Thursday, June 25, 2009

What is so special about free-range, organic eggs?

We have been getting free-range, organic eggs from a farm down the street. They are the prettiest eggs I have ever seen. I always feel bad about using the green ones. They are just the loveliest shade of mint.

Living in a world where eggs are mass-produced and identical, one can easily be skeptical of "those brown eggs". I am here to clear the smoke.

What does free-range mean?

It means that the chickens roam their "home home on the range". They aren't kept in tight quarters with other chickens. That means less chance of them eating chicken poop. They can do what all chickens want to do and peck at the ground aimlessly.

What about organic? What makes eggs organic?
The chickens are fed whole chicken feed. They are not eating anything genetically altered. The ladies consume what they were designed to consume. No funky ingredients, no mystery meal.

What do free-range, organic eggs taste like?
The same as regular eggs, but with a fresher taste. How to describe "fresher taste"? Not sure, just trust me. Anyways, the yolk is more orange, but they are the same otherwise. I have noticed with the free-range organics, Van does get a little red around the mouth and he doesn't with regular eggs. So maybe the lack of antibiotics in the organic eggs makes him more susceptible to an allergic reaction? Maybe. But the redness goes away quickly so I am not worried.

Why buy free-range, organic eggs?

If you are buying free-range, organic eggs, you are mostly likely buying local. Buying local is a good habit to get into. Support your local farmers so they don't have to stop doing what they are doing.

I should probably credit the sources of my research, but I can't remember them. Probably a little Wiki and some other places. Sorry.


theincrediblejulk said...

free-range organic doesn't always mean you're buying local, and often, while free range means that the chickens that lay your eggs aren't in factory farm style cages, it usually just means a door to access the outside, which is rarely used (i think i picked this up in pollan's omnivore's dilemma, but i can't be sure). also, there are many local/small farms that can't afford the process of being deemed "organic" by the fda, even if they operate under those guidelines. so, you're better off (like you are) getting your eggs from a local source (if you can)even if they aren't "organic", where you can actually ask the farmer how the chickens are raised and what they eat (which is what gives these type of eggs better flavor). besides, when you can purchase them locally, they're often much lower in price than "free-range organic" ones from the grocer.

Ashley Thalman said...

I love Oakdell (dale) eggs and they are both free range, flax fed, and brown. I like brown eggs.

Beth said...

I have noticed that free-range organic eggs also have a richer, more full-bodied taste (omelets with them are more filling than the watery yellowy store-bought CAFO eggs I used to buy). The only surefire way to shop locally is locally, at farmer's markets or local farms (which, in addition to supporting your local economy and small business, also reduces pollution by diminishing the transportation part of the equation).

Heather said...

I bought chickens this year and while they are not free range(we have to many predators)they are organic and delicious.

meg said...

What's great about whitney's situation is that she is actually buying these eggs from down the street. You get to see the laying hens frolicking in the grass. Those are eggs I'll eat; ones where I've met the chickens and approve of their laying environment.

[Morgan] said...

thanks for the egg-ucation.
okay, that was lame.
as i look at your picture, i think, my kids would be so stoked to eat "colored" eggs! jonas would for sure pick the green ones:)

Ingrid said...

Thanks for the info Whitney!

My Bright Corner said...

I think one other difference between free-range/organic and/or local bought eggs is the fact that the yolk stands up nice and straight. It looks healthier in the pan when we're cooking sunnyside up. :)

We've been buying eggs from a local farmer for about a year now and I heart those fresh eggs.