Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Buy Local Farm Eggs?

Someone asked me the other day about the benefits of eating farm fresh, free range eggs. My first thought was to tell them that it’s like eating green beans from the garden as compared to ones with Libby on the label. But then, maybe not everyone gets that either. 

So, here are the facts, according to 2 studies done by Mother Earth News in 2005 and 2007. Eggs from hens raised on pasture contain:
• 1/3 less cholesterol
• 1/4 less saturated fat
• 2/3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

Our laying hens eat what hens are supposed to eat - grass, seeds, bugs, along with their normal feed, which contains no antibiotics or medications. They have access to the outdoors every single day and have access to roam over an acre of land. (We take pains to keep them out of our garden!)

Eggs bought from a grocery store are from hens that live their short lives in a factory farm in a cage, never seeing the sky and never being able to stretch their legs or their wings. Even labels that say "free range" or "cage free" actually don't mean that the chickens have free access to the outdoors. The USDA has no requirements for chicken houses on what these terms are supposed to mean for laying birds. Often these are uncaged birds living inside a giant warehouse in overcrowded conditions. Because they are so crowded, they are often de-beaked to reduce injury to each other.

Even if you truly don't care about the humane aspect of chicken raising, the fact that free range birds are healthier animals is a big deal! Last fall, some giant factory farms produced eggs contaminated with salmonella. Rodents running rampant through chicken houses can do that. The FDA report from that investigation doesn't paint a pretty farm-like picture:

 "Dark liquid, which appeared to be manure, was observed seeping through the concrete foundation to the outside of the laying houses..."

 “Un-caged birds (chickens having escaped) were observed in the egg laying operation in contact with the egg laying birds at Layer 3 –Houses 9 and 16. The uncaged birds were using the manure, which was approximately 8 feet high, to access the egg laying area. “

 “The live flies were on and around egg belts, feed, shell eggs and walkways in different sections of each egg laying area. In addition, live and dead maggots too numerous to count were observed on the manure pit floor”.

Ew. This is where grocery store eggs come from. Is this what you really want to feed your family?

If all of that isn't enough to convince someone of the benefits of eating local, fresh eggs, then just crack one open. They really do look and taste better!

If you're local to Keller, contact us at for eggs or to tour the farm. The girls will be happy to visit with you!

1 comment:

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