Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Eggs come from Happy Chickens

Last night I made my bimonthly trip out to the Amish farm to buy eggs. I get 12 dozen at a time and give three to my friend, and two to my mom and the rest are mine to last me two weeks. We really do go through all the eggs too. John and I eat the whites, the dogs get the yolks, and the shells go into my cooking compost! I save the containers and return them back to the Amish for refilling. I love that nothing is thrown away. Some Amish do run puppy mills and would never support an Amish family that did that, but this family only raises livestock. I've not seen any dogs.

Today I snuck a picture from my van of my happy chickens (I assume they are happy, as I was unable to interview them individually) scratching away at the grass eating grubs or other yummy insect goodness. I say I had to sneak a picture because the Amish farmer was there and the Amish do not like their picture taken. Trust me the white specks in front of the barn are chickens.

The more I read about where our commercial food comes from the happier I am that at least one thing I eat isn’t injected with who knows what and isn’t kept in a tiny cage. I am currently reading Michael Pollans, The Omnivore’s Dilema. It has been very informative read without the finger wagging of everything from the grocery store is evil. This guy just actually follows the route of food from beginning to our plate.

Yesterday was the first time there was a person around. There is a sign on the door that says eggs self serve and inside the door is a little table with dozens of eggs boxed up. The Amish do not believe in electricity so the eggs are not refrigerated. Some people freak out about this, but these are FRESH eggs, they don’t need refrigerated (think about it, the hen it came from is room temperature). My understanding is that commercial eggs are refrigerated because they have no idea how old they are and that way they can put freshness date on them of 4 weeks from when you buy them. I do refrigerate my eggs when I get them home, but a friend of mine doesn’t. He stores his in the breezeway of his house and has never had any problems. This Amish farm also takes orders for fresh chickens, and I think the next time I stop I will order a couple of chickens too