Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday's Tips, Trick and Tid-Bits ~ Farm Fresh Eggs

Most of these themed Tuesday posts revolve around how to do something better or in fewer steps, but this one is more or less my two cents.  I think I had mentioned in a previous post that I had read The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  I'll save my 10 page long review of that book for another day, but one thing I took away from it was the importance of supporting local farms.  By buying from smaller local farms you support farming sustainability and get a much better product (that will also come at a much better price).  This is true for virtually every food (meat and produce) out there, but today I want to focus on eggs.

If you've never had farm fresh eggs you're seriously missing out.  The color of the yolks is a much deeper yellow (almost an orange) and they just taste phenomenal.  They have a very rich taste...if that makes any sense.  You're also assured that the hens that laid these eggs were running around outside perching and flapping their wings and doing innate birds things like eating bugs and poop and grass.  They're doing things that birds should be doing.

Look at all those gorgeous colors...blue, green, tan...

I purchased these right in Clarkesville, GA for $2/dozen...yes, you
read that right....TWO DOLLARS for TWELVE.

These hens live a life in sharp contrast with that of most industrial egg laying hens.  Most eggs you will see at the grocery store will come with the label "United Egg Producers Certified".  Hens laying these eggs are only required 67 square inches of space each (that's less than a piece of paper).  Hens are caged in these paper-sized crates and are unable to perch, nest or spread their wings.

To give you an idea of what all of those different labels at the grocery store mean, I put together the below.....unfortunately the birds are not always treated as well as the label would lead you to believe since there are not many strict regulations regarding the use of such labels......

Source: The Humane Society of the United States

~Cage Free:  As the term implies, these hens are not caged, but more often than not they are still living in very close quarters inside a barn or warehouse.  These birds are able to walk and spread their wings. Beak clipping is permitted.

~Free Range:  These birds are kept inside a barn or warehouse and have some unspecified access to the outdoors.  There currently are not any strict regulations relating to how much access these birds have to the outdoors.  They could get 15 minutes a day or 3 hours.

~Certified Organic:  These birds are uncaged inside warehouses or barns and have limited amounts of outdoor access.  They are fed an all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides.

~Animal Welfare Approved:  These birds live by the highest quality animal welfare standards.  They must have continuous access to the outdoors.  There are space and nesting box requirements and beak clipping is strictly prohibited.

Your best bet for getting true farm fresh eggs is to purchase them from a local farmer.  It cuts out the whole process of worrying about what the labels mean and you can actually meet the person responsible for raising your food.  I know there have definitely been times when I've had to dash out to the grocery store and pick up a carton of eggs and there simply wasn't time to get farm fresh ones, but for the most part I try my best to plan ahead so this doesn't happen.

So check around in your neck of the woods and find out where your locals eggs layers are!

I mean, I could always just build one of these, right?  :)  In my dreams.  I'm workin' on the hubs in hopes that if we ever move outside the city limits it might happen.....


  1. Jason and I are dying to build a chicken coop! My parents got some a few months ago and we're so jealous!

    1. Wait, your parents have a coop?? JEALOUS! I told Trey it's not like I'm asking for a whole flock of these things...just 2 or 3 would get the job done.

      Maybe one day....


I LOVE hearing from those who stop by to take a gander at the blog! Feedback and comments of all kinds are always greatly appreciated :)