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Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? To Get Back From China

Written By: Brenda (B.K.) Walker

The dilemma as to why the chicken crossed the road has long been debated by scholars and comedians alike…seems as though we may all know the answer to the famous question now. So why did the chicken cross the road? Well, to get back from China, of course. That's right, looks as though the chicken will be doing a lot of flying (or sailing) from the U.S. to China, and then back to the U.S., before it hits the supermarkets.

According to a report released by the New York Times in late 2013, the USDA has given the go-a-head to some four poultry processing plants in China to export meat to the United States. Here's an even bigger kicker to this story…the chickens and turkeys that the Chinese companies will begin shipping to the U.S. were actually "born and breed" in the U.S. and Canada, then shipped to China for processing. China then processes and cooks these "fowl travelers," exporting them back to the United States for consumers to, well, consume.

What could possibly go wrong with this process? After all, China is so well known for its conscientious oversight of its manufacturing process, evidencing few violations…NOT!

  • There's that nasty, and somewhat deadly outbreak of the avian influenza issue that has repeatedly plagued China over the years…
  • The F.D.A.'s investigation into the sickening and deaths of countless animals, all stemming from the chicken jerky treats originating from China…
  • Don't forget about all those contaminated spice products imported from foreign countries, including China…

Surely, the issue is not politically motivated. Just because China won't allow beef from America into its country is no reason to believe that this deal was made in an effort to end the "food freeze-out" between the two countries…or is it?

Nancy Huehnergath, contributor for The Hill's, Congress Blog, reported, "According to numerous sources, including Senator Chuck Schumer, the USDA decision giving the green light to chicken processed in China could actually be a quid pro quo or prelude to allowing Chinese-raised and slaughtered chickens to be sold in the U.S."

Needless to say, the very concept of shipping chickens across national borders is a frightening thought.

Instead of asking your butcher how fresh is the chicken, prepare to ask how many miles is on the chicken.

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