Farm fresh eggs and gmo
I'm frustrated. I have been getting my eggs from the same few farmers for quite some time. They aren't certified organic but I picked up the eggs myself and saw the farm, no pesticide use, clean, chickens roaming around with lots of room and mostly fed produce scraps and bugs. BUT also feed which I now know is not organic and is mostly corn (in addition to soy which I didn't even realize I needed to think about).
Now I'm buying my eggs organic at the supermarket again which I don't want to keep doing. I know one farmer 20 minutes away who is using organic feed only but her eggs are more than the supermarket and in a direction I never go so it's out of my way.
*sigh. I might just suck it up because of how important it is to me that we support our farmers as much as possible. The gmo thing scares me too much to continue buying from the farmers who are feeding the birds corn feed.
Anyone else thought about this? Worried about this?
I hadn't yet thought about it. Our farmer is very careful about his fruits and veggies and only buys non-gmo plants/seeds,doesn't go for the organic stamp (but will explain why his commitment to "completely natural" is even better), so I assumed that would extend to everything. Hmmmm. I'll have to ask him and pick his brain this weekend. I do know his eggs are soooo different than even the free-range, organic ones at the grocery store. His yolks are so big, round, and fat, and very deep in color. That has to be a difference in what they're fed, right?
Yes our farm fresh eggs are much different than the organic ones I buy from the grocery store here in town. I think it's because they eat so much bugs? If I buy local organic eggs from the co-op they are similar to the farm fresh.
I did just read that grocery store eggs could be up to 2 months old when you buy them off the shelf. Ew!
I do worry about it, but I'm lucky to have a few different easily-available choices in organic locally farmed eggs. My favorite sells at the nearby farmer's market, although she sells out quickly because she has only a small flock. I just have to make sure I'm there early every week. I do see a really big difference in her eggs from the free range organic at the store, and I agree that it's the bugs and greens. Actually, interestingly, in about September her yolks lose some of their deep orange color and become more yellow like store eggs. I heard her explaining to another customer that it happens when the grasses turn brown in the beginning of fall -- the chickens aren't getting as much beta-carotene and chlorophyll from the plants. It's so interesting to me to see food go through changes with the seasons.
I do pay more than for supermarket eggs, although our local market sells some semi-local free range organic that are even more expensive than what I pay the farmer. But I love eggs, and since it is important to me, I don't mind paying more. If I had to drive 20 minutes out of my way to get them, though, it would be a harder decision. With the cost of gas and everything else... I might just do organic supermarket eggs.
Have you thought about getting a coop? We have neighbors with chickens and they love it. There are some great coops out there that don't take up much space... and then you *really* know where your eggs are coming from.
-- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09
On the drive issue- I go 45 minutes out of the way to the farm where we get our eggs & produce (so really it's not just eggs, but it's quite a drive). Relatively speaking though, it takes 20 minutes to even get somewhere "close by" around here, 45 minutes to get most of the way across the Metro-Phoenix area. So even though I'm heading down the highway in the opposite direction (we never go that way unless we're driving to California), the distance we drive to get to the farm is no different that we would go to see a family member on the east side of town.
I have thought about getting a coop. We are seriously considering it for the spring. It would be a great thing for the kids to do as part of the homeschooling experience as well. I just have to twist dbf's arm a bit more
On the driving, we just have to be really frugal since we're on a tighter budget now. I drive 40 minutes to get groceries so really only do that trip once every 2 weeks at most and try to plan other things in the area as well so we spend the day there. If only the eggs were in that direction, otherwise it just makes sense for me to buy them on my grocery trip.
We used to do a CSA that was a 40 minute drive on Sundays. We had to either get up and get ready for church and go before the service which made things very rushed, or we had to go after when the place was so packed that you can barely move. We got all out eggs produce and dairy there. It was delightful. However, the toll that the drive took was too much and we stopped. It is very important to us to support farms and to buy organic. However, that was not the only thing we had to do on weekends and it got to be so stressful trying to get the 5 of us ready, go, and then get back for church. No, I go to the grocery that is20 minutes away, buy organic, grass fed when possible, and we have organic grass fed bee shipped to us. I kow it is not the most ideal, but it is the best we can do. If you think the drive is too much - then it is. Go with the supermarket organic pastured eggs.
Have you looked on Eggzy?
We have 2 of our own laying hens, and we feed them certified organic feed as well as all of our produce scraps. We also grind up the egg shells and sprinkle that in the coop mixed with feed as scratch every day. It's the only way I'm 100% comfortable with eating eggs at all. If you decide to do your own, 2 hens seem to provide our family with plenty of eggs. We had 14 one year and just found that it was a lot of hassle to sell to friends/co-workers all the time.