>My Egg Dilemma – Part 2

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My post about my Egg Dilemma:  http://lilfamily13.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-egg-dilemma.html

Well, i kept my promise to research better egg options and so far it seems i have two choices that are "easily" accessible here in East Hampton.  Country Egg farms are sold in the grocery store i regularly stop in on my way home.  They seem to be the best out of any commerically sold eggs.  Not perfect, but their hens do seem to have it the best.  I recently wrote them an email with some further questions, i look forward to getting an answer.

Letter to Country Hen Farm:
Hello.

I'm a lifelong vegetarian who recently became aware of the disgraces of factory farming.  I am trying to make my dairy purchases more informed from now on.  I have a few questions about your farm and practices.

1.  The FAQ about debeaking says that some farms do it too close… but you do not.  Does that mean you do not debeak at all, or that you don't do it too close?  If you do debeak, how is it performed?

2.  Where do you obtain your hens?  From hatcheries or do you hatch them yourselves?  If from hatcheries, which ones?  If you do it yourself… what do you do with the male chicks?

3.  What happens to sick hens and/or hens at the end of her laying "career"?

Thank you in advance, I look forward to tasting your eggs.

dana alison
Dxxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

Research on Country Hen:
http://knowyourfoodboston.blogspot.com/2009/03/these-days-there-are-so-many-different.html

http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/egg_profiles/FarmID_43.html

http://mobile.forbes.com/device/article.php?CALL_URL=http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/1112/096.html?

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n228/ai_18523873/

http://magblog.audubon.org/are-your-organic-eggs-factory-farm

***

My other local choice seems to be Iacono Farms which is a local farm that sells eggs and chicken meat.  There doesn't seem to be much info on them online, so i sent them a similar email (see below).  My wife is also concerned about illness/bacteria from eating local eggs, so that is something i need to research too.  I look forward to hearing back from them as well, but so far, they seem the best option… but slightly inconvenient due to their shop hours and my work schedule.  Perhaps i can get over there myself this weekend and check it out.  I'd love to meet their hens!

East Hampton local eggs:  http://www.localharvest.org/iacono-farm-M32373

Sent to Iacono Farms:

Hello.

I'm a lifelong vegetarian who recently became aware of the disgraces of factory farming.  I am trying to make my dairy purchases more informed from now on.  I have a few questions about your farm and practices.

1.  Do you perfom debeaking?  If you do debeak, how is it performed?

2.  Where do you obtain your hens?  From hatcheries or do you hatch them yourselves?  If from hatcheries, which ones?  If you do it yourself… what do you do with the male chicks?

3.  What happens to sick hens and/or hens at the end of her laying "career"?

4.  Where are your hens kept and what kind of outside access do they have?

5.  What are your hens fed?

6.  Are your eggs pasturized/irradiated in any way to prevent illness? 

Thank you in advance, I look forward to tasting your eggs.

dana alison
Dxxxxxxxxxx@gmail.com

***

So the research is ongoing, i've decided not to eat any factory farmed products (which means virtual veganism, since most packaged foods contain factory farmed eggs and milk, more about my new selective veganism to come in a later entry), but i'm OK with buying eggs from sources that give the hens a quality of life i find acceptable.  So when my family needs eggs, i will purchase from one of these two sources until i figure out more info.

***

My last egg post led to my friend, Mary, recommending that i read "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer… so i did.  It's a beautifully written book with both researched (and source cited) information and memoirs/opinions.  While the author is a vegetarian, the book doesnt preach vegetarianism, but rather INFORMED choices, anti-cruelty, and anti-factory-farming.  There are socially, morally, and environmentally responsible ways of eating meat and dairy.  And until the government/laws can bring an end to excessive cruelty & suffering, we can make choices to reduce it.  I was shocked to discover the egg business is actually crueler and results in more death and suffering than the beef industry!  I was shocked to find out that the average meat-eater produces 6x as much pollution as the average vehicle-driver.  I wish every American would read this book and/or do their own research and then decide for themselves.

Lilian drinks soy milk anyway… and i don't mind it.  But my next issue will be to find cruelty-free, but safe and healthy milk that we can but locally.  (For my wife, and for cooking).  Again, so many products contain factory-farmed milk, so i'll be choosing to buy ones that don't.  (Pepperidge Farm wheat bread has milk in it… i found 2 brands so far at my grocery store that don't.  Thomas' English Muffins have dairy… but their bagels don't.  Easy choices…)

So, this is an ongoing thing i'll need to research, but i know i can find acceptable alternatives that wont give my hard-earned money to support torture, and won't cost me a fortune or be too inconvenient.

(If you have any helpful information… i'd love your feedback.  Please comment here, and not on Facebook so everyone, including non-Facebook friends can read and share.)

*posted from my Droid phone, please excuse any typos and other mistakes*

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Posted on March 16, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. >The majority of shell eggs you can buy in a store aren't pasteurized, just like local eggs. Pasteurized shell eggs are mostly used in recipes that call for uncooked eggs – meringue, hollandaise sauce, eggnog, etc. Also, kudos for doing research…not realizing where store eggs and milk come from is like not realizing that pet store dogs come from puppy mills! It's awesome that you're taking a personal stand against supporting animal abuse.

  2. >There's a hypothetical risk of contamination on eggshells, but for most eggs, the chickens don't live in close enough proximity to other kinds of animals that would tend to create such contamination… even on farms with lots of different kinds of animals, the chickens tend to be in their own area.I'm really lucky that I have friends who raise chickens and are happy to give me eggs at reasonable prices, but when I run low, the farmers market also has several purveyors with good eggs that aren't TOO overpriced. (I know fresh eggs should be more than a buck a dozen, but $4 starts to feel a bit much.)Do you have a farmers market near you? I bet there are eggs available, as well as produce.

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