Like the diner at a seafood restaurant who selects the lobster he wants from a tank of salt water, the new conscientious consumer can pick the chicken she wants right out of the barn yard. But there's one big difference: The seafood customer will don a plastic bib, while the poultry consumer will watch the farmer dispatch the clucking creature then pluck, butcher and wrap it to go.
I spent part of spring break visiting family in Thousand Oaks, Calif. After a Monday morning workout at the gym with my brother and his wife, I picked up a copy of the VC Reporter, Ventura County’s alt weekly.
A column called “In Good Taste” caught my eye with this headline: "Pick-A-Chick Farm-Style Eatery Makes It Fun to Eat Chicken." The story’s black and white photograph depicts an adorable three-year old boy in giddy pursuit of a fleeing hen.
Like many BW readers, I participate in the locavore movement by shopping the farmer’s markets, growing my own veggies and raising a few hens for fresh eggs. But the Pick-A-Chick concept takes it all to a whole other level.
"When it’s time to pick a chick, the customer heads into the field where a number of chickens will lie down when they are approached," the story says.
“It’s almost like they know their time is up,” [says farm owner Suzie Mosley].”
The story's author, Beth Plouck, takes her young son to the family-run farm to help select dinner. The boy witnesses the whole grim episode and sheds a few tears. But Plouck swears it’s the tastiest chicken she’s ever eaten.
Upon returning from my vacation, I was eager to share news of this concept with other foodies in town. I went online to locate the article, only to discover it was published in VC Reporter’s April 1 issue.
Well, hardy-har and April-flippin’-Fool’s on me!