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#31
Posted June 21st 2006, 2:57pm
It is my understanding, and I've been reading a bit about these things lately, that neither "free-range" nor "uncaged" have any clear, USDA mandated, definitions. That said, the National Organic Program (NOP) policy statement says that chickens must have an opportunity to exit the barn or other structure. They put a door in the house and let the chickens go "outside". There is no space or time outside requirement. This allows large commercial producers to market chickens as having access to something us consumers value. Note how the term "uncaged" doesn't imply access to fresh air. Uncaged poultry runs around inside a big hen house, but this is not necessarily a healthy place and they may still be dosed with antibiotics. They just aren't kept in little wire "battery cages" all day. "Free Range" usually means the birds get some time outside. Free range or uncaged are not terms that imply organic.

My cousin, avid organic farmer and owner of a CSA farm, raises pastured poultry. Her chickens live in large wire pens on pastures. They eat bugs, worms, plant bits, and what ever else chickens like. They obligingly poop on the field, fertilizing it, and the cage is moved around so they don't deplete any one spot of yummy bits. These eggs are wonderful and have a lot of flavor. Unfortunately for me, she lives in New York.

I buy chickens and occasionally eggs at Harrisons on Waukegan in Glenview. Now I'm inspired to taste test them against other eggs.

D.
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#32
Posted June 22nd 2006, 12:50pm
Two days ago, inspired by a recipe I'd seen on Real Simple followed by a similar rendition on Jacques Pepin's show, I went back to Fox & Obel and picked up another half carton of the Country Cottage Farm eggs to make fried eggs over pasta.

Pepin's version uses Gruyere cheese, but since I have a block of very nice Parmesan that I brought back from DiPaolo's Dairy in NYC, I decided to go the Italian route.

I boiled spaghetti in salted water. A few minutes into that, I heated some butter and olive oil in my cast iron skillet, cracked in two CC eggs, sprinkled with some salt, pepper, and chopped garlic and let it fry up (covered) while my pasta finished.

After draining the pasta, I put it back in the pot w/ some reserved water and added dried red chili pepper, salt, black pepper, a healthy grating of Parmesan, and fresh chopped parsley.

Transferred the pasta to a bowl and topped with an egg, breaking the yolk to mix with the noodles. Yuuuummmm.

I liked how frying the egg really let the flavor of the still-liquidy yolk come through, versus when I scrambled it last weekend.
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#33
Posted June 22nd 2006, 2:30pm
Janet C--

Boy, do I like that concept: pasta with fried egg, bit o' cheese and pasta. That'll be a definite effort as soon as I get back to KC.

Tnx!

Geo
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#34
Posted July 5th 2006, 3:21pm
I just have to brag about my latest fresh egg purchase. We followed the hay truck into the farmyard. The woman out scrubbing her porch said they only had a dozen eggs left, but if I waited a minute while the fifth grader got off the hay truck she could maybe fill a second dozen. I said I'd be happy to wait. I chatted with her about her upcoming month at various state and county fairs (her kids earn their college money with their farm animals), petted the dog, watched the chickens cross the driveway (no, I don't know why) and admired the sheep who came up to the fence to see if anything interesting was going on.

Sure enough, the kid came out of the truck and took off for the barn, returning a few minutes later with that evening's eggs--which he was carrying in his shirt!

Even the price was straight out of Norman Rockwell. $1 a dozen.

Now if only it weren't 400 miles from here. :(
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#35
Posted July 5th 2006, 4:09pm
Ann Fisher says:

Now if only it weren't 400 miles from here.


That's all? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.... : ^ )


Well done Ann, great story. But: how were the eggs??

Geo
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#36
Posted July 5th 2006, 4:14pm
Geo wrote: But: how were the eggs??



Excellent--and it occurs to me that maybe we do know why the chicken crosses the driveway. The chicken crosses the driveway to pick up all the grasshoppers and other bugs that are hanging out there so she can produce especially tasty eggs for us. Maybe we also now have the answer to a second, if less weighty, question, of why the supermarket eggs that advertise that they came from vegetarian hens are always so disappointing. More bugs=better eggs?
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#37
Posted July 5th 2006, 4:34pm
Ann asks:

More bugs=better eggs?


And I think I've finally and forever concluded: yup. In fact there would seem to be a clear and definite proportionality involved.

