EGGS Highlight How Complicated Health-Choices have become.
The world of food is confusing and navigating your way around healthy choices can be very frustrating.
I try and do the best I can with the time and resources I have, yet eggs have been driving me crazy. I stand in front of the cooler that holds FOURTEEN choices and I diligently read the tiny print but still clarity eludes me. Imagine my thrill to see this sweet graphic in my inbox one day. Finally I can make choices based on my ethics and knowledge.
Let me share a story with you.
On our farm in Ponder Texas we had a flock of over 200 egg laying chickens. Our chicken ‘CEO’ was an intelligent, heart-centered young woman named Shannon Weist. Shannon heavily researched ‘how to raise healthy humane eggs’.
We loved her energy and enthusiasm with the birds and she taught us a lot. We learned that beak cutting should NEVER be done. The only reason that commercial operations routinely cut the chickens beaks is because there are too many chickens competing for too few a space. She also taught us that birds needed to scratch and peck for bugs and that they loved green leafy vegetables.
Among Shannon’s gurus were Doug Coin and Joel Salatin who both believed that in order to raise nutrient dense eggs you needed to ‘give chickens their chicken-ness’. That concept was at the core of all that we did at the farm, always striving for the highest quality crops, without sacrificing our environment.
Our eggs were beautiful and tasty. We let the birds eat lots of bugs and gave them sprouts, sunflower greens, wheatgrass matts and Texas organic feed. Their deep orange yolks stood as a testament of their high Omega levels. Our chickens never pecked each other and were not aggressive (if they were we would cull them from the flock, ask my granddaughter Haeli)
I learned a lot about what makes great tasting eggs and now that I no longer have local chicken egg sources I feel lost. As I stand at the market cooler I marvel at the choices and I wonder what all of these new labels REALLY mean, other than to further confuse me and make money off my ignorance.
The wonderful folks at takepart.com have done all of the work for us. The ‘perfect’ choice does not exist on a mass market level (no surprise here, huge always requires choices). So thanks to Shannon I know that cutting beaks is NOT necessary and that alone informs me of the choices the egg company has made (crowding the birds). My bottom line choices now dwindle to only three of the fourteen ones illustrated in the INFOGRAPH.
Space for the birds and free access to bugs and greens are important to raising healthy nutrient dense eggs.
WHAT VALUES ARE IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO SUPPORT? Which label gets your five dollars?