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Are Your Kids Wondering When They Can Get Fried Chicken From Their Favorite Fast Food Store Again?
PHOTO BY SHUTTERSTOCK
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    It was National Fried Chicken Day on July 6, but not all of us were lucky enough to be able to celebrate. Perhaps you've noticed that the fried chicken from your go-to fast-food spots—i.e., Jollibee and/or McDonald's—have been out of stock lately, depending on where you're located. Well, you're not imagining things, as the two companies have shared remarks about the ongoing issue in interviews with different news outlets.

     

    Could there be a chicken shortage going on?

     

    According to a social-media post by INQUIRER.net, the Jollibee Group has acknowledged the short stock of chicken meals at a "small number" of Jollibee and Mang Inasal stores, given issues with their supply coupled with a high demand. Thankfully, they do say the "supply is already improving"—and that they're "working with suppliers to address the immediate demand." (Fingers crossed!) McDonald's has similarly acknowledged in a report by Bloomberg that while they're still serving chicken meals, "certain" stores temporarily aren't selling it at the moment for similar mismatches in supply versus demand.

     

    The government has denied there being any chicken shortage, but it's worth noting that prices of the poultry have in fact risen in the past months—by as much as 25% for whole chicken prices, as per data from the Department of Agriculture. It's not just us, though—other parts of Southeast Asia are similarly experiencing price increases in the chicken department, and Malaysia even banned exports of the poultry at the start of June though this has since been partially lifted.

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    There was a French fries shortage recently, too

    In April 2022, netizens panicked when McDonald's released a statement on French fries in their stores. A food shortage was not to blame, though -- it was the freight crisis that lingered from the COVID-19 restrictions.

     

    PHOTO BY FACEBOOK/McDonald's Philippines, April 2022
    While people missed the big red box, McDonald's continued to serve regular fries. Other countries in Asia, like South Korea, replaced French fries with chicken nuggets as a side option to their meals. The Korea Times pointed out that potatoes are "hardly produced" in their country, but in the Philippines, people commented on the McDonald's Facebook page to start considering kamote fries.

     

    How can parents explain this to your children?

    While Jollibee says the chicken shortage is "not a big problem," let's not forget that the success of the "McDonald's of the Philippines" is in transforming international fastfood favorites like fried chicken into a Filipino delicacy. The iconic Chickenjoy has taken Jollibee to over 34 countries already.

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    But Jollibee has a point. It's not a big problem compared to bigger problems like war and pandemic. Here's what you can tell your kids when they ask about what's going on.

    Low nutrition isn't making chickens grow big enough

    TV Patrol reports that expensive feeds have been plaguing poultry farmers and suppliers. The cheaper quality of feeds doesn't provide the same nutrition to the chicken as it previously had, resulting in chicken in smaller sizes.

    In the same report, McDonald's Corporate Relations Director Adi Timbol-Hernandez said that they import chicken nuggets and chicken fillet, but Chicken McDo is sourced locally. The global fastfood giant adheres to strict standards, such as an antiobiotics policy (the chicken only use antibiotics that are not administered to humans) and not using any added hormones to their poultry. Locally, the chicken supply is not enough to meet the size and weight standards that McDonald's Philippines requires for their signature Chicken McDo.

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    It's not just happening in the Philippines, but the rest of Asia, too

    In his inaugural speech, President Bongbong Marcos said, "The most vulnerable when it comes to food are the countries furthest away from the conflict: those bearing no blame when it comes to provoking," he said, "Yet they bear the greatest risk of starvation." BBM was pertaining to food supply and the war in Ukraine.

    While most fastfood stores in the United States and Canada have access to decent supply of poultry, even potato, the Asian continent is feeling the slow trade of goods and services. Let's hope the new administration has a plan to address this.

    READ: BBM on Food, Teachers, Health: 'Ang Pangarap Niyo Ay Pangarap Ko'

    This story originally appeared on Spot.phMinor edits have been made by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

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