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Scratching the surface: This urban chicken coop has prompted a new appreciation for where food comes from. (Photo by Peta Bassett)
Tea Leaves

The eye-opening joys of urban farming

What one family learned from raising chickens in Bangkok

PETA BASSETT | Thailand

Hopes weren't high for the survival of the seven chicks presented as my child's birthday gift late last year. An uncertain looming threat was a territorial family dog. But one year, six hens (one didn't make it) and more than 1,000 eggs later, they're the gifts that keep on giving. For this urban family, the value of knowing exactly where our eggs come from is immeasurable.

For many people, securing a key protein source by raising chickens for their eggs in a sprawling Asian capital simply isn't possible -- but the concept has never been more topical given the recent tainted-egg scandal in Europe. Such incidents chip away at consumer trust, yet there is often no choice other than to opt for the most convincing label on the shelf.

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