WBEZ | chicken http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicken Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en McDonalds to phase out chicken raised with certain antibiotics http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/mcdonalds-phase-out-chicken-raised-certain-antibiotics-111656 <p><p>Chicken McNuggets may never be the same--starting in two years.<br />Oak Brook-based McDonald&rsquo;s announced a new policy Wednesday&nbsp;that would ban chickens raised using antibiotics that are vital to treating infections in humans.</p><p>The chain&rsquo;s suppliers can still treat sick animals with antibiotics, but that meat can&rsquo;t end up in McDonald&rsquo;s food supply, according to the policy.&nbsp;</p><p>Health and environmental groups have been urging the world&rsquo;s largest fast food chain to make the move for almost two years. Among them is the Natural Resources Defense Council whose Food and Agriculture director Jonathan Kaplan had mixed feelings about the announcement.</p><p>&ldquo;That&rsquo;s great news and I think its a game changer for the poultry industry here in the U.S.,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We are still concerned about [McDonald&rsquo;s] global policy that has a loophole that could allow the routine use of antibiotics to continue.&rdquo;</p><p>The move would affect the roughly 14,000 stores in the U.S. but not the 22,000 abroad. Additionally, it does not affect the chain&rsquo;s beef and pork suppliers.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, the company&rsquo;s thinking has evolved since it first released a policy on antibiotics in 2003. In its new Global Vision on Antibiotic Stewardship document McDonald&rsquo;s says &ldquo;As the body of scientific evidence grows and scientific consensus emerges, we recognize the importance of continuing to evolve our position on antimicrobial usage.&rdquo;</p><p>Indeed, the world&rsquo;s medical community now agrees that the overuse of antibiotics in human medicine, as well as meat production, has contributed to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria and infections that kill 23,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p><p>When small regular doses of antibiotics are administered to animals--largely for growth promotion and disease prevention--some weak bacteria die, but stronger bacteria can survive, thrive and evolve into &ldquo;superbugs&rdquo; that can&rsquo;t be treated with the drugs.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/600Chicken_nuggets_-_10pc.jpg" style="float: left;" title="(J.smith Wikimedia Commons)" />Although Chik-Fil-A and Chipotle have already committed to sourcing meat raised without antibiotics, McDonalds is the first of the large chains to raise its antibiotics standards.</p><p>The move comes just three days after McDonald&rsquo;s new CEO Steve Easterbrook assumed leadership of the company, and just five months after the arrival of Mike Andres who heads the chain&rsquo;s U.S. division.&nbsp;</p><p>Wednesday Andres, released a statement saying&nbsp; &ldquo;Our customers want food that they feel great about eating... and these moves take a step toward better delivering on those expectations.&rdquo;</p><p>A coalition of health advocates called Keep Antibiotics Working applauded the move today and noted that it had been in talks with McDonald&rsquo;s on the issue since 2003.</p><p>Last month, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and its Illinois chapter, launched a campaign to urge the chain to get antibiotics out of its meat production. And just yesterday, Illinois PIRG&rsquo;s Dev Gowda, says he dropped off a petition in Oak Brook with 30,000 signatures to that effect. Still, he said the move took him completely by surprise. He now hopes the chain will follow suit with its beef and pork supplies.<br /><br />Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), who is the only microbiologist in Congress, praised the move and chalked it up to the power of pressure from the &ldquo;educated&rdquo; consumer.&nbsp; Still, she said that the country needs &ldquo;enforceable and verifiable limits on antibiotic use.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>She has often sponsored House legislation to restrict the use of all medically important antibiotics in livestock production. Another bill in the Senate aims to track where and how antibiotics are being used in the U.S. Estimates indicate that 70 to 80 percent of antibiotics purchased in the U.S. are currently used in meat production alone.</p><p>In December 2013 the US Food and Drug Administration issued guidance to pharmaceutical companies asking them to voluntarily stop labeling and selling the drugs exclusively for &ldquo;growth promotion.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Health advocates complain that voluntary guidance to end growth promotion uses is too weak. They worry that producers will continue to use the same drugs for &ldquo;disease prevention&rdquo; which they feel only enables farmers to raise animals in crowded unsanitary conditions.