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Jamie Oliver Kills Chicken in Front of Studio Audience
Wednesday, January 09, 2008 | posted by Mike

First off, let me say that the two programs featuring Jamie Oliver this weekend on Food Network were very good. The Iron Chef America episode was a fun and entertaining as we expected, and the new show was smart and captured all of the usual Jamie Oliver passion for food. The notebook-doodle transitions were clever, and The Official Dad of TVFF will be happy to know that he gives Fahrenheit numbers in addition to Celsius.

Just a note for TVFF regulars...going forward, we won't be posting ex post facto formal reviews of shows. It's kind of pointless, since you can just tune in and see it at the same time as us. When we have a chance to get our hands on a screener and give you a preview of an upcoming show, we'll do that. Of course, we will keep giving you general and specific reactions to new and continuing shows and will cover any and all news and surprises as they happen.

OK...to the issue at hand.

Why would an internationally-known chef electrocute and then drain the blood of a chicken in front of horrified onlookers and then broadcast the whole thing on national television? Apparently, to prove a point about animal cruelty.

Jamie Oliver, the television chef, electrocuted a chicken and drained its blood in front of a television studio audience as part of his campaign to highlight Britain's poultry industry.

The chef carried out his demonstration to show how the vast majority of chickens in this country are slaughtered.

In another scene, he shows a clutch of males chicks who are unsuitable for the egg industry being suffocated in an oxygen-starved chamber.

Oliver hopes that the distressing images will persuade people to stop buying battery-reared chickens - the preferred choice for most consumers in the UK - and encourage supermarkets to pay farmers more for ethically-reared ones.

The special is slated to be aired this Friday in the UK, and will include additional information about chicken farming. Oliver's activism is well known, including his crusade against unhealthy food served in schools and his founding of the Fifteen program.

Despite the fact that he is doing this in the service of improving animal treatment, he has caught flak from the RSPCA.

The way animals are raised and processed has obviously been a topic of much discussion of late. Although this demonstration is an extreme and intense (and possibly manipulative) confrontation of the consumer, the distance between source and shopper has come to mean that we don't have to think about the "gory details" associated with animal handling.

Regardless of your thoughts on the feelings of the animals, this lack of connection to the handling and processing of the food we eat certainly opens us up to potential dangers that may result. Perhaps being a little more knowledgeable about the products we eat is a good thing, even if it's uncomfortable.



Hi, I'm Mike and I created TVFoodFan.com as a place where you can come to get the latest news and views about what’s going on in the world of culinary television.

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