When I constantly mention using a specific food or ingredient on the blog, but never discuss the reasons why, I feel like I'm doing my readers a disservice. I've made several dramatic changes to my diet in the past several months and if you're a regular here, you'll likely have noticed. I no longer use fat-free or low-fat dairy products and non-fat cooking spray. I only buy organic, whole milk grass-fed dairy products, grass-fed beef, humanely raised pork and am working toward only purchasing humanely raised chicken. At some point, I want to write several posts dedicated to those dietary changes. Keep and eye out for them.
Today, though, I'm focusing on my switch to only buying 100% pastured eggs. For years I've skeptically questioned the labels on egg cartons and discovered that many of them were dubious. Having grown up next to my aunt, who raised chickens, I know the merits of farm fresh eggs and what chickens are supposed to live like.
How to Raise a Healthy, Happy Chicken
|These are happy chickens roosting in a barn at my sister's house.|
Despite what some of the egg labels insinuate, chickens are NOT vegetarians, but omnivores! They love to eat bugs (especially grubs) and happily dig in the dirt searching for them. They'll also use the dirt to give themselves dust bathes. Chickens love kitchen scraps, which is a great way to recycle vegetable peelings. Besides that, they need fresh water and grain daily. They're easy animals to look after. Give them these basic things and they'll produce healthy, delicious eggs and meat for you.
If you're interested in raising your own chickens (it's really easy as long as you have the space), check out Oh Lardy's Guide to Keeping Backyard Chickens.
|These are battery cage hens from a conventional, commercial egg farming operation. |
Image source: Wikimedia Commons
- Check your local craigslist or newspaper for people selling eggs
- Visit your local farmers market (there might be several of these) and buy eggs directly from a farmer. The prices are often more competitive here than grocery or health food stores.
- Join a co-op to get seasonal, local produce and fresh eggs
- Use eatwild.com to search for farmers near you
- Visit the nearest health food store and look for egg cartons that say "pastured" or "pasture raised", but only buy ones that have been verified by a third party such as Animal Welfare Approved or Certified Humane. (These are generally the most expensive options.)
- Raise your own chickens! This book and this book are great resources for beginners.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs
nothing extra for you. Thanks!