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 04 Mar 2015 16:13:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/mcdonalds-phase-out-chicken-raised-certain-antibiotics-111656 Goat and chicken lovers get together http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59748968" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p>From the street, Carolyn Ioder&rsquo;s house on the western side of the Austin neighborhood looks pretty normal. It&rsquo;s a large off-white stucco with an American flag hanging out front and a big trampoline crammed into a fenced-in backyard.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the sounds from the garage that give it away. Inside her two-car garage, Ioder keeps one car, six goats and a small coop full of chickens. The animals live here year-round, and Ioder takes the goats to pasture daily in a vacant lot down the street. She has the owner&rsquo;s permission, and she gets water for the goats from the Chicago fire station at the end of the alley.</p><p>&ldquo;Goats are such flock animals, they like to be with each other but they&rsquo;re also extremely bossy,&rdquo; said Ioder, wrangling the goats onto leashes for their daily walk to pasture.</p><p>The occasion of this visit is the first-ever Chicago Urban Livestock Expo, to take place this Saturday at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The event, sponsored by a small coalition of urban agriculture enthusiasts, features workshops on raising bees, rabbits, chickens and goats within city (or suburban) limits.</p><p>Officially, Ioder&rsquo;s goats aren&rsquo;t livestock. They&rsquo;re pets. But Ioder does keep them as a food source.</p><p>&ldquo;In my house all the pets work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The cats take care of the mice, the dogs scares the people that aren&rsquo;t supposed to be around, and the chickens lay eggs and the goats give milk.&rdquo;</p><p>In the summertime, the goats can yield up to two gallons of milk a day, which is a lot for a single family to deal with. Ioder&rsquo;s only had them for a couple years, so she&rsquo;s struggling to get up to speed on goat cheese production. She started with just two goats, they had twins and twins again, and now she&rsquo;s dealing with a small herd. So she may also have to <a href="http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/19540560/wanted-1-goat-herder-30-goats-at-ohare-intl-airport" target="_blank">sell some off</a>.</p><p>&ldquo;Not because I want to make a profit,&rdquo; she clarified. Feeding six goats every day is a big task, and her actual yard is a scarce patch of grass.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7026_018-scr.JPG" style="height: 174px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="The garage where it all happens. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" /></p><p><strong>That&rsquo;s actually allowed?</strong></p><p>There are no regulations specific to goats in Chicago, except that you&rsquo;re not allowed to slaughter them. Same goes for chickens, a more popular pet that&rsquo;s already <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624" target="_blank">banned in some Chicago suburbs</a>.</p><p>But urban agriculture experts say no one should get into city goat or chicken farming without getting educated. The backyard pen or coop can be clean and contained, but it takes some work. And they recommend checking in with the neighbors before you welcome in a new flock or herd.</p><p>&ldquo;I have met a couple people who&rsquo;ve complained about it,&rdquo; said <a href="http://urbanchickenconsultant.wordpress.com/chicken-faqs/" target="_blank">urban chicken consultant</a> Jennie Murtoff. &ldquo;I talked to a woman [...] who was adamantly opposed to chickens. She said they were noisy and they were smelly, and she was very unhappy about her neighbor having chickens. And then she told me she was a pit bull rescuer.&rdquo;</p><p>But she says if they&rsquo;re managed right, chickens should be less of a nuisance than some dogs.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re relatively quiet. If the owners keep the pens well, which doesn&rsquo;t take a whole lot of work, there won&rsquo;t be any smell. A lot of people don&rsquo;t even realize that the chickens are in the backyard,&rdquo; Murtoff said.</p><p>Plus, good housekeeping is the key to keeping the city from cracking down, which is part of what the Expo aims to educate people about. An unregulated urban farming landscape is ideal for these passionate local foodies, and they want to have a real conversation about what that takes.</p><p>&ldquo;If people are looking for a day out with the kids at a petting zoo, this probably isn&rsquo;t the place for them,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s an event for people who are seriously interested in the urban agriculture movement.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>Local food systems, cute pets</strong></p><p>Murtoff stressed that getting eggs or milk from your own backyard isn&rsquo;t just a novelty. To her it&rsquo;s about having a hyperlocal source of good food, knowing where your food comes from, and maybe even saving some money.