Did my chicken die happy?

Another cross country travel, with the usual Great Western delays meaning a grabbed hot sandwich of unmentionable grossness. I was running an afternoon into evening meeting that included two muslims making their Ramadan fast, so 6.37 pm assumed some importance and everyone indulging in a sugar rush of M&S goodies. That still left me with the usual late night problem: what to eat this late in Luton?
Everyone said chicken at Nandos, and I have been pleasantly surprised there before. It does grilled chicken, sloshed in their own peri peri sauce that ranges from tasty to very hot. That’s pretty much it in various combos.
I chose a simple half chicken, medium sauce and two sides: that’s coleslaw and chips in everyday parlance. It took about 15 minutes and arrived piping hot and didn’t take long to eat. A bottle of Stormhoek Pinotage 2006 held its own against the flavour. And the whole bill around 20 quid. What’s not to like?
Well, my chicken’s life causes me a bit of concern. The website says all the birds are fresh, never frozen. That would suggest they haven’t come too far, so low food miles – though the whole of Europe is within range of a ‘fridge lorry. But what of their lifestyle? There’s absolutely no option to buy-up and choose a free range or even organic bird. And since Nandos make no claims, we must assume the worst: intensively farmed, very short lived birds. Not very happy ones.
So do I boycott Nandos for ever? Do we need to inspire a MacDonald’s like customer revolt? Maybe, but I’ve other battles on my plate. Wouldn’t it be better for Nandos to come clean and say: it’ll cost you £XX more to know your chicken had a happy life. Who wouldn’t want to pay?

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