Tag Archives: organics

Not All Eggs Are Created Equal

14 Jun

Like most people you may buy your eggs at the grocery store. Not all eggs are created equal and you do not always get what you

eggs think you are paying for.

Years ago we were like most consumers purchasing our eggs at the grocery store. We would just grab a dozen and place them in the grocery cart without giving any thought where they came from.

Then grocers started offering standard eggs, premium eggs, organic eggs, cage-free eggs, free range eggs and, occasionally, pasture raised eggs. Prices varied greatly between the various choices but did we really know the differences and were the prices justifiable?

For years we purchased cage-free eggs when we learned that regular eggs were being produced by hens in very small cages called battery cages. We weren’t necessarily looking at healthier eggs for us to consume but more concerned about the welfare of the hens that were laying the eggs. We also purchased organic cage-free eggs that we thought would be healthier for us.

Then we found out that the term cage-free was basically a good marketing ploy for people like us who were concerned about animal welfare. We were shocked when we learned that those cage-free hens never see the light of day and never go outside for sunshine or to scratch in the dirt, eat insects and other things happy chickens do. Yes, they are not confined to tiny cages but commercial egg production centers (aka hen houses) hold thousands of chickens at a time so the chickens have very little room to run around. This certainly is not ideal.

So we started buying free range eggs and felt better because we thought the hens got to range freely about the farm. We later learned that in large commercial egg farms they are still in the henhouse with thousands of other hens (like cage-free) but they are provided a small door to go outside to see the sunshine. This outside area in many cases is a small fenced patio and most chickens do not know that they can outside. Since there are so many free range chickens in the henhouse there is not enough room for many of them to go outside even if they wanted to. These outdoor areas are small fenced concrete patios in some cases so the chickens cannot naturally scratch in the dirt or eat insects which they love to do. We wrote an earlier blog post in June 2010 about the difference between free range and pasture raised eggs.

Since running the inn we have learned about pasture raised eggs and that is all we now purchase. Our eggs come for a farm up the road and the chickens have a house to go into at night or during bad weather for protection. During the day the are roaming outside around the farm scratching in the dirt and small gravel and enjoying the bugs and grasshoppers they like to eat adding to their healthy diet. These chickens are not confined in a henhouse with thousands of other chickens (like factory farms) so they tend to be healthier and do not require all the antibiotics of factory farmed hens. We visit the farm and can attest that our eggs come from happy chickens.

If you can purchase eggs from a pasture raised source, go for it!  You will get fresher eggs (ours are usually gathered the day we buy them), healthier for you eggs (check out those bright orange nutrient filled yolks) and know that you are getting them from happy hens.

Locally Grown Organic Food in Atlanta

5 Apr

Many of our guests who stay with us live in the Atlanta metro area. Many care about purchasing wholesome farm fresh food that does not travel from faraway places to the store, minimizing their carbon footprint. We recently learned about Moore Farms and Friends through Georgia Organics. They are a marketing association of small Sustainable, Certified Naturally Grown and USDA Certified Organic food producers. They never use any toxic chemicals to grow their food and use earth-friendly methods which we like. You can order what you want online and pick up at many Atlanta area locations. Check out their video or visit their web site.

Georgia Organics

8 May


Georgia Organics is an association that is trying to support and encourage more production and utilization of organic food grown in Georgia. The State is not known for it’s organic practices compared to other regions of the country.

At Cedar House Inn we purchase organic free range eggs and organic milk for preparing breakfast dishes for our guests. In our area we also have an organic farm, Revival Gardens, who sells locally grown organic vegetables.

In a recent Georgia Organics ezine they asked reader’s the following question which I found interesting: What’s the single biggest obstacle to growing more sustainable farmers in the state of Georgia?

The Answers were interesting but not totally surprising and are noted below.

Low prioritization of university system – 20.8%
Lack of political will – 25.0%
Powerful special interests – 54.2%
Lack of training amongst cooperative extension service – 4.2%

I was dissappointed in the university system percentage being so high since as an ex college professor I expected,encouraged and experienced innovation.

Lack of political will in Georgia is not only a problem in Georgia among our lawmakers in organics but anything progressive or innovative. Lack of political will to take on nasty big coal for electrical generation is another Georgia political problem.

Powerful special interests is a real key problem in Georgia and around the country. Even Michelle Obama is taking heat for planting the White House garden with organics.

For more information on the Georgia Organic’s Association visit Georgia Organics.

New GMO Label

6 Mar

I just read in Green America that an estimated 70% of processed foods in the USA contain genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) as ingredients with the exception of certified organics. Until now consumers had no idea of what was in the processed food.

My wife and I decided several years ago to limit our consumption of processed foods. We tend to shop the perimeter of the grocery store which eliminates the interior aisles which are filled with the processed foods. We also tend to eat a lacto ovo vegetarian diet for health and environmental reasons.

At the Inn we also try not to serve processed foods to our guests. We also use organic milk and eggs.

While GMO foods have not been proven to be harmful we choose to take the necessary precautions and avoid GMO foods.

If you are interested in this topic visit Non-GMO Project’s Verification Program.

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