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS7021_021-scr.JPG" style="height: 337px; width: 710px;" title="Carolyn Ioder's goats wonder whether microphones are edible. (WBEZ/Lewis Wallace)" />&ldquo;Too often we think that, oh, eggs come from the supermarket,&rdquo; Murtoff said. &ldquo;And they don&rsquo;t. They come from a bird.&rdquo;</p><p>And a cool bird, too.</p><p>&ldquo;They&rsquo;re just wonderful little people inside those feathered bodies,&rdquo; she added.</p><p>&ldquo;What we&rsquo;re working for is local community development of food systems,&rdquo; Ioder said.</p><p>By day, she runs a bread company and stays active in various groups working on issues of food security. And she&rsquo;s not the only goat farmer in town - a scattered number of Chicago and suburban residents keep pygmy goats, which are small enough to pass as terriers but still give milk. Chicken farmers in the Chicago area probably number in the hundreds.<br /><br />Ioder doesn&rsquo;t see her work as real farming, but she said it helps keep her connected to her roots.</p><p>&ldquo;We were the first generation, my husband and I, to be born off the farm,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And she ran out to catch a goat who was wandering towards the CTA tracks on Lake street.</p><p>The first <a href="https://sites.google.com/site/chicagochickenenthusi/events/urban-livestock-expo" target="_blank">Chicago Urban Livestock Expo</a> takes place Saturday, February 16 from 10am to 1pm at the Garfield Park Conservatory.</p><p>Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/LewisPants" target="_blank">Lewis Wallace on Twitter</a>.</p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/goat-and-chicken-lovers-get-together-105557 Food Mondays: Chicken diplomacy http://www.wbez.org/foodmondays/food-mondays-chicken-diplomacy-98888 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP100825114158.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The health of a nation&#39;s chicken industry can actually be an economic indicator of sorts. The government of Uzbekistan is forcing its civil servants to accept payment in the form of chickens.</p><p><a href="http://registan.net/index.php/author/joshuafoust/" target="_blank">Joshua Foust</a> has an <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/the-annals-of-chicken-diplomacy/255734/">article</a> pondering the issue in the <em>Atlantic</em>. He also <a href="http://registan.net/index.php/author/joshuafoust/">blogs </a>about central Asia.</p></p> Mon, 07 May 2012 12:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/foodmondays/food-mondays-chicken-diplomacy-98888 Clever Apes: Cooking up a dino-chicken http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2012-03-07/clever-apes-cooking-dino-chicken-97060 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-07/StevenW.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="The chickenosaurus could once again roam the earth, if Jack Horner has his way. " class="caption" height="199" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-07/John Flinchbaugh.jpg" title="The chickenosaurus could once again roam the earth, if Jack Horner has his way. (Flickr/John Flinchbaugh)" width="600"></p><p><strong><em>We bring you a guest post today from Faraz Hussain, who studies biochemistry at Illinois Institute of Technology. Faraz is a student of Joseph Orgel, the biologist researching preserved dinosaur tissue whom we profiled in the latest episode of Clever Apes. Here, Faraz introduces us to a completely different way of bridging the eons to bring dinosaurs into the present day. – Gabriel Spitzer</em></strong></p><p>Dinosaurs’ 180 million-odd year reign may be considered a lively old romp by most, but some clever apes would prefer to study these fossils in the flesh. One particular suborder, the theropods, never really went extinct at all. The birds that descended from them are the nearest living relatives today of both raptors and tyrannosaurs—perhaps none more so than the humble hen. Paleontologist Jack Horner, one of the most vocal exponents of avian dinosaurs being all around us, would rather that hens' more imposing ancestors had not evolutionarily "chickened out" in the first place.</p><p>Instead of messing about with amber-encased mosquitoes gorged on dino-DNA and playing fill-in-the-blanks with frog and bird genomes à la <a href="http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/buzz/popular.html"><em>Jurassic Park</em></a>, Horner has been rallying his <a href="http://serc.carleton.edu/research_education/paleontology/hottopics.html">paleontologist pals and evolutionary developmental biologists</a> to try a fresh tack on resurrecting a dinosaur: He wants to reverse-engineer a chickenosaurus. Hey, why start from scratch when you already have a fully-formed dinosaur in need of just a few minor genetic modifications? What follows is not your grandma's stuffed chicken recipe:</p><p><strong>Chicken fingers:</strong></p><p>While birds may have opted for wings instead of claws, both the T. rex and the chicken have <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20564580">only three digits</a> at the end of each. In birds, however, these fingers have fused together. Hans Larsson at McGill University's Redpath Museum is looking for ways to short-circuit the genetic pathway responsible for this process in the chicken's embryonic stage and allowing the digits to separate so that, instead of those delicious wings, it ends up with far deadlier talons instead.