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Frank Purdue goes to the chicken house in the sky


Perdue his own father as “a stern man who was so thrifty that he saved leather from old shoes to make hinges for the doors to the chicken houses.”

“It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken (filled with chemical additives and hormones).”

— Frank Purdue, in his ad campaigns from the 80s.

“It takes a sexually aroused man to make a chicken affectionate.”

–Perdue Farms’ famously poor translation for the Spanish-speaking market

Frank Perdue, owner of one of the nation’s largest poultry processors has died at 84. His company was fined $40,000 in 1989 after a report found 36 percent of workers in two North Carolina plants had symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Two years later the company established a four-year program to reduce injuries. Labor is cheap in the rural and often poor areas of the South and he took advantage of it (as did other poultry farms, such as Tyson). Purdue also worked his ass off to suppress union activism, according to the AP report (not surprising, in this right-to-work state).

I remember seeing these commercials all over the place when I lived in NY. If you’ve ever roasted one of his chickens, the amount of fat and crap from those birds that ends up in the pan is scary. Never tried one again.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding