The United States produces billions of broiler chickens each year, specially bred to be big and juicy, with plump, sturdy feet to hold them up.
And for years, all those feet were considered excess parts, and mostly ground into pet food.
But here in China, those same feet are a popular crunchy snack, typically cooked and marinated, and often washed down with a beer. And so, a few years ago, a kind of trade synergy began, with the United States shipping to China all those otherwise worthless chicken feet. The trade grew rapidly, from virtually nothing a decade ago to 377,805 metric tons worth $278 million in 2009.
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