</p><p><strong>Rump:</strong></p><p>A chicken has only a handful of vertebrae at the end of its spine that fuse to form what passes for its tail. In 2007, Larsson observed a tail in a developing chick embryo that had 16, although by the time it hatched these had dwindled to five. Turn off the genetic mechanism that triggers the breakdown and absorption of the tail, and voilà—you're well on your way to the 40 or so vertebrae found in some of the heftiest hindquarters ever: the T. rex tail.</p><p><img alt="Some tweaks to a chickens gene expression might yield a latter-day dinosaur. (Fl" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-07/StevenW.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 263px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="Some tweaks to a chicken's gene expression might yield a latter-day dinosaur. (Flickr/StevenW)"><strong>Teeth:</strong></p><p>Matthew Harris discovered the <a href="http://www.paleogenetics.com/articles/archosaurianteethchicken.pdf">rudiments of teeth</a> on a frankenchicken embryo called the talpid2 usually known for its polydactyl fingers. While a far cry from the toothy old tyrannosaur grin that we know and love—the genome of a chicken doesn’t contain genes coding for enamel, nor can they produce dentin, which made up the bulk of those formidable fangs—it’s finally a fighting chance for poultry to bite back!</p><p><strong>Chicken feet:</strong></p><p>The scaly skin covering chicken feet is the closest approximation we have to dinosaur dermis. Engineered so that it would be shorn of its feathers from birth and covered in this leathery skin, the one issue that would remain to be settled is whether you prefer your dinosaurs purple or green. The only real clues we have when it comes to coloration are <a href="http://todd.jackman.villanova.edu/DinosaurColors.pdf">possible hints about the plumage of the turkey-sized <em>Sinosauropteryx</em></a>.</p><p><strong>Drumsticks:</strong></p><p>Another gimme! Instead of picking your garden variety Rhode Island Red, which like most birds of its feather, <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ar.20963/full">is restricted to a horizontal femoral posture</a>, start out with a heartier cousin like the Philippine gamecock instead, which has an upright femur robust enough to carry the weight of its eventual dino-tail.</p><p><strong>Beak:</strong></p><p>Arkhat Abzhanov <a href="http://www.oeb.harvard.edu/faculty/abzhanov/pubs/Abzhanov_et_al_2007_Congenital_Anomalies.pdf">found that two signaling proteins</a>—Fibroblast growth factor 8 and the creatively named Sonic hedgehog—mediate the fusion of different segments making up a bird’s jawbone to form what ends up as the core of its beak. In alligators, which are among the <a href="http://www.washington.edu/news/articles/china-fossil-shows-bird-crocodile-family-trees-split-earlier-than-thought">closest living relatives of birds</a>, these bones remain separate, giving rise to their characteristic snouts. Using beads of proteins to block the expression of these signaling molecules at the appropriate stage of embryonic development, Abzhanov produced chicks with alligator-like snouts. Ultimately, he would like to revert a chick back to the state of its <em>Maniraptoran</em> forebears, but he says that ethical considerations currently prevent him from allowing any of his snouted chickens to hatch.</p><p>If the story of the snout rings a bell, see the required ingredients for chicken fingers above. The mechanisms triggering beak and wing formation are not too different; what worked for the beak may apply to winding back the clock on the wings, as well. Interestingly, even some of the biologists who are pioneering these approaches are dubious about whether they can be applied to a project of such outsized proportions, but Horner is not content to see these fantastic techniques being used for anything less than the creation of a poultrified protosaur—the first of its kind.</p><p><strong><em>Faraz Hussain is a biochem major at IIT and a budding science writer. </em></strong></p></p> Wed, 07 Mar 2012 20:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2012-03-07/clever-apes-cooking-dino-chicken-97060 Owning chickens scratches up controversy http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//archives/images/cityroom/cityroom_20071212_sallee_In D_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>Nationwide, the issue of raising chickens for eggs in residential areas keeps coming up - and same goes for Chicago's suburbs. West-suburban Naperville may start limiting the number of chickens its residents can raise.