I bought a dozen eggs this week so we would have plenty for Easter.
I don’t normally buy eggs as our 19 chickens provide plenty. I was at my local grocery and saw a carton of eggs with a handmade label that said “we’re organic eggworks” on the label. I asked about the eggs as the label did not identify the eggs.
When I got home, I decided to crack one open and was surprised at how pale yellow the yolk was. Humm…? I opened one of our eggs and placed it in a the same bowl and turned to my son and said “what do you think?”
As he pointed to our egg he said; “That’s obvious, ours are running around outside eating grass and bugs.”
But is it obvious?
Of course I want to support our local farmers and I believe we should all be buying local eggs, but if we don’t know the farmer (and I am delighted that more members of my community are calling themselves farmers) how do we know their growing practices?
What does organic mean to one farmer versus another?
…and if given the choice, would I prefer to have an egg from a chicken that is eating non organic grain and running around outside soaking up Vitamin D and eating grass, bugs and taking in the omega 3 OR an egg from a chicken who is eating organic grain but living inside a coop?
Honestly, I’d rather have the egg from the chicken that is outside running around eating non organic grain.
I believe we need a system that is more transparent.
Words such as “organic”, “natural”, “free-range” are now tossed around as marketing slogans. The term “free-range” eggs are chickens that are out of the cage with two square feet of space and little sunlight, but I have also heard “free-range” used for (only local ) chickens that are allowed the run of the barnyard. Does “organic” mean “we use as few chemicals as necessary” or does it mean: “we use chemicals that are labeled organic”?
These definitions are vague at best.
We need a system that would allow consumers to read what these terms mean or be able to see what the practices are for each farmer for raising vegetables, fruit, honey, meat, eggs and other locally grown or raised products.
We need farmers to state and describe their growing practices so that their products can be marketed properly.