Are all eggs created equal?

April 11th, 2014

It’s what’s inside that matters

Eggs.  Most of us eat them everyday in some way or another. They are quick, healthy and easy to prepare, whether it be a simple fried egg sandwich, omelet or used in main dishes and baked goods. As well eggs can almost always be sourced locally!

An egg is an egg, right? Brown or white, large or small, does it really matter? I have to say “no”, all eggs are not the same.  I find it odd that we simply fall into the belief that what food looks like matters more than what is inside or what the animal was fed before we eat the food it produces. All eggs are not the same no matter what they look like.

If we focus on the egg, we can learn a lot more about the rest of the foods we consume. We allow egg-producing factories to produce eggs in in-humane conditions for the sake of volume.  They are required to feed the needs of large fast food chains that need to keep their food costs low to you, the consumer.

If you look into a local farmer’s barn, where the hens lay their eggs, you may see them roaming free, picking at the soil when the weather permits for bugs and insects, and eating food as they please. Not penned for the production of eggs only. Abetter lifestyle for the hen, a better egg for you and I.

Here are two varieties of eggs that I purchase from my local farmer. The first image is eggs from Banty’s- small, smooth and all beautiful colours. The second image is eggs from laying hen, much larger, not all the same size, colourful and unique . Free-range and fed natural ingredients. “Happy hens” as Denise says, who happily has the hens that produce these beautiful eggs with her husband Larry!

Large egg producers pick, sort and grade the eggs. They sort them for their size, colour and texture and the ones that do not look “normal” ( ie. stained or bumpy shell) will not make it to you. So every time you buy that carton of eggs, you expect consistency and perfection. This is not the way we should be looking at our food. We have changed the way we see the egg, and it’s value based on its “looks” not what is inside.

We take whatever eggs the farmer has, they all taste amazing and knowing how they eat are very nutritious.

So does it matter that you get the perfect looking egg every time, dark yellow yolk, orange yolk, thick white or watery…rated as a Grade A, B or C? It should not if the egg was produced with you in mind and the life of the hen that produces it.

Want to know more? Click on the link below.
Commercial Grading of eggs

Are there nutritional differences between classic white eggs, brown eggs, free-run eggs, organic eggs, and vegetarian eggs? Yes. We are what we eat and the food we eat is a product of what it was fed before we consume it. Dirt, insects, rainwater, freedom to roam and get exercise all play a role in the healthy production of eggs. Large egg producers will say no, however they do make claims when changing the hens’ diet, adding more flax gives the egg more Omega 3’s. Nutritional differences, you betcha!

Need to know more? Click on the link below.
Pastured vs Omega-3 vs Conventional Eggs – Whats the Difference?

Confinement, trickery by enhancing natural food by way of omega’s, vitamins and overeating along with artificial light produce an egg that may not be as easily or properly digested by the human body. It looks the same on the outside, but what about the inside?

If we know that our unborn children can be affected before birth by the way we live, eat and take care of our bodies, apply this to how we grow and raise our food and maybe we would choose not to eat conventionally produced eggs that are traveling many miles to our tables from overpopulated factory-like environments.

As often as I can, I will purchase eggs from my local farmers.  You cannot beat the taste or the freshness of locally produced eggs that are a day old when I purchase them.  Often the eggs you buy at the grocery store can be up to 60 days old. Believe me, when I crack open my farmer’s eggs, they are rich in colour, and certainly taste like the real thing. I do not get this with a conventionally produced egg that is often bland in taste and does not have a real egg taste about it.

It matters what is inside, and it matters that we source local food that is grown, raised and produced in smaller lots. It matter’s that they are fed properly and given time to produce the egg the way the egg was meant to be. That a farmer’s hand was used in the production of healthy food for us to enjoy!

Our eggs that we eat are produced by happy hens, are yours?

Interestingly enough after I wrote this, just in time for Easter, I found out that Ralph and Julie are now selling non-GMO and Soybean-free grain for hens. This in addition to hundreds of acres they currently farm.

I asked Julie Baumlisberger, one of many local farmers in our area, Julie, “Can you tell me why you and Ralph decided to make this special grain?”

Here is her reply was, “Ralph started making his own layer feed because we already grow many of the ingredients, and wanted to make sure there were no GMO components (ie. No GM corn or soybeans). It is more economical for us, and we know exactly what our hens are eating, thus, what will be present in the eggs when they are produced.” Here is what is in her feed.

WFF (Windy Fields Farm) – Layer 17%- Non-GMO  and Soybean-Free

This is a feed made only of non-GMO grains and bran.  The birds really seem to like the feed and can maintain a high rate of lay. It contains open pollinated corn, field peas, organic bran,  and other grains. Calcium sources include:  oyster shell, limestone, granite grit. It is supplemented nutrition with package of vitamins, probiotics, herbs and spices.

This feed should give a large size egg on average with a darker than average yolk. The grains are rolled and should keep better than ground feed.

If for some reason the size needs to be a bit bigger, something high in protein can be mixed in occasionally such as alfalfa leaves.

Please feel free to contact Ralph or Julie for more information, they sell off the farm and now sell the grain that they make for their hens.

Here are their blogs, very informative.

Ralph Baumlisberger- Windy Field Farms
Ralph’s Corn-er-Cutting through the Bullshit
Julie Baumlisberger- Windy Field Farms 
Windy Field Farms

Choose your eggs wisely this Easter weekend!

Stacey


 

Canadian Maple Syrup and good old Canadian Bacon!

March 21st, 2014

The sun is warming our trees and the sap is ready to flow! Everyone loves real Canadian Maple Syrup, so this is a really great time to get out and experience a local Sugar bush with the family, a loved one or your BFF. We can only appreciate how labour intensive the process is when we see what goes into collecting and boiling the sap down to its sugary sweetness, Maple Syrup.

This is a locally made food/sweetener that only comes once a year in our community, and if you think about  it, so do most foods. If you start your season with this process in mind, better get it now while it’s fresh, then you will start to experience how delicious and rewarding  living local really is. This is the most nutritious way to live your life. Next we will see fiddleheads and strawberries…Yum!

As for the good old Canadian Bacon, I have to say that even if your a vegan, a vegetarian or looking to reduce your animal protein intake, there is something about walking into your favourite local restaurant for breakfast and enjoying that delicious, mouth watering aroma of the two ingredients combined!

Enjoy the change of seasons, and what spring may bring you.

Nothing tastes better than local.

Stacey

Food -LABELS- for thought

March 6th, 2014

Food labels are not always what they seem, this is why we choose to eat fresh seasonal foods, eat locally grown foods and choose to eat healthy foods that are non-GMO and organic.

freshalicious® is all about turning the clock back and helping you make healthy  choices based on eating whole foods first and bring the art of cooking simple dishes for you and your family into your daily life.

They say food labels are getting revamped! However are they doing enough to let the consumer know what they are eating and feeding their kids? My personal pet peeve is Brain Frying Fake Food Dyes found in candies!

This is a great share and hard to stomach, click on the image to see what I am talking about.

Spring is around the corner, local farmers are getting ready and you should be too. Get freshalicious!

Eat fresh, local, whole, organic and of course-healthy!

Stacey