</p><p>Some towns have banned chickens altogether, while others like Northbrook and Naperville are still considering it. Naperville councilman Robert Fieseler said the few chicken coops in town have neighbors concerned.</p><p>"The unsightliness of a fairly crude chicken coop - it looks almost like a trash dumpster. And then the odor, and attracting predators - especially coyotes," Fieseler said.</p><p>At a Tuesday council meeting, the once-tabled issue came up again, and the council is now drafting an ordinance to cap ownership at eight chickens, require a registration fee and for coops to be a certain distance away from neighboring property. Naperville may vote on the ordinance as soon as next month.</p><p>Since December 2010, Evanston has allowed a max of <a href="http://www.cityofevanston.org/business/permits-licenses/hen-coop/">six hens per household</a>. Carl Caneva is the environmental health division manager for Evanston. He said seven households are currently registered and raising chickens, and so far there have been no officially reported complaints.</p><p>Brad Powers with Chicago's department of Animal Care and Control said Chicago does not currently have an explicit ordinance capping chicken ownership. He said other ordinances though do work to control potentially related violations. For instance, a rooster owner could get cited if the animal was too noisy, and his department would intervene if a person had too many animals to properly care for or was treating them inhumanely.</p></p> Wed, 18 Jan 2012 18:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/owning-chickens-scratches-controversy-95624 Something You Should Eat: Roasted chicken from Brasa Roja http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-17/something-you-should-eat-roasted-chicken-brasa-roja-86625 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-17/brasaroja.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/23797896?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;color=c40215" width="450" frameborder="0" height="253"></iframe></p><p>A few weeks ago, I listed my <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-14/top-5-roasted-chickens-chicago-85165">Top 5 roasted chickens</a> in Chicago. I think at the time, I was limiting my options to chickens that were actually roasted in ovens - sealed in their warm cocoons, juices dripping, skin crisping - and left off any rotisserie birds since they don't really spend much time in an oven, per se. But one look at the operation at <a href="http://brasaroja-elllano.com/">Brasa Roja</a> on the Northwest Side, and you quickly realize the Colombians also know a thing or two about transforming chicken into utter deliciousness, even if they don't seal it into an airtight box.&nbsp;</p><p>With a handful of locations in the city (also known as El Llano), the owners have mastered the art of deep marination, slow, circular roasting and then quick-finishing directly over the charcoals, just to crisp up the skin. It's almost hypnotizing watching the birds rotate ever-so-gently on the custom-made rotisserie, but when you bite into the smoky, juicy bird, you quickly realize this isn't a dream.</p></p> Tue, 17 May 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-05-17/something-you-should-eat-roasted-chicken-brasa-roja-86625 Top 5 roasted chickens in Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-14/top-5-roasted-chickens-chicago-85165 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-13/nightwood chicken.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-13/nightwood chicken.jpg" title="roasted chicken from Nightwood (photo: Joseph Storch)" width="500" height="358"></p><p>The best roast chicken I ever had was at <a href="http://www.zunicafe.com/">Zuni Café</a>, on Market Street in San Francisco. I'm not sure what Judy Rodgers does to it - they're most likely brined to retain moisture well ahead of time, and the heat, well, I'm positive it comes from a lot of hardwood. Chicago isn't exactly a roast chicken mecca. We lean more toward steaks and dogs and as of late, pork belly. But you can still find good roasted chicken all over the place. They all have a few things in common: mainly, beautiful juicy meat that retains moisture, contained beneath a thin sheath of nicely crisp skin. Some herbs are typically rubbed into the exterior, which add to the comfy aroma once the bird is presented at the table. All of these locations take their chickens seriously, but I'm sure there are others out there too. Let me know what you think.</p><p>1. <a href="http://nightwoodrestaurant.com/">Nightwood</a>, 2119 S. Halsted St., 312-526-3385</p><p>2. <a href="http://chicago.menupages.com/restaurants/athenian-room">The Athenian Room</a>, 807 W. Webster Ave., 773-348-5155</p><p>3. <a href="http://www.nextdoorbistro.com/index.html">Next Door Bistro</a>, 250 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, 847-272-1491</p><p>4. <a href="http://bistro110restaurant.com/">Bistro 110</a>, 110 E. Pearson St., 312-266-3110</p><p>5.<a href="http://longmanandeagle.com"> Longman &amp; Eagle</a>, 2657 N. Kedzie Ave., 773-276-7110</p><p>To see some more mouth-watering photos from Nightwood by Joseph Storch, click <a href="http://storch.paradepro.com/gallery/nightwood-restaurant/#i0">here</a>.