You've probably heard the saying,
"Don't count your chickens before they hatch."
Well, I have a new one for you.
"Don't lay your eggs in a tree."
Bad things can most definitely happen.
I looked out of the schoolroom window this morning and saw a chicken in our oak tree (see above photo). This sight alone sort of shocked me.
But, as I took a closer look, I noticed she was sitting on eggs and was clearly troubled because some had just fallen out of the tree and on to the ground
And I'd like to draw your attention to those yolks. Yes, those beautifully vibrant orange yolks.
I did not alter the coloring in any way in this photo. They are naturally that orange.
When you raise chickens on pasture, their yolks take on an orangish color. This is how you know if they've in fact been raised on grass.
I use to think that egg yolks were yellow. But, in fact, they are orange- or at least should be.
Here are some facts about the eggs that hens lay that are raised on pasture (from Mother Earth News):
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 TIMES more Omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 TIMES more Vitamin E
- 7 TIMES more beta carotene
Did you know that the government owns the term "free-range" now?
They bought this term so that farmers now have to pay big bucks in order to label their eggs using this terminology.
That is why we have to say that our eggs are "pastured".
Not to be confused with "pasteurized".
You'd be AMAZED at how many people call our farm asking to buy,"Some of them there PASTEURIZED eggs." I digress. Geez.
Still trying to figure that one out. Not sure how one could pasteurize and egg if they so desired. I suppose then, that would be a hard boiled egg that would need a good shellin'.
Okay, sorry, back on task here.
But, what is even more troubling is the way that the government has defined what "free-range" even means.
From Mother Earth News in "Meet Real Free-Range Eggs":
""A statement on the American Egg Board’s Web site says “True free-range eggs are those produced by hens raised outdoors or that have daily access to the outdoors.”
Baloney. They’re trying to duck the issue by incorrectly defining “true free-range.” And the USDA isn’t helping consumers learn the truth, either: “Allowed access to the outside” is how the USDA defines “free-range.” This inadequate definition means that producers can, and do, label their eggs as “free-range” even if all they do is leave little doors open on their giant sheds, regardless of whether the birds ever learn to go outside, and regardless of whether there is good pasture or just bare dirt or concrete outside those doors!"
We say this all of the time around the farm, but farmers can't imitate a chicken raised on pasture.
They can try and stick whatever "free-range" label you want on the carton, but the proof is in the yolk.