Greetings Bloggers and Bloggettes,

Today I am going to share with you my secret super-hero identity.

I am known by some as simply "The Gatekeeper." By "some" I mean about 2,000 chickens. And by "chickens" I mean....


To the left is a G. Gallus Domesticus. This one, we'll call her Penny, lived a happy life at Schacht Farms on the south side of Bloomington. I say "lived" because she is now in a freezer waiting to be sold at the market this Saturday. You could be the lucky one to eat Penny.

Now, to get back to my superhero status. You see, Penny lives on a big pasture, with lots of grass and bugs and worms to eat. She has lots of room to run around with her friends. All Penny and her friends want to do is live a good life under the sun and the stars, and then pass on her nutrients and goodness to other creatures that can benefit from her protein. However, Penny is dumb as a box of rocks. So when it is time to be "processed" she has a bit of trouble finding her way into the crate in which she will be transported to the processor. That's where I come in!

With the help of my cohorts, the "Wranglers," I assist Penny into the crates. I am in charge of opening the gates to the crates, counting the chickens that are being deposited into them, making sure they are not upside down, or being crushed by their neighbor's claw, and closing the gate once the appropriate number are enclosed. It is a very important duty, and is not without it's fair share of battle wounds. (Penny was a scratcher.)

Some of you may not eat meat because you do not like the idea of our friend, Penny, dying for us humans to have a balanced diet. To you, I say, to each his/her own. However, for the rest of us meat eaters, if you are going to eat chicken, you should only eat chickens like Penny. I'll tell you why.

First, Penny had a good life.

The top picture is of an industrial chicken farm.

The bottom is a picture from Schacht Farms.

Enough said.*

Second, Penny is good for you. At Schacht Farm, Penny not only got to run around, but at least 30% of her diet was from the grass and scavenging in the dirt, the rest of her diet was made of organic grain feed. Most industrial birds are all grain fed, made mostly of corn. This means, Penny will not only taste better than her industrially raised counterparts, but she will be better for our bodies too!

As much as I think Penny should live a good life, and as much as I want her be healthy to eat, the main reason I buy chicken from Schacht Farm is because the money I spend is going to local farmers (who happen to be really great friends!), instead of huge agribusiness.

Remember last summer, when food prices skyrocketed, pushing many people around the world into poverty (or deeper into it)? Did you know that agribusiness corporations profited obscenely from the food crisis? Here is an excerpt from an article in Sojourners magazine from July 2008,

"Monsanto’s net income for the three months ending in February was $1.12 billion, more than double the year before. Cargill’s profits in the first quarter of 2008 were more than $1 billion, up 86 percent from a year earlier. Bunge, a big soybean processor, had quarterly net earnings up 1,964 percent."

I would rather support my friends who are neither exploiting their animals nor their consumers. Also, who wouldn't want to eat chicken that they caught with their own hands?

In conclusion, please go to the Bloomington Farmer's Market every Saturday morning and buy meat and eggs from Schacht Farms. Tell them Carrie sent you.

P.S. You can also toss the frozen chickens around like a football.

* Many chickens sold at the grocery store are now marked "free-range." "Free-range" means that the chickens have access to a door leading out of the huge industrial cages that you saw above. This door could lead to a concrete slab. It does not ensure that the animals have room to roam, or plenty of grass and bugs to eat.


  1. Oh yeah... we buy all of our eggs and raw milk at a local farm right next to our house. It is sos sososososooso much yummier and better for you! Glad you found a farm, too. Love the blog. Lo

  2. not processing...HARVESTING!! :)

  3. Our friend Jacob is going to grow chickens, it will be nas. Boonville is getting a farmer's market or at least that was the latest gossip, but I haven't heard anymore for a while. I wish I liked to eat chickens when they weren't fried. nas blog. this is angela, I'm not sure how this works