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Not a cheep dish, really

india Updated: Mar 05, 2008 10:29 IST

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Now, here’s a study that’s bound to ruffle a few feathers. Australian food experts find that there is no real difference in taste between organic and factory-farmed chickens. Those who have been shelling out considerably more for organic birds will be ready to roast the experts on a spit. But they will just have to swallow the bitter truth. Of course, the organically-inclined will argue that their chicken in the pot has had a happier life, clucking about at will and eating morsels of corn. Their factory-raised counterparts, on the other hand, have not had to exert themselves, meals arriving on the dot in their artificially lighted coops. It is a different matter that both gamely go to their end the same way and into your coq au vin.

So are we overdoing this organic fixation? Gourmets will agree vehemently. The latest target of ire of the advocates of letting animals roam free until ready for our consumption is foie gras. They have effectively cooked the goose of those dealing in this delectable item by raising objections to force-feeding the bird so that it produces a fatty liver. As for free-range beef, tonnes of wheat and grass are said go into the production of that melt-in-the-mouth chateaubriand.

So should we go back to grazing on vegetables? Ah, not so fast. You may toss that salad only after ascertaining the origins of the lettuce, carrots and tomatoes. Were they raised using some synthetic pesticide or allowed to reach table worthiness in their natural habitat? Well, you know which one you should plump for. Takes the fun out of food, doesn’t it? So don’t chicken out, even when the eat is on.