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Another day, another egg

November 21, 2008 - Kathie Evanoff
Farm fresh eggs are easy to come by.

Many local families, particularly those with children in the 4-H program, raise chickens for their eggs. Travel most remote county roads and you will likely come across a sign in front of a farmhouse that advertises fresh eggs.

I pick up our eggs once a week. The chickens involved are allowed to roam around in real grass, where they peck around for insects, a chicken’s real diet. Chickens are also allowed to pick out the sweet greens among the many varieties of grass plants and naturally growing weeds that emerge from wild lawns. Of course, in winter, while the grass and insects are not available, chickens can be fed grain that is free of antibiotics and pesticides.

Don’t let the term “free range” fool you. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, chickens need only to have “access” to the outside in order for an egg carton to be labeled as free range. There is no legal definition for the term “free range.” So hundreds of chickens can occupy a single shelter with a small attached yard that they may or may not go into, and the manufacturer can still say those eggs came from free range chickens.

When you buy your eggs from local farms, which often allow visitors and tours during certain times of the year, you can see where your food comes from.

But there’s another reason to buy free range organic eggs. According to a report by “Mother Earth News,” eggs from hens that were allowed to peck around on real pasture land are healthier for us. In 2007, “Mother Earth News” did a study and came to the following conclusions about free range organic eggs. Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain: one-third less cholesterol; one-quarter less saturated fat; two-thirds more vitamin A; two times more omega-3 fatty acids; three times more vitamin E; and seven times more beta carotene

For information on where to find local free range organic eggs, visit www.localharvest.org.

This morning began with yet another poached egg on toast. When I get going on something, I have no problem repeating it every day. While preparing my breakfast, my cat, Emily, decided under the tablecloth was a fun place to play.

When lunchtime rolled around, it was hot soup and a half peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I was too busy for a snack this afternoon, so I’m sure I’ll be more than ready for dinner.

 
 

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Breakfast: 1 ounce meat; 1 ounce grains; 30 discretionary calories

 
 
 
 

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