The expression first appeared in 1990 when Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush signed a trade agreement about delivery of frozen chicken leg quarters to the USSR. In those times the USSR was experiencing food shortages and "Bush legs" enjoyed wide popularity.
As of 2006, the United States was the largest supplier of chicken to Russia, with only 55% of purchased chicken being domestically raised, 35% imported from the US, 6% from Brazil and 4% from other countries, primarily in Europe. In 2005, the Russian and American governments signed an agreement where, until 2009, 74% of the chicken import quota would belong to American suppliers in return for the annual expansion of supplies by 40 thousand metric tons.
White meat is more popular in the US, lowering the cost of exported dark meat.
- Что будем есть вместо «ножек Буша» Archived 2014-02-02 at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
- USAPEEC Archived February 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine (in Russian)
- "Whiten chicken dark meat with whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com.
- "С 1 января 2009 американской курятины в России не будет - ИА REGNUM".
- "Медведев: Нам больше не нужны «ножки Буша», в РФ есть своя птица - ИА REGNUM".
- Official site of U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (in Russian)