Armchair Chicken Farming

It's been some time since the UrbanFarmJunkie reviewed a book, but I just finished Bob Sheasley's delightful HOME TO ROOST: CHASING CHICKENS THROUGH THE AGES and had to share. Sheasley works as a journalist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, but at home he raises chickens--lots of them. The book is hard to classify: part history of chicken domestication, part recap of funny historical beliefs about chickens, part personal anecdotes, and part philosophical exploration. The author's sense of humor keeps the book lively, even when he takes on such subjects as cockfighting or industrial chicken farming, and the bits about chicken sexuality are highly entertaining. (Of course, I may have a soft spot for chicken sexuality because my children's favorite birds-and-the-bees book features paper cut-outs of all kinds of animals going at it, and the chickens are my hands-down favorite. To think--someone had to cut out little humping chickens. Amazing.) If chickens bore you, don't despair: ducks and peacocks make the occasional cameo in Sheasley's book as well. Highly recommended.

If, on the other hand, the only thing that gets you up in the morning is vegetables, Marion Nestle recently blogged on how to retain the most nutrients in the vegetables we eat.  In short, eat both raw and cooked vegetables. Some fresh vegetables benefit nutritionally from cooking, but frozen vegetables suffer. (But yuck--who wants to eat an uncooked frozen vegetable?)

And finally, if you've been putting all your eggs in the omega-3-fatty-acids basket, Forbes notes that all omega-3 sources are not equal. Fish sources beat plant sources, in terms of how effectively our bodies process them. Have pity on the world's overfished critters, however, and get your recommended two-servings-a-week from the BFM's own sustainably-caught Loki Fish, available in the off-season at some Seattle markets and online.

All for now. Less than two months until Opening Day!