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Park’n’Shop – More Meaty Facts – Beef and Chicken

July 17, 2009

So, the nice people at Park’n’Shop customer services updated me a little on their meat sources.

1) The rather sorry looking Zenith Organic Chicken is in fact free-range, and the animals are grown for 120 days.

120 days for growing a chicken is admirable – British organic standards specify slow growth as about 80 days (twice as long as non-organic and non-free-range).

Now, the bird is very small apparently purely to do with the breed.  In the West we are used to broiler chickens that have really plump breasts, but in China/Asia, this isn’t the be all and end of the chicken and so you end up with scrawny but tasty birds.

2) I noticed locally slaughtered beef on the meat counter for the first time last week, and wondered what the benefits were to offing them in HK.

I had lofty ideas that slaughtering locally was so that PnS could either quality control the meat whilst it was alive, or QC it when it was dead, overseeing the butchering process and making sure no bulking agents were added etc.  No such thing.

Apparently it is purely a market demand. A lot of Hongkees prefer their meat very fresh, and so slaughtering locally fulfils this need.  I shall have to ask my Chinese friends what their reasons are for wanting the freshness – I wonder if that’s all about quality control, or just issues around transportation.

Of course the prob with wanting absolute freshness is that the meat isn’t hung, so it goes from alive to in the pot within a matter of hours, resulting in really tough beef – although my spag bol was fine last night.

Very well explained by an expat butcher in Cambodia of all places…

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