Vegetarian hens, hence, don't give tasty eggs. Case closed.

Geo
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#38
Posted July 18th 2006, 11:35pm
HI,

I went up to Zion this evening. Stopped into Captain Porky's who offers:

Fresh duch eggs: $5/dozen
Fresh chicken eggs: $2.50/dozen
Fresh quail eggs: $1.50/dozen

Dino has a 15 acre farm just over the border in Wisconsin as well as another in Illinois.

Closed early June, 2010:
Captain Porky's Inc
39210 N Sheridan Rd
Zion, IL
Phone: (847) 872-4460

Open June, 2010:
Captain Porky's - established 1984
US 41 & Wadsworth Road
38995 Route 41
Wadworth, IL
Phone: 847/360-7460
Fax: 847/360-7461
http://www.CaptainPorky.com

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#39
Posted January 9th 2009, 2:14am
Which farm has the best? I'm talking a deep orange yolk that's just bursting with flavor! I used to love and purchase Greengold Acres' farm fresh eggs at Green City a couple seasons ago, but they're no longer there...I've tried other farms, but just not as good. I think the best I've had recently have been from Harvest Moon Farm, but they're not really around right now. I've been buying from Green Grocer--not sure which farms from, but they're just ok--though still much better than store bought eggs... Anyone buying somewhere other than Green Grocer?
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#40
Posted January 9th 2009, 8:23am
I tend to buy eggs from Mint Creek Farm or Liberty Farm at the Green City Market. True Nature Foods (a health food store) carries eggs from Country Cottage Farm. (Yolk color varies among these three farms. Note that the egg color is determined by the food the chicken eats, not the eggs' freshness.)

Here are links to other threads on this topic:

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=8335

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=21516&p=224246

True Nature Foods
6034 N Broadway St
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 465-6400
www.truenaturefoods.com
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#41
Posted October 11th 2009, 2:01pm
About a year or so ago, somewhere between Sandwich and Sugar Grove, I drove past a gift shop off a country road that also sold fresh eggs (there were chickens all over the section of lawn that was the parking lot for the shop). I got two dozen eggs and they were terrific. I'll be heading out that way again in a couple of weeks and would love to stop in again. The only problem is that I don't remember the name of the shop or the address (which I guess is actually two problems). Does this ring a bell for anyone? Most of the merchandise was country-themed gifts, if that helps. Thanks.
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#42
Posted October 18th 2009, 4:57pm
Does anyone know of any farms that sell fresh eggs in the Huntley and surrounding area?
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SAVING ONE DOG MAY NOT CHANGE THE WORLD, BUT IT CHANGES THE WORLD FOR THAT ONE DOG.
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#43
Posted October 19th 2009, 4:50pm
Hi,

There is a farm on 173 (along the Illinois-Wisconsin border) between Richmond and Hebron (a few farms east of Von Bergen Market), which sells eggs. Their girls are still young producing medium eggs selling for around $1.50 a dozen. Once they produce large eggs, the price will be around $2.25 a dozen.

This couple are first time farmers who bought their farm last October. The husband's Grandfather was a farmer, but his Father did not desire to farm. They just had a baby to make life just a bit more merrier!

Somewhere east of there past Richmond, there is a little sign along the road advertising fresh eggs.

If you drive along country roads, you inevitably find opportunities to buy eggs.

Regards,
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Cathy2

"You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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#44
Posted January 24th 2012, 10:23pm
Does anyone know of a place that I can get VERY fresh eggs for pasta making? My usual guy can't get me fresh enough eggs.
Thanks,

