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This Company Lets You Rent Chickens. Here’s What That Means for Our Food System.

What happens to food before it hits a supermarket shelf? This seemingly simple question has an exceedingly nuanced answer, with many of those nuances nearly invisible to the consumer—from the economic barriers smaller farmers face, to the inhumane cond…

What happens to food before it hits a supermarket shelf? This seemingly simple question has an exceedingly nuanced answer, with many of those nuances nearly invisible to the consumer—from the economic barriers smaller farmers face, to the inhumane conditions of factory farms. Made uneasy by this disconnect, more and more consumers are seeking a renewed connection to their food sources, or hoping to educate their children about where food comes from.

In the past decade, one particularly unconventional solution has emerged: chicken renting. Businesses deliver chickens (and a coop) to clients for a month or summer, then take them back for the winter.

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