Raising cage-free chickens, a move planned by nearly every big fast food chain and a handful of multinational food makers, requires much more planning, money, and logistical engineering than the seemingly simple notion of setting some hens free would suggest, according to Wired. Ironically, this massive supply chain overhaul stems from consumer demand to return to the egg-producing practices of our pre-industrial past, but without undoing all the positive benefits of scale, affordability, and safety that were achieved through industrialization. It actually took farmers a really long time to figure out how to put the bird in the cage—and it’s going to take a while to figure out how to get it back out.
That process could take anywhere from 15 to 20 years plus the amount of time it takes to build the new system, which will add a few million dollars.
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