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food / travel

Paris Chicks: Raising Hens At Home Is Newest Organic Trend In French Capital

Getting your own fresh eggs for your morning Parisian omelette doesn’t necessarily require a trip to the local market. More and more French urbanites are finding space for a hen or two in their own homes.

Urban hen (by drougge)
Urban hen (by drougge)


PARIS - Now there's a way to get a daily whiff of French country life right in the heart of the capital. More and more people in and around Paris have begun raising their own chickens. Yes, you heard right: Cocorico!! (that's how French roosters crow…)

The Truffaut gardens have sold more than 20,000 egg-producing chicks and hens across France in 2011. And in the two years since it opened shop, Eco-poules sold enough henhouses to house 30,000 animals. "We thought we would reach more rural areas," says Stanislas de Beaumont, the company founder. "But really, it's around Paris that we have most of our clients."

The economic upside – a small investment for free daily eggs -- may be driving some. But for most people, the main focus is the organic and environmental appeal. Fear of junk food, rejection of industrial breeding: the reasons for raising your own urban chickens are the same in France and in the US were the trend started after such places as New York, Seattle, Chicago and LA authorized chickens within city limits.

The movement is now beginning to spread globally. A group in Montreal started a petition in 2010 to lift the ban on urban breeding. In France, municipal or coop rules can limit the process, but as a general rule, chickens are considered as pets, just like hamsters.

A few more pieces of advice from Michel Audureau, author of Et si j'elevais une poule (And if I raised a hen). Forget roosters and their noisy wake-up calls, hens don't need them to lay eggs. And of course make the chicken feel at home. "Hens need to peck. They need soil and some space. So it's hard to have one on your balcony, especially since they're sensitive to cold." So look for roof space or patios. And for the best eggs, chose red hens and give them a lot of grain for extra-hard shells.

Read more from Le Monde in French. Original article by Christine Taconnet

photo - drougge

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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How A Xi Jinping Dinner In San Francisco May Have Sealed Mastercard's Arrival In China

The credit giant becomes only the second player after American Express to be allowed to set up a bank card-clearing RMB operation in mainland China.

Photo of a hand holding a phone displaying an Union Pay logo, with a Mastercard VISA logo in the background of the photo.

Mastercard has just been granted a bank card clearing license in China.

Liu Qianshan


It appears that one of the biggest beneficiaries from Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to San Francisco was Mastercard.

The U.S. credit card giant has since secured eagerly anticipated approval to expand in China's massive financial sector, having finally obtained long sought approval from China's central bank and financial regulatory authorities to initiate a bank card business in China through its joint venture with its new Chinese partner.

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Through a joint venture in China between Mastercard and China's NetsUnion Clearing Corporation, dubbed Mastercard NUCC, it has officially entered mainland China as an RMB currency clearing organization. It's only the second foreign business of its kind to do so following American Express in 2020.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the development is linked to Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting on Nov. 15 with U.S. President Joe Biden in San Francisco, part of a two-day visit that also included dinner that Xi had with U.S. business executives.

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