Egg-cellence In The Field
While food trends come and go, announcing this berry or that herb as the new star ingredient to your every meal, there’s no denying the simple egg. There are countless ways to prepare or use eggs, whether they're dyed and hidden in grass, placed on a Seder plate, or part of a spring-inspired baking project with seasonal fruit on the horizon. But with so many different labels and terms on egg cartons these days, what does it take for an egg to make it to our discerning shelves?
There are plenty of producers that can legally slap the words “free range” or “cage free” on their egg cartons, but neither of those terms are guarantees that their hens are living the idyllic lives we hope they are, nor are they promises against some of the industry’s crueler practices. That’s why we’re proud to offer eggs from Oliver's Organic Eggs, Red Gate Grocer’s Scenic Vista Farm, as well as our newest egg-dition, Abundance Acres. All three are family-owned farms in upstate NY. On these farms, hens have access to spacious pastures, free to graze on provided vegetarian feed and field insects. Oliver’s, which hand-raises their hens from chicks, is certified organic, which extends to the grains they grow themselves that becomes feed for their chickens. On Scenic Vista Farm, chickens roam free all year long, and each egg supplied to Red Gate Grocer is certified American humane. Abundance Acres eggs, with unbelievably dark egg yolks thanks to their happy hens, is a particularly small operation—we are the only brick and mortar store to carry their eggs!
True free range farming like this, which gives chickens freedom to be chickens—instead of screened-in rooms that barely qualify as “outdoor access”—also produces healthier eggs. Pastured eggs have lower cholesterol and saturated fats than their conventional counterparts, as well as up to double essential vitamins like A and E, and up to seven times as much beta carotene. You could say pastured eggs really help us reach our beak potential!