Boob job


If you’ve seen the movie Food Inc., you’ve likely been spending a bit of time wondering how the food you buy in the grocery store got there. I know I have and to help understand the process a bit better, I’ve been visiting as many food plants as I can persuade to let me in. Last week I visited the state-of-the-art plant operated by MacGregor’s Meats and Seafood in Woodbridge, Ontario where they have separate rooms devoted to processing chicken, fish and meat. I learned a lot there (I’ll be writing more about my visit in the weeks to come) but by far my favourite revelation was watching these technicians skillfully trim fresh chicken breasts.

I’m sure that if they were to tell their friends that they spend all day doing boob jobs that no one would envision this scene!

How do you buy your chicken? Whole, bone-in or cleaned and ready to cook?


9 Responses to Boob job

  1. Beth says:

    So, that’s how my chickn goes from clucking to lying patiently in the store waiting for me. Interesting! Thanks, Dana.

  2. Neat!!

    I usually buy my chicken bone-in, skin on but in pieces — thighs or breasts. Sometimes I buy a whole chicken if I’m roasting. Very rarely I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts but only if I’m in a super rush.

    I’m really looking forward to your future posts. Food Inc deals with US food production and I’m learning that although we share a border, our food systems are more different than you’d think.

  3. danamccauley says:

    Hi Charmian,

    The folks I’ve spoken to have also emphasized that federally inspected Canadian facilities are much better (health and safety, cleanliness, etc) than provincial ones so i recommend looking for federally inspected products.

    I’ve heard from a few Torontonians that during the garbage strike they are buying all boneless meats to cut down on the garbage they have to cope with at home. Smart shoppers!


  4. Barb says:

    I buy chicken in all forms but I am feeling kind of guilty about it. I watched Jamie Oliver do a segment on factory chickens and laying hens in the UK (I’m sure we’re no better). It really opened my eyes.

  5. danamccauley says:

    Jamie’s Fowl Suppers – he did a great job! Barb, look for organic chicken from small producers. Here in Ontario we have some great farmer’s markets where you can buy from the people who raise the chickens. At Brickworks on Saturday I met a man whose daughter raises the chikcens he sells. They are indoors for four weeks to mature and then outside all day in good weather after that. His chicken was pricey but it looked great and one knew it raised humanely.

    I’m moving toward eating a lot less meat so that I can spend the same amount on groceries but be assured of the quality of the meat. I’ll likely be healthy for it, too!

  6. It’s a matter of price and need, but I only buy my chicken from a butcher who is breaking the birds down in-house, so the factory processing is minmal.

  7. Natashya says:

    I go for what’s on sale, generally chicken is out of the price league unless sales are on. Are these the people who tuck all the skin underneath the chicken in the trays so it looks like you are actually getting chicken? I hate that.

  8. Honestly, we don’t eat a lot of chicken (maybe once or twice a month). Hubby has a theory about meat (two, actually, but I’ll spare the details of the second). If it doesn’t make a thud when it hits the ground it doesn’t qualify as meat. According to him, chicken goes, “Pfft.” I think it was just his way of avoiding bland meat. But since I started buying the free range stuff from one or two of the producers at my local farmer’s market he happily eats it – way more flavour.

    I usually buy a roasting chicken because I can get three meals out of it – two if the girls eat a lot. One roasted chicken dinner, one chili/butter chicken/stir fry dinner, and one pot of soup. My $20-25 chicken is a good investment.

  9. Diva says:

    We eat a ridiculous amount of chicken and I buy it in all forms. Mostly, it depends on what I’m cooking. I always buy organic and I let my butcher do the work for me if I’m buying a whole bird but need it cut up. I’m far too lazy to do it myself.

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