</p></p> Thu, 14 Apr 2011 11:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-04-14/top-5-roasted-chickens-chicago-85165 Venture: A chicken butcher's price dilemma http://www.wbez.org/story/alliance-poultry-farms/venture-chicken-butchers-price-dilemma-84997 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-11/venture.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For all of us who have bought milk or Corn Flakes lately, the most relevant economic news this week will likely be data on prices. Both the consumer price index and the producer price index come out this week.&nbsp;<br> <br> Consumers may be feeling sticker shock at the store, but it turns out that businesses feel it even more so when they go to stock their shelves. And deciding how much of that cost to pass on to customers requires some fine calculations.<br> <br> One chicken butcher in Chicago's Ukrainian Village is very familiar with that cost-price conundrum. Alliance Poultry Farms is tucked in among a jewelry store, a check-cashing place and a Walgreens on Chicago Avenue. Outside, it advertises "pollos vivos," reflecting its largely Spanish-speaking clientele.<br> <br> Alliance Poultry is a small business, but it’s just as tied to the global economy as any multinational corporation.<br> <br> Like most businesses these days, Alliance Poultry is dealing with higher costs. Co-owner Fayyad Abdallah says the price of cracked corn that he feeds to the birds has doubled in about a year and a half.<br> <br> But it's the price of gas that's really making his costs go up. Abdallah says he's now paying about 20 cents more a pound for the organic chickens he buys from Amish farms in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. &nbsp;<br> <br> So in turn, Abdallah has to raise his own prices. But he's only increased his chicken price by 5 cents a pound.<br> <br> "We don't want to go up that much because right away, customers would notice that there's a big increase and then they'll be questioning, and then they might not come back again," Abdallah says. "So I'd rather lose a few cents a pound than lose a few customers."<br> <br> That calculation is something many businesses have to weigh.<br> <br> Chad Syverson is professor of economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He says producer prices, which are essentially wholesale prices, and consumer prices are correlated but don't move in lockstep. Producer prices have bigger swings up and down than consumer prices. He says it's something of a riddle why that is.<br> <br> One reason, Syverson says, is so-called "menu costs." The name comes from the cost restaurants bear when they actually have to print up new menus with new prices. But the idea translates to all businesses - there are costs involved in researching and setting new prices.<br> <br> Syverson says businesses decide to raise prices when they decide that their own higher costs aren't temporary.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" height="437" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-11/cpi v ppi smaller.JPG" title="Percentage changes in the consumer price index and the producer price index (University of Chicago/Chad Syverson)" width="638"><br> <br> We all know one area where higher costs seem to hit us right away - at the gas pump.<br> <br> That’s where we are this week for our Windy Indicator, getting a read on the wider economy from one little sliver.<br> <br> Are higher gas prices changing people’s buying habits?<br> <br> Yared Alemu manages a Shell station in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood.<br> <br> "Before, people filled up all the way," Alemu says. "Now they just give you 20 bucks, 30 bucks to fill up and that’s it."<br> <br> So are people driving less these days?<br> <br> Let us know how you're adjusting to higher gas prices - leave a comment at the end of this story.<br> <br> Next week, our Windy Indicator checks out the lamb shanks.<br> <br> <br> <br> &nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 11 Apr 2011 05:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/alliance-poultry-farms/venture-chicken-butchers-price-dilemma-84997 Top 5 fried chicken joints (and wings) http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/top-5-fried-chicken-joints-and-wings <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//takemeout .jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img width="450" height="304" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-26/takemeout .jpg" /><br /><em>photo of &quot;Little Hotties&quot; at Take Me Out by Joseph Storch</em></p><p style="text-align: left;">There are times when a man must be alone with a fried bird. &nbsp;I really dig the Fried Chicken Nights at <a href="http://www.westtowntavern.com/">West Town Tavern</a>&nbsp;(Mondays, by the way),&nbsp;and I've been known to consume nearly an entire bird when Edna Stewart ruled her eponymous soul food restaurant on the West Side. But these days, I'm just as likely to hit up a small chicken joint, where they can fry up wings, thighs and legs, and keep 'em crisp. &nbsp;Few eating experiences rival the joy of biting into a hot, crunchy-coated piece, then discovering the meaty, juicy chicken meat just beneath the surface. &nbsp;Bring on the Wet-Naps!