a collaborative blog for friends who love food.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

hot meat vending machine...WTF?

I’m in to technology and what not, but this crosses the line. Chicken is one of those foods people eat all over the world. From beaks burned off, quadrupled breasted GMO hens to stringy “free range” chickens running around the front of a mud hut in Kenya, people enjoy chicken. It might even be the case that chicken is the most cross cultural meat enjoyed by humans, given that beef and pork is much more expensive and not ever country has access to fish.

Also, chicken eggs are consumed globally for a cheap and easy source of protein. Many microfinance clients in impoverished countries buy chickens with their 50 dollar loan to sell their eggs. But Tyson’s didn’t get no microfinance loan for this bad boy.

What you see above is the picture of a chicken (and pizza) vending machine that I encountered at a hospital in the Washington, DC area. It offers hot chicken sandwiches (on sourdough nonetheless), chicken wings, pizza and hamburgers for about 4 dollars.

As you can see below the chicken is frozen inside the vending machine. Once ordered it is transferred to the oven and “cooked” until ready. Once it is ready it is dispensed at scolding hot temperatures for the consumer to “enjoy.”

There isn’t much to this blog post except outrage and embarrassment. You see, I’m a firm believer in food not only as sustenance but as culture. My food culture is offended by the very idea of a chicken sandwich vending machine because it undermines the food values I hold dear, such as fresh and enhancing human relationships. Therefore, I find it silly that less than 20 feet away a nice man on an open grill prepares the exact same dishes with clean hands and a smile. What might not be different is the quality of the food but his smile is so appetizing. Man with a nice small vending machine anyone?