Mindful Monday – Male Chicks Collateral Damage?

MindfulMondayEach time You eat something, You are endorsing the journey it has travelled to your mouth so here are some delicious and mindful eating recipes for you to enjoy.

If life gives you cauliflower, make pizza crust!

Cheese, Mushroom & Spinach Cauliflower Crust Calzone 

Makes three calzones (enough for 3 people)


Cauliflower Crust
1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield 3 cups of cauliflower rice)
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pkt sliced mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano, or better, a handful of fresh
3 cups baby spinach
¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped jalapeno chillies (optional)

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with olive oil. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms are brown, stirring every so often, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and cook for 1 further minute. Add spinach stirring just until wilted, about 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized). Or you if you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the florets.
Steam cauliflower rice (about 3 cups) for about 10 minutes.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can. This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry, otherwise you’ll end up with mushy dough, impossible to use for making calzones.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl and add egg, mozzarella, oregano, sea salt and pepper. Mix well.
Using your hands, press the mixture onto the baking sheet and shape into three discs (diameter should be about 5 inches).
Place in the oven and bake for 10 (no more no less, 10 minutes).
Remove from the oven and, working quickly, top with a bit of mozzarella cheese, then mushroom mixture, distributing evenly. Sprinkle some more mozzarella over mushrooms. Using a large spatula carefully lift the half of the disc without filling and fold it over the other part (that’s ok if the disc brakes a bit).
Use your fingers to push the edges of each calzone together and seal in the filling.
Bake in the oven for an additional 12 minutes.
Serve hot!


Mindful Eating Fact: What happens to the male chicks on egg-laying breeder farms?

Prior to the development of modern broiler breeds, most male chickens (cockerels) were grown and then slaughtered for meat, whereas females (pullets) would be kept for egg production. However, once the industry bred separate meat and egg-producing hybrids, there was no reason to keep males of the egg-producing hybrid. As a consequence, the males of egg-laying chickens are considered a useless by-product since they can’t lay eggs or grow large enough for meat.


According to the South African Poultry Association these are the best methods of disposing of unwanted male chicks.

Euthanasia and Disposal of Non-Saleable Chicks
Cull and surplus hatchlings awaiting disposal must be treated as humanely as those intended for retention or sale. They must be disposed of humanely by either of the two accepted procedures below. Decapitation or cervical dislocation of individual chicks when performed by trained and competent personnel is accepted.

Carbon Dioxide
Gassing of chicks with carbon dioxide or gas mixtures with argon are accepted in the process of disposal. Chicks disposed of through this method must be placed in a container pre-filled with gas and in such a way so as to ensure good penetration of the gas and prevent suffocation.

Containers or chambers must be designed to allow continual refilling of gas to maintain the correct levels of the gas. Chicks must be exposed to the gas for a long enough period so as to cause death.

High speed maceration of live, male chicks using properly designed macerators is a practical and accepted method of euthanasia.

Unilever offering financial support to research alternatives
“We are committed to providing financial support to research and market introduction of in-ovo gender identification (sexing) of eggs, a new technology that has the potential to eliminate the hatching and culling of male chicks in the poultry-breeding industry,” Unilever announced in a press release.

Sonia Mountford

Sonia Mountford lived as an expat in the Middle East for a number of years and enjoyed travelling and exposure to third and first world cultures. Her interest in food security began while visiting in Sri Lanka after floods and discovering the politics around Food Aid. As a co-founder of Grass Consumer Action and the only full time member, she spent four years researching the dysfunctional food system in South Africa, investigating, questioning and exposing misleading claims. Although her interests range from food politics to toxins in our food, including harmful ingredients in processed foods and Big Food influence; she soon came to realize that the most important part of the food journey begins on farms. For that reason she spends much of her time visiting farms, learning and talking about constraints and concerns in production methods with farmers. Passionate about nutritional food security she believes higher animal welfare farming practices are not only necessary for ethical reasons but also for human health. She is an ambassador for SOIL, BEES and healthy WATER. Mountford started EATegrity (eategrity.co.za) “Helping You Find Integrity in the Food Chain” in 2015. Her aim is create greater consumer awareness about the food chain and to encourage transparency in the South African food industry.

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