Scott Donaldson
Chef
Ciao Napoli
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#45
Posted January 25th 2012, 1:02am
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#46
Posted January 25th 2012, 12:32pm
My eggs come from a farmer in Racine County. The chickens actually walk around the farm and the eggs are at best a day or two old. Price is $2/doz for large, sometimes there even double yoked eggs, something I haven't seen for a long long time. We use a lot of eggs and i purchase 5doz at a time.
If we can't connect for whatever reason I go to Woodman's.
Now here is the point, the only difference that i can discern is that the farmer eggs i purchase are a little milder in flavor. That's it.
I think the commercial egg producers do a fine job providing an excellent quality product at an excellent price, especially at Woodman's.
Now why purchase farm eggs? Because i want to keep the guy in business as he raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and whatever that i also buy from him and i like dealing with and keeping the local guy in business. I would do a blind test of a commercial egg you purchase and any of the farmer eggs you obtain. I think you will be surprised at the results.-Dick
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#47
Posted January 25th 2012, 12:52pm
budrichard wrote:My eggs come from a farmer in Racine County. The chickens actually walk around the farm and the eggs are at best a day or two old. Price is $2/doz for large, sometimes there even double yoked eggs, something I haven't seen for a long long time. We use a lot of eggs and i purchase 5doz at a time.
If we can't connect for whatever reason I go to Woodman's.
Now here is the point, the only difference that i can discern is that the farmer eggs i purchase are a little milder in flavor. That's it.
I think the commercial egg producers do a fine job providing an excellent quality product at an excellent price, especially at Woodman's.
Now why purchase farm eggs? Because i want to keep the guy in business as he raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and whatever that i also buy from him and i like dealing with and keeping the local guy in business. I would do a blind test of a commercial egg you purchase and any of the farmer eggs you obtain. I think you will be surprised at the results.-Dick


For the most part, as you've already observed, there's no discernible difference between eggs, absent the romance of "fresh from the farm." The helping a local farmer thing is great, assuming you know a local farmer, but not always practical.
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#48
Posted January 25th 2012, 12:54pm
budrichard wrote:My eggs come from a farmer in Racine County. The chickens actually walk around the farm and the eggs are at best a day or two old. Price is $2/doz for large, sometimes there even double yoked eggs, something I haven't seen for a long long time. We use a lot of eggs and i purchase 5doz at a time.
If we can't connect for whatever reason I go to Woodman's.
Now here is the point, the only difference that i can discern is that the farmer eggs i purchase are a little milder in flavor. That's it.
I think the commercial egg producers do a fine job providing an excellent quality product at an excellent price, especially at Woodman's.
Now why purchase farm eggs? Because i want to keep the guy in business as he raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and whatever that i also buy from him and i like dealing with and keeping the local guy in business. I would do a blind test of a commercial egg you purchase and any of the farmer eggs you obtain. I think you will be surprised at the results.-Dick

This could not be more opposite from my experience. Farm eggs, which I get as part of my weekly CSA from Genesis Growers, have so much more flavor than conventional eggs, they're like an entirely different food. Conventional eggs -- even the more "boutique" brands (and I've tried them all) -- have virtually no flavor at all. In fact, I've pretty much stopped eating them because they're not even worth it.

=R=
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"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

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#49
Posted January 25th 2012, 1:01pm
budrichard wrote:Now here is the point, the only difference that i can discern is that the farmer eggs i purchase are a little milder in flavor. That's it.
I think the commercial egg producers do a fine job providing an excellent quality product at an excellent price, especially at Woodman's.
Now why purchase farm eggs? Because i want to keep the guy in business as he raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and whatever that i also buy from him and i like dealing with and keeping the local guy in business. I would do a blind test of a commercial egg you purchase and any of the farmer eggs you obtain. I think you will be surprised at the results.-Dick


I'm with Ronnie here, I can taste the difference. My from the farm eggs have brighter, more orange yolks that stand up higher. There is a richer taste and best of all they're fresh enough that they last longer in my fridge
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For what we choose is what we are. He should not miss this second opportunity to re-create himself with food. Jim Crace "The Devil's Larder"
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#50
Posted January 25th 2012, 1:12pm
mbh wrote:
budrichard wrote:Now here is the point, the only difference that i can discern is that the farmer eggs i purchase are a little milder in flavor. That's it.
I think the commercial egg producers do a fine job providing an excellent quality product at an excellent price, especially at Woodman's.
Now why purchase farm eggs? Because i want to keep the guy in business as he raises chickens, turkeys, ducks and whatever that i also buy from him and i like dealing with and keeping the local guy in business. I would do a blind test of a commercial egg you purchase and any of the farmer eggs you obtain. I think you will be surprised at the results.-Dick


I'm with Ronnie here, I can taste the difference. My from the farm eggs have brighter, more orange yolks that stand up higher. There is a richer taste and best of all they're fresh enough that they last longer in my fridge


What she said.