</p><p><span style="font-family: Arial;">1. (Tie)&nbsp;</span><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&amp;biw=1024&amp;bih=620&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=Great+Seas+Chinese&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=Great+Seas+Chinese&amp;hnear=Glen+Ellyn,+IL&amp;cid=5884467353657138302"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Great Seas Chinese</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">, 3254 W. Lawrence Ave.&nbsp;(773) 478-9129;&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.takemeouthotties.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Take Me Out</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">,&nbsp;1502 W.18</span><sup><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Arial;">th</span></sup><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;St.,&nbsp;(312) 929-2509<br />The first location is owned by the parents; the Pilsen location is run by the daughters. Both offer an incomparable wing that has the best kind of sticky, spicy, sweet sauce ever to grace fowl.</span></p><!--StartFragment--> <p style="margin-bottom: 12pt;" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">2.&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.evanstonchickenshack.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Evanston Chicken Shack</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">,&nbsp;1925 Ridge Avenue,&nbsp;(847) 328-9360<br />No frills, but good enough for the Ricketts family and certainly worth a stop if you're cruising down Ridge Ave.<br /></span></p><p style="margin-bottom: 12pt;" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial;">3. <a href="http://www.crisponline.com/crisp.aspx">Crisp</a>, 2940 N. Broadway, (773) 697-7610<br /></span>I highly recommend the &quot;Seoul Sassy&quot; flavor. &nbsp;The mingling of garlic, soy, chili and sesame is hard to resist.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 12pt;" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(35, 58, 18);">4.&nbsp;</span><a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=en&amp;biw=1024&amp;bih=620&amp;gl=us&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=Chicago's+Home+of+Chicken+and+Waffles&amp;fb=1&amp;gl=us&amp;hq=Chicago's+Home+of+Chicken+and+Waffles&amp;hnear=Glen+Ellyn,+IL&amp;cid=3591747288800137885"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Chicago's Home of&nbsp;Chicken and Waffles</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(35, 58, 18);">,&nbsp;3947 South King Drive,&nbsp;(773) 536-3300<br />On weekends, the wait can be ridiculous, but the nicely-fried chickens taste extra special with a pillow of thin waffles beneath them, maple syrup at the ready.<br /><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);"><br />5.&nbsp;</span><span style="font-family: Arial;">
</span><a href="http://www.hollyeats.com/DellRheasChickenShack.htm"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Dell Rhea's Chicken Shack</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;65 Joliet Rd., Willowbrook, (630) 325-0780<br />Bring the family, because the portions are massive and the birds are fried non-stop, at this legendary chicken stop off of the original Rt. 66.<br /></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 12pt;" class="MsoNormal">Honorable mentions:<br /><a href="http://www.buffalojoesevanston.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Buffalo Joe's</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">, 812 Clark St., Evanston, (847) 328-5525<br /><o:p></o:p></span><a href="http://flavorstoinfinity.com/"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Wings Around the World</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">, &nbsp;510 E 75th St., (773) 483-9120)<br /></span><a href="http://www.restaurants.com/illinois/harvey/keishas-chicken-shack/156744/"><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);">Keisha's Chicken Shack</span></a><span style="font-family: Arial;">&nbsp;15340 Dixie Highway, Harvey, (708) 333-4570<br /></span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(25, 65, 155);"><a href="http://cravinchicagowings.com/">Cravin&rsquo; Chicago Wing</a></span><span style="font-family: Arial; color: rgb(35, 58, 18);">s, 5750&nbsp;N. California Ave.,&nbsp;(773) 944-0662</span><span style="font-size: 16pt; font-family: Times; color: rgb(34, 77, 19);"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p style="" class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 16pt; font-family: Times; color: rgb(34, 77, 19);"><o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-size: 16pt; font-family: Times; color: rgb(34, 77, 19);"><o:p></o:p></span><span style="font-size: 16pt; font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: rgb(34, 77, 19);"><o:p></o:p></span><!--EndFragment--></p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/top-5-fried-chicken-joints-and-wings