Cracking the case of farm fresh eggs

POSTED ON February 23rd, 2011 - by LemonNo Comments »

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or the factory farmed egg? How about Salmonella? Well, who knows. But what I do know are the differences between factory farmed eggs and farm fresh, organic eggs. In case you were wondering what the difference was, here are eight bullet points that spell it out for you in raw terms.

  • Let’s get down to what really matters first. Taste. Okay, yeah, health is good, nutrition is good, but as any five year old will tell you, taste is what wins. So here’s the skinny on farm fresh eggs. They taste better. Period. When a chicken is fed proper seeds and grains, and has time outside of cage, it is happier and healthier, and therefore produces more fertile and flavorful eggs. The yolk is richer, the flavor is more robust and the vitamin/mineral value is higher. Farm fresh for the flavor win.
  • So everything is better for you when it’s organic, right? The difference, however, between organically produced eggs, and farm fresh, is that the USDA has no living condition regulations when it comes to defining something as “organic.” In fact, the only stipulation, in the case of laying hens, is that they must be fed organic food. You can cram as many of those little buggers in one cage as you like, and their eggs are still “organic,” just as long as they’re fed organic food. However, an essential part of the well being of any animal (cow, chicken, human) is the ability to roam as they please. If a chicken is healthy, her eggs will be too.
  • A is for awesome, and E is for egg. Farm fresh eggs have more of both (the vitamins, that is).
  • One dozen eggs divided by 4 =Omega 3! More of it in those farm fresh gems.
  • Less is more: When you choose farm fresh, you’re choosing an egg with 1/2 as much fat and cholesterol.
  • When you buy organic, farm fresh eggs, from free range chickens, you’re supporting a healthier environment.
  • You have the comfort of knowing that what you’re putting in your body is free of artificial hormones, or anything else that might harm you or your family.
  • Supporting your local farmer supports your local economy and the organic foods movement.

 

And if you’re not sure where else besides the grocery store to find eggs, check Craigslist. There’s always a few farmers there with a few extra eggs. The last batch I bought was just $3.00/dozen. A little more than what you’ll pay at a supermarket, but the consider what you get for your money, and where your money is going, and the choice is easy.

 

Get Crackin! Facts provided by Dr James G Hood.


Support Your Friendly Farmer

POSTED ON June 8th, 2010 - by fred1 Comment »


With the blossoming awareness of sustainability, local economies and fair trade practices, we are committed to sourcing the highest quality as well as the most ethically and ecologically produced products we can find. That includes a number of fair trade companies working in India, Thailand and Vietnam; several manufacturers who cut and sew their bamboo and organic cotton clothing here in the US; and a variety of chocolatiers, candle makers, seamstresses and herbalists all based right here in SLO County.

But we still get a lot of concerned customers asking, “When are we going to start growing the bamboo here in the states?” Well, that’s a good question, because that’s an awfully appealing idea, at least in theory. It could, after all, be an important step in getting off our oil dependency and the reliance on Chinese imports.

As much as we strive to eliminate our carbon footprints and environmental impacts, there are limits. We can reduce and minimize, but there are no consumer products with zero impact. Even if you grow all your own organic produce and make your own clothing with a solar-powered sewing machine, you’ll still need to haul methane-rich manure in from somewhere, and get your new sewing needles, threads and fabrics from somewhere.

In this six billion man village, our survival depends on specialization, and specialization means commerce. We can encourage as much local trade as possible, but we cannot eliminate international commerce. The fair trade movement, for example, fosters socially responsible trade with the third world, recognizing that we need to eliminate inhumane business practices without completely severing ties with our trading partners around the globe.

As much as we love to support our local farmers, most varieties of bamboo are native to Asia. Of the 1500+ species, only two or three are native to North America. Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys pubescens), the variety most commonly harvested for commercial use — for clothing, flooring and kitchen wares — is native to China and Japan. And while it may grow well in gardens of California and the Pacific Northwest, introducing it to the U.S. on a massive agricultural scale could bring all kinds of unforeseeable ecological problems.

The beauty of bamboo, as a natural resource, resides in its tenacious growth habit without need of irrigation or fertilizers, and its resilience against pests — in sharp contrast to cotton, it requires no pesticides or herbicides. These wonderful benefits are seen in bamboo’s natural habitat. But transplanted to someplace like the San Joaquin Valley, intensive irrigation would become necessary, and who know what sort of pest and disease issues might crop up.

Does this mean we should abandon the idea altogether? Not necessarily, but extensive consideration and research will be needed. Just remember the rabbits in Australia. And yes, in the right (or wrong?) conditions, bamboo spreads just as fast as bunnies.

Stay tuned for further stories on the unexpected outcomes of bamboo ecology . . .