Thoughts On Eggs

Just visited Dragonfly Farm outside of Chatsworth, Ontario (www.dragonflyfarmstore.ca) and bought some eggs from Cindy and Mike Wilhelm.  Mike and I talked about the way that people think about food these days.  On the way home I got to thinking about how we have come to view eggs.  A week ago I was out of the beautiful pastured eggs my family has become accustomed to.  As a last resort we bought a dozen organic eggs from a local health food store.  These are, of course, graded.  In Ontario all eggs that are sold in a store must be graded at an egg grading station before being sold.  Farmers can sell eggs directly at the farm gate and they do not need to be graded.  The fact that these eggs I bought are organic doesn’t mean much to me these days. In Ontario they can be organic and the chickens can still be raised inside a huge barn.  They just need organic feed, be chemical free and the option to go outside should they choose.  They are in no way the same eggs as the ones I buy from what I call “better than organic” small farms where the chickens have free run of the barnyard and access to bugs, worms and wild grasses.  Many organic farms are certainly keeping hens on pasture and in sunshine but when I buy from a store how do I really know?   Have a look at this picture.    The eggs at the top are the graded organic ones.  The eggs at the bottom are from Dragonfly Farm Store.  Notice the three that are almost pink in colour and the variations in size and colour of the non graded eggs.   I wonder what chicken would lay eggs that are exactly the same colour, size, shape and texture every time?  Did you ever stop to think about that?  When did we begin to believe that if our eggs are not graded into perfect looking dozens that they are not good eggs?  Once you start to really think about what the industry has done to market these things you start to think about how ridiculous this is.  I happen to enjoy the adventure of seeing what the eggs I buy from small farms will look like each time.  Sometimes they are speckled and sometimes they have shells that are not perfectly smooth.  These pinkish coloured eggs are really unique!  Pastured eggs have bright yellow yolks, taste better and naturally have higher omega 3 fatty acids.  Buying at the farm gate helps your small farmer make a better living and provides you with fresher and healthier food at the same time.  In my book that makes this a no brainer!   Pink egg omelet for dinner tonight!

 

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