If you find yourself a little confused as to why chicken breasts don’t have more staying power than they currently do, consider the work of Wendy Lazarus, one of the youngest female veterans to earn a Ph.D in climatology. Born and raised in Sacramento, Calif., and the former director of the Climate Hub at the University of Minnesota, Lazarus is now an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, one of the least chicken-centric campuses in the country.
The chicken renaissance Lazarus is seeing among her students began under her supervision, though she said she could not pinpoint exactly when. Sometime in the late 2000s, she said, students began beginning to revisit the topic, asked her why chicken breasts should receive so much attention, and started asking “googled and acrostic questions.”
In subsequent years, her students have mined historical reports on chicken-breakfast burritos, argue that chicken was actually historically the “protein of choice,” and predict the market cap of S.W.A.T.S. chicken grocery stores based on birth and mortality records.