I’ve become quite the egg lover over the past year. I typically consume anywhere between 1 dozen to 2 dozen a week. Yes, I have elevated cholesterol too which has been determined to be mostly hereditary (thanks Daddy) as well as from elevated cortisol (because I stress a little too much). Believe what you want, but studies have shown that the egg yolk doesn’t necessarily lead to high cholesterol, especially when the eggs are full of good stuff that the chickens are fed. Yummy bugs! Even when I met with a nutritionist years ago, she even suggested to consume 1-2 egg yolks a week.
I have went through an assortment of eggs, including the organic/cage free grocery store eggs too! I loved getting my eggs at the Farmer’s Market in Bel Air, but often they were sold out when I got there. A new guy was selling them last year and I enjoyed his eggs too, but I think I enjoy going to the farm to get my eggs so much more. Gosh, I really do love it. So, you want to know the results right????
The results are in: free range organic eggs are best!
The free range part is very important. When the chickens are able to roam around freely, able to eat bugs if they want to–because truly eggs cannot necessarily be vegetarians–well because they are birds, they are just happy go lucky and produce wonderful eggs! Perhaps Steve can confirm this with some more technical ideas, besides my love for these ladies. (I’ll have to dig up the quote from Pollan’s book about Joel Salatin’s birds.) Plus, all animal rights stuff aside, think about those chickens in awful battery cages. The stench that has to be dealt with and the measures that have to be taken in order to serve the mass population via factory farming. I’ll save you the horrific sight of them–just imagine putting yourself in a cage where you can’t spread your arms, turn around, and then they cut off your beak because you’re so stressed out and peck yourself and your neighbors that they often shove into the darn cage with you. Ok, rant over. Sigh.
I learned about Joel Salatin from Michael Pollan’s book, “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” He’s a pretty fantastic dude (at least he seems to be) and I really really want to go visit his farm one day. I like good, real food. For real. I’m attaching a link here from Pollan’s book: http://michaelpollan.com/articles-archive/no-bar-code/. This will sort of entice you to go and buy the book. Highly recommend.
Well, ever since reading this book, i’ve been on a search to find those eggs like Pollan describes regarding Salatin’s farm, Polyface. Believe it or not, I think i’ve found them. Enter Steve Rouse. Again. Wow. Go Steve and Vicky!
So, the first time I met Steve I was bragging about the eggs that I had found and questioning his chicken eggs. Of course, he was out so I could only say that I had found the best eggs already. Steve took me out to the coops where he explained how he uses local, non-GMO feed for those special ladies. Then I got to hang out inside the coop while he tried to put me a dozen together. He explained how every now and then there is an emerald egg. I had a pretty yucky day, and his farm was really a relief but when he showed me the emerald egg, I was a little emotionally overwhelmed. Seriously, I felt like I got a prize! (Yes, i’m a nerd, I know!)
I feel like Willy Wonka “I got the golden ticket!” Except this is an emerald egg!
Last night, I finally had time to put an omelet together and photograph the eggs. Joel Salatin talks about how his eggs are this orange yellow…. It is pretty beautiful compared to the grocery store’s muted, pale yellow. Yes, i’ve compared! So, here is what I ended up with:
This is the VERSUS! The Challenge. Poor Steve doesn’t know what he got himself into with a critic like me. Prigel (Prigel doesn’t actually do the eggs, it is a nearby neighbor farmer I believe, but I haven’t met their chickens or farmer) vs. Rousedale. As you can tell, I used the emerald egg. It was a little sad, but it had to be consumed. I didn’t sing the “Golden Ticket” song, but I sort of did it in my head. Can you imagine what my husband would have really thought of me??? HA!
Then, I pulled out one of my other eggs. Low and behold, it was a double whammy egg with two yolks. Never had that before. So, it seems as though I have 2 prized eggs here. Hmmm, tough competition. As you can tell, both of these eggs are organic and the products of very good farmers. (Just in case you’re wondering: I didn’t eat the shell–I just put it in the picture for labeling purposes.) I had only recently discovered the Priegel eggs when I began my weekly visits for milk and beef. I literally would call and ask them to put 2-3 dozen aside for me so that I could guarantee myself some eggs. (I’m a total lame-o, I know!) I didn’t have any nasty pale yellow store bought eggs to compare, but you can use your imagination with my excitement for these awesome ones!
So, the results are in STEVE has AMAZING eggs, and i’m super dooper proud of the Emerald egg I scored. Take the challenge. Find the best eggs you can muster up. Just don’t take the last dozen if you go to my farms because I might beat you up…… just sayin’.
Here is the divine yumminess that resulted….. (this is also asparagus from Rousedale Farm!)
Happy Egg Eating!