Because of that, this article I found over at Listverse really surprised me! This is one part of the chicken I figured was not good for anything. Just shows how wrong you can be about something!
Twenty years ago, not only were chicken feet almost completely useless, chicken farmers had to pay to get rid of them. Most of the time, they would end up as a filler in dog foods. In the 1990s, globalization became a more feasible reality for smaller companies aspiring for a transnational business model, and chicken farmers started profiting from the sale of chicken feet to China. Now, the U.S. exports about 300,000 metric tons of chicken feet a year. Just one company, Perdue Farms, produces over a billion chicken paws a year and brings in more than $40 million in revenue. The demand for chicken feet is so high, the farmers could breed twice as many chickens as they do now and still easily sell them to China, but they would have no way to sell all the other parts of the chicken in the United States. What was once a complete waste product is now the chief profit center for every chicken farmer in the United States. It is the consensus amongst the industry that without the global demand for chicken paws, most farms would be driven out of business.
I have never heard them called "chicken paws" that I know of. That name sounds a little creepy to me, ya know? Like something right out of a grade B monster movie! I alwas associate the term "paws" with animals like bears and dogs and cats and...well, you get the picture!
Who would have ever thought that these things were that popular? Certainly not me!
Let's have our coffee inside this morning. We can have hot biscuits and apple sauce on the side!