By Baxter Black, DVM
KFC, formerly Kentucky Fried Chicken, is one of a handful of fast food pioneers that changed the world’s eating habits. For over sixty years they have staked a claim on the cheapest meat commodity you can buy.
The chicken my children grew up on is vastly different from the chicken I ate as a boy. Both are equally nutritious, yet the new chicken is so much more convenient. I can remember cutting up the whole chicken and fighting over the parts! Nowadays eating a box of Chicken Nuggets is as simple as sticking coins in a soda pop machine.
KFC has now announced a new plan to make all their chicken boneless! I guess I assumed it was going to anyway. Their surveys show that 60% prefer it that way. The holdout is the popular “Big Bucket” that has real pieces of the carcass, bone-in.
There’s a mind switch when I hear “boneless chicken.” I’m reminded of the cartoonist Gary Larson’s drawings of limp chickens laying about the barnyard. But if the market goes completely boneless, I can see poultry breeders embarking on a course of eliminating as many bones as possible from the live chicken. For instance, why do chickens have wings? They are as useless as arms on a Tyrannosaurus rex!
Another tact would be inventing an invertebrate chicken. It could have an exoskeleton like lobsters or big beetles. Or they could be planted like oysters in a shell or barnacles in a pier. How ‘bout chicken meat in a shell like a 5 pound egg? Basically an egg with a head. Easy to feed, easy to gather, easy to entertain. Or possibly a genetic combination of hen and fruit…all natural. Imagine boneless chicken you could peel like a banana! We already have chick peas, Chiclets chewing gum, chicken fried steak, Chicken of the Sea, Rooster Cogburn and Fryer Tuck…why not Chickmelon? The possibilities are endless.
It’s been a long time since I had fried chicken like Aunt Effie used to make. She used Crisco. I liked the heart and ‘second joint’, as Mother called it. It had a flavor of its own. Now it seems that chicken tasted like whatever you put on it, like feathered tofu.
Well, good luck KFC. As I’ve always said, I eat all the eggs I can, it’s one less chicken I have to contend with!