Death by label

I originally submitted this as a sample blog post to become a blogger on, but they rejected me, so here goes.  I have two other posts like this up my sleeve, too.

I don’t know about you, but when I go to the supermarket it’s a chore.  With every single item there are thousands of things that could potentially go wrong.  Is it USDA organic?  Is it fair trade?  It doesn’t have palm oil in it, does it?  And if you’re like most people, the supermarket is unfortunately your best choice for a wide variety of food.

If those are the kinds of thoughts that run through your head while you’re wandering through the aisles, then I have some good news.  There is an easy way to break free from the grip of the agricultural-industrial complex that’s much easier than continually checking labels – and as usual, it will improve your budget, your health, and your life.  I’m talking about raising chickens.

Raising chickens may seem like a daunting task when you first hear about it, but in reality it’s very easy.  After the initial effort of getting them and setting up their living arrangements, chickens are nice animals and easy to take care of (and they don’t even smell!).  I’ve heard people say that their temperament is similar to that of cats.

Last year, I decided that I wanted chickens.  My family and I put a lot of research into it, and we finally found a farm and a carpenter (to build the coop) that we were happy with.  If you live in eastern Pennsylvania, I’d be more than happy to give you the name of both.  After about a year of delays, and with the help of Chicken Owners of Philadelphia, we finally got ourselves three beautiful heritage chicks in April.

This past week the last of the three started laying eggs.  I really encourage everyone to get a few chickens for themselves.  They are cheap – the chicks were five dollars each and the coop was a steal at seventy bucks – and entail little responsibility.  They provide fresh eggs that you know are grass-fed and humanely raised.  They give you local and possibly biodynamic food for next to nothing, without the hassle of reading labels.  They’re great for any garden, with their manure and taste for bugs and weeds and seeds.  And they’re great pets.

If you’re interested in getting some chickens of your own, I’ve got a wealth of information and advice from websites, books, and my own experience.  Just email me at RossMLevin at if you’re curious.


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    • rossl on November 17, 2009 at 04:40
    • TMC on November 17, 2009 at 07:12

    on a farm in Iowa. His idea of a good chicken is one that has been roasted with herbs, lemon and garlic. We can’t have chickens in our yards in NYC anymore.

  1. they do have different personalities and some definitely have minds of their own.

    I would love to have some chickens, but first I have to fence in the yard. I know a lady,here in the city, who has all different kinds. She rescues them from people who don’t know Easter chicks grow up to be chickens!!

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