing in localized, sustainable, organic, and regenerative agriculture. - Knowing where your food comes from! Video by Eva Sideris | SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell me where your chicken came from
To capture the love and labor that goes into one of our most intensive resources, livestock, and to also celebrate our farmer’s sacred work in raising, processing, and distributing animal products. “Tell me where your chicken came from” is a peek into the hard labor and long hours invested into transforming a feathery chicken into an appetizing cutlet.
I began this project when I traveled to the Ithaca Farmers Market to learn more about farming in New York. There, I was able to connect with Justin Jordan, owner of Jordan Farms in southern New York. Justin was very kind to teach me about the barriers and difficulties of farming that have stemmed from overwhelming industrial farming. Through this project, I learned about some of the ways that small-scale farmers are financially disenfranchised.
This video is intended to be a transparent example of what it takes to transform a living animal into a cooked chicken breast. Through this artistic production, we are able to acknowledge at least some of the complexity of chicken processing. Although graphic, the scenes are surprisingly beautiful and shocking as we are exposed to the vivid colors and textures of slaughter. There is also an underlying theme of zero-waste, throughout the video we see various ways to use the entire bird. Feet and all!