This project proposes an alternative way to manage the 2.3 million tonnes of EU feather waste from slaughterhouses by converting its nutrient component into a new edible product. Chemically, chicken feathers are composed of approximately 91% protein (keratin) which contains up to eight types of essential amino acids that we require as part of a healthy diet. It has been proven that keratin protein from feathers is safe for general consumption within our daily diet.
By extracting these essential proteins from the feathers, I have developed a new ‘melt-in-the-mouth' food product that is completely safe, light in calories and provides us with the essential amino acids we require in daily life. Due to the melt-in-the-mouth property, it introduces a new slow dining experience that would benefit to food resources and reduce the climate problem. Practicing edible feathers may pioneer a food culture that symbolises self-development, sacrifice, bravery, visionary, and showing empathetic responses to the world. It could be a new food culture that expresses its belief, what it stands for, social belonging, and cultural identity. Consequently, ‘A lighter delicacy’ could be contributing as a tool of achieving a sustainable future.
I believe that if we are to continue rearing and slaughtering millions of birds daily, then at the very least we have a responsibility to ensure that we safely and sustainably make use of every part of them.