The crippling economic crisis in Egypt has resulted in a massive rise of food prices and meat of all kinds, exceeding the worst-case forecasts. Local media have started to encourage citizens to change their eating habits, despite their simplicity, to save as much as possible for daily and monthly expenses. These calls have now reached the point of promoting the eating of chicken feet.
The dollar shortage crisis has caused an accumulation of goods in Egyptian ports, such as fodder for livestock and poultry, resulting in calls to save the poultry industry. Egypt has achieved self-sufficiency in the poultry industry; its volume exceeds tens of billions of pounds and is considered a cheap source of protein.
Coinciding with the 50 per cent rise in poultry prices over the past few months, there have been widespread calls to buy chicken feet on the pretext that they contain a high percentage of protein.
The controversial campaign began when the National Nutrition Institute of the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population started to explain the benefits of eating chicken feet, which are considered food alternatives rich in protein and frugal economically, given the high prices of white and red meat.
In a post published on its official social media pages, the National Nutrition Institute promoted chicken feet, saying that the feet are classified among the inexpensive sources that are rich in protein and contain calories at a limited rate. After removing the skin that covers it, the chicken foot provides 106 calories, while the chicken thigh without skin contains 176 calories.
The government institute continued its promotion for eating chicken feet, it said: “Chicken feet contain protein, vitamins, and minerals necessary for skin tissue repair and muscle growth. However, they are rich in collagen, which is essential for skin cell regeneration, delaying signs of ageing, and keeping hair and nails healthy.”
The official call for Egyptians to eat chicken feet has provoked widespread anger and criticism on social media activists with many blaming the government for the high food prices and declining purchasing power of local people.