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EST. 2011 BY LIZ RUEVEN
Farm Fresh Eggs & Why You Should Bother

Farm Fresh Eggs & Why You Should Bother

Katy Morris

Eggs. They are a protein staple in most vegetarian-centered diets and offer endless ways to be enjoyed (wait ‘til you try Liz’s Shakshuka recipe).

Now, we know you’re all about eating locally and healthily – we get it and obviously that’s how we roll as well. But when it comes to eggs, is there really a difference between store bought and farm fresh?

Yes – that’s the short answer.

 

Why?

First off, they come from hens (female chickens) that eat fresh grass in an open pasture.

The garden-fresh, healthy resources they consume are chockfull of omega-3 fatty acids, which means their eggs are more nutritious than store-bought counterparts (especially at this time of year when the grass is growing strong in the summer sunlight, and there are plenty of insects around for them to snack on).

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

Take it from Liz herself: “Once you see the magnificent range of pale rainbow hues, the marigold brightness of the yolks, and taste the richness of farm fresh, you will never go back.”

 

photo: Liz Rueven
photo: Liz Rueven

The pic she shot above shows just some of the fresh eggs you’ll find at your local farm or farmers’ market. Their glorious, rainbow colors are indicative of the breed of the hen, which can range from Ameraucana (blue/green), Buff Orphington (light brown), Bantam Cochin (light blue), to Rhode Island (reddish-brown), according to Marina at Red Bee Honey.

 

Do farm fresh eggs really taste better?

 

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

Again, YES! According to Lori Cochran of the Westport, CT Farmers’ Market, not only do they taste better, the denser yolks means they perform better than store-bought ones when cooking, “whether you are scrambling or frying or tossing them.”

 

Why else should I go farm fresh with my eggs?

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

 

“Because the chickens are treated better, are happier and in return they provide a healthy protein for us to eat,” says Lori.

Enough said.

 

I bought them. Now what?

 

Liz walks you through the steps of how to prep them in a previous post, so be sure to re-read it and learn all you need to know.

 

Photo: Liz Rueven
Photo: Liz Rueven

We love them straight from the farm, but if you can’t find local eggs in your neighborhood, no need to get egg-cacerbated (sorry, couldn’t help it…). Here’s a quick run-down of the most common store-bought labels you’re bound to find and what they really mean:

 

  • Cage-Free: When the carton says “cage free” it means the eggs come from hens that lay their eggs in barns versus cages and overall are treated well.
  • Free Range: The USDA will certify eggs to be free range if the hens spend at least some time outside. They still have more orange-y, “well-performing” properties like farm fresh eggs but are not from hens that spend all their time outside.
  • Pasture-Raised: The hens that lay these kind of eggs are usually kept outside most of the year and treated well.
  • Certified Organic: Hens who produce certified organic eggs are required to have outdoor access and are fed only organic, vegetarian food free of pesticides or antibiotics.

 

Where can I find them?

Liz doing her local pick-up at Red Bee Apiary, CT
Liz doing her local pick-up at Red Bee Apiary, CT

 

We head to Sport Hill Farm, Speckled Rooster Farm (duck eggs, too!) and Red Bee Honey in Connecticut, but check out this great resource to find the closest egg-ready place for you!

Do you buy farm fresh eggs? Why do you bother?  Is it the flavor, color,  freshness factor, support you lend to local farmers?

We want to know! Share in comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

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