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Volume III
July, 2013

Newsletter Home / Refrigerator Door

'A Chicken in every Pot'?

Who coined the phrase, 'A Chicken in every Pot'?

In 1928 the Republican National Committee created the phrase, "A chicken in every pot, and a car in every backyard, to boot." The ad concluded that a vote for Herbert Hoover would be a vote for continued prosperity.

A century ago in the United States, chickens were more prized as showpieces than dinner table centerpieces. Chickens, like many fancy pigeon breeds of today, were bred more for exhibition than consumption. Only around 1910 did raising these birds for eggs supersede raising them for show.

When Herbert Hoover promised "a chicken in every pot" in 1928, America's entire annual per-capita consumption could fit in a pot: Americans were eating an average of only a half-pound of chicken a year. By 1945, the figure stood at five pounds per year. The sea change happened after World War II. Current chicken consumption is around 60 pounds a year, over half a bird a week.

Chicken used to be more expensive than steak or lobster in the United States; poultry may now be cheaper than the potatoes with which it's served!

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