Episode from the podcastFuture Perfect

Chicken Big

Released Wednesday, 30th September 2020
 1 person rated this episode
In 1992, Craig Watts got into growing chickens for Perdue Farms because he was told he could turn a good profit. Instead, he found himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and unable to bargain for better working conditions because Perdue was the only game in town. Things seemed hopeless, until, in 2010, President Obama’s Department of Justice announced that they were going to look into the relationship between big poultry companies and their growers. 

In this episode, reporter Leah Douglas tells us how farmers like Craig fought to change the balance of power in chicken growing a decade ago — and what has happened since.

Further listening and reading: 

  • In his book The Meat Racket, Christopher Leonard outlines the problems with contract poultry growing in much more depth, and goes into the history of the practice.
  • Leah Douglas and Christopher Leonard also did a recent, in-depth investigation into problems with the US chicken industry’s treatment of farmers.
  • You can watch the Department of Justice public workshops for yourself, or read transcripts, all available here.
  • The National Chicken Council has compiled an FAQ that pushes back on claims that poultry growers have problems.
We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com

Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals.

Featuring:
Byrd Pinkerton (@byrdala), podcast producer, Vox
Leah Douglas (@leahjdouglas), reporter, Food and Environment Reporting Network

Host:
Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox 

More to explore:

Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat.

Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.

Follow Us:
Vox.com

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Creators & Guests

We don't know anything about the creators of this episode yet. You can add them yourself so they can be credited for this and other podcasts.

Episode Reviews

This episode hasn't been reviewed yet. You can add a review to show others what you thought.

This podcast, its content, and its artwork are not owned by, affiliated with, or endorsed by Podchaser.