And I've DONE the test, with a confirmed non-foodie person (my SO) and the farm eggs from C&D won hands down.
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"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
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#51
Posted January 25th 2012, 5:48pm
mbh wrote:
budrichard wrote:I'm with Ronnie here, I can taste the difference. My from the farm eggs have brighter, more orange yolks that stand up higher. There is a richer taste and best of all they're fresh enough that they last longer in my fridge


Hey, every follows their own voodoo, but as an FYI, yolk color has nothing to do with quality, freshness or farm conditions and everything to do with what the hens are fed.
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#52
Posted January 25th 2012, 6:26pm
spinynorman99 wrote:
mbh wrote:
budrichard wrote:I'm with Ronnie here, I can taste the difference. My from the farm eggs have brighter, more orange yolks that stand up higher. There is a richer taste and best of all they're fresh enough that they last longer in my fridge


Hey, every follows their own voodoo, but as an FYI, yolk color has nothing to do with quality, freshness or farm conditions and everything to do with what the hens are fed.

True...and what the hens eat has a lot of bearing on how they and their eggs taste. In fact, diet is probably the single biggest factor and the main difference between farm and conventional.

=R=
_______________________________________

"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#53
Posted January 25th 2012, 6:33pm
ronnie_suburban wrote:True...and what the hens eat has a lot of bearing on how they and their eggs taste. In fact, diet is probably the single biggest factor and the main difference between farm and conventional.

=R=


Diet is probably 100% of the difference, but the factors that alter yolk color aren't necessarily influencing flavor in a like manner, we just associate darker orange-yellow with a premium product. You can have a tasteless egg with a deep orange yolk as easily as one with a pale yellow yolk.
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#54
Posted January 25th 2012, 6:33pm
One reason *genuine* free-range hens' eggs taste better is because they eat bugs. Really.
:twisted:

Geo
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#55
Posted January 26th 2012, 1:39pm
What I was obliquely suggesting is that perception is reality.
The only way to discern if there is a difference is a 'blind' tasting and the only way most Clinical Testing is done is with 'double blind' testing.
We (it takes at least two individuals) 'blind' test when we want to find the best or determine if there is a difference that we can perceive.
Now I haven't blind tested eggs but I will do that testing to confirm my perception.
I don't know what the farmer feeds his chickens but I assume it's a commercial feed but I will ask. I certainly don't think he is reselling commercial eggs because I've been to the farm many times and known him and his father for over 30 years. When i picked up my two turkeys last Thanksgiving, the chickens were all over the place.
In winter there are not many 'bugs' around in the Midwest so that argument only works some of the year.
The main difference I perceive in a 'free range' chicken that he raises versus a commercial bird is that the 'free range' have very tough joints which seems naturally to follow from actually walking around.
His turkeys are excellent but I have no point of comparison because I haven't purchased a commercial bird for over a decade.
My belief is that a lot of the differences that one perceives are due to the attitude about how that item is produced and the only way to actually know is to 'blind' test.-Dick
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#56
Posted January 26th 2012, 2:09pm
budrichard wrote:In winter there are not many 'bugs' around in the Midwest so that argument only works some of the year.


I suppose they could source bugs from other parts of the country, but I don't know if feeding them farmed bugs kills the "free range" vibe. Who knew this was so complicated?
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#57
Posted January 26th 2012, 2:48pm
If they live in a/the barn in Winter, they'll find bugs. Nary a barn in the universe bereft o' bugs!

:wink:

Geo
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#58
Posted January 27th 2012, 7:24am
Egg laying chickens live in a 'Chicken coop' with nests for laying, not a barn. :D
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#59
Posted January 27th 2012, 4:54pm
Ahhh, the new Humane Society chicken house I heard about on NPR? If so, I betcha those nests got bugs! :twisted:

Geo
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#60
Posted January 31st 2012, 2:39pm
To the OP:

I have an "Egg and Bacon" guy that I met several years ago at the Evanston Farmer's market. He does free-range chicken and eggs, duck (eggs in the spring) and Berkshire pork. During the winter, he comes into Skokie (Herm's Place parking lot on Dempster) every two weeks on Saturday. There's a group of loyal customers - some of which are chefs - who meet him for our 'fix' of fresh eggs, chicken and pork.

I'm not sure if he can help you out - or how often he could come to town. He is Ed Gast, and his number is 269-208-0990. It is probably worth a call.

Cheers,
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