Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Incredible Edible Egg

As if you needed one more reason to know the source of your food....

228 MILLION eggs recalled!

Don't worry--I am not going to shock you with the gory details of the likely conditions in that Iowa egg production plant at this center of this recall, you can google around for that info on your own. What I can tell you is that as a pregnant mom with two young kids, I was happy to have the peace of mind that my family, born and unborn, was safe. I know the farmer that raises the chickens that lay my eggs. Last fall, my son even had the privilege of going on a real live "egg hunt" on our CSA's farm and meeting our hens in person.

Even though I swallow hard each time I pay $4/dozen for the brown and white protein packed beauties, I know that I'm paying a 400% mark up for superior taste, nutrition, safety and a little kindness to the animals entrusted to human care. Plus, when I buy the eggs right off the farm, I get a shelf life of a full month or so before I have to use them up. In my house, they never go to waste.

Try this experiment some time to see how fresh your eggs are (or have your kids try it as a wonderful educational project):
Place an egg in a glass of water.
-If it sinks and lies flat on the bottom, it's really fresh
-If it just begins to float, it's about a week old
-If it will stand upright at the bottom of the glass, it's about 3 weeks old
-If it floats, don't use it

And if you've been dying to know whether you have to refrigerate your eggs-here is the answer. Fascinating!

Eggs are a staple in our diet. We eat them all the time because they are a great way to "hide" vegtables for the kids. Here is one of my favorite egg recipes that "hides" turnips: Cooking Light's Rosti Casserole. If you want to go hard core, you could skip the frozen hash browns and grate your own locally grown potatoes in this recipe.

Most of the local farmer's markets I know in the area have at least one vendor selling eggs. Here are only a handful of local sources for eggs:
Walkup Heritage Farm-Crystal Lake
Green Earth Farm-Richmond
Robinson Family Farm-Poplar Grove (Woodstock Farmer's Market)
Farmer Nick's-Walworth, WI (Crystal Lake Farmer's Market)

If you've never tried a farm fresh egg, let this 228 million egg recall be your sign that today is the day to give one a whirl!

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