Sunday, January 28, 2007

Now That's An Omelette

Since we're down to only two chickens, I've had to use storebought eggs a lot more this year. While I always use free-ranging organic eggs, after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma, I'm not under any impression that they are actually from real free-ranging chickens (as in running around outside, as opposed to simply not being in tightly confined cages). They used to seem just fine, and compared to the anemic, pale and flabby regular white eggs from abused and confined chickens, they're definitely a remarkable step up. But they're still nothing like eggs from our own chickens.

Today I had a few eggs from our own chickens to make this omelette with and wow, look at the color! I wish I'd taken a photo of one from the store eggs because it's so strikingly different. And you can hardly get the yolks from our chicken eggs to collapse, they're so firm you have to poke them repeatedly with a fork. Chickens fed on grass (like our little lawnmowers) have the highest levels of Omega-3s in their eggs, so I'm not surprised our eggs are so lovely. By comparison, the regular mass-produced, production agriculture chicken egg that most Americans buy has an Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio of 20:1. Professional dietitians recommend a ratio of 1:1 and definitely no higher than 4:1, Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids. Now that's scary: 20:1!!

These days, with so few chickens, I usually save the eggs from our own ladies for the kids to eat, and do my best to get local eggs (which are hard to find and much in demand) or the "free-range Omega-3" eggs from the store for us adults. Still, I'm really looking forward to the day when we have a big flock of layers again and plentiful beautiful yellow eggs for all of us.


L said...

We've been buying locally produced "Happy Eggs," and though they are superior in flavor to the generic eggs at the grocery, after reading The Omnivore's Dilemma I realize it's all about the story, the marketing. They're likely receiving no better care than the poor chooks crammed in the giant hen houses. Only raising my own would guarantee truly happy chickens and happy eggs.

Christy said...

I can't wait to have my own chickens and get to eat my own eggs. Alas, at this point in time I am mostly eating store eggs. They are organice, free-range according to the package. The only local place I found to get eggs is 40 miles away so we don't get there often.

Jenny said...

We're right there with you! Although with a dozen hens (well 11 right now because one went broody--or "clucky" as my Aussie friend likes to say) we have no shortage of eggs.


Angela said...

If you find a local source, or start selling yours, let me know! I'm so tired of "Happy" eggs that I know aren't.

We're in a duplex with lots of beautiful green space, but alas, I don't think Chickens would go over well. :)