Ever since Malaysia announced its plans to halt chicken exports, Singaporeans have been panic-buying, finding alternatives to poultry and debating the topic of fresh versus frozen meat. Weighing in on the latter is KF Seetoh, who says that most of what we consume is frozen poultry anyway.
In a Facebook post on May 27, the founder of Makansutra and advocate for all things hawker wrote: “80% of our chickens, largely frozen, come from places like Brazil and Argentina. Only 20% freshly chilled ones come from across the Causeway”.
He added that the fresh chilled chickens were “mostly bought by our chicken rice hawkers and restaurants that insists on using fresh ones”.
“So don’t panic, much of what you eat, are frozen fowls”, he added.
Mr Seetoh wrote that such hawkers spoil their customers with “their affordable and even cheap fresh chicken rice”. He urged people to not take such hawkers for granted and to appreciate the work they do.
Netizens who commented on Mr Seetoh’s post hoped their favourite hawker stalls would not go out of business.
After the announcement that Malaysia will be halting chicken exports starting in June, netizens were quick to take to social media to quote what President Halimah Yacob said in 2007 as a Member of Parliament.
Back then, as Parliament was about to debate the high cost of living, The Straits Times reported that two MPs tabled questions about fast-rising food prices hurting Singaporeans’ wallets. The price of wheat was at global historic highs due to drought in Australia and crop failures in the US. This pushed up the cost of animal feed and meat.
Madam Halimah, who was a Jurong GRC MP then, said that more could be done to promote alternative food sources.
“For example, the price of chicken may be rising fast, but we can encourage Singaporeans to turn to alternative sources of protein, such as fish”, she told The Straits Times.