Tag Archives: purchasing

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.

Less Garbage Is Green

21 May


Early this week my wife and I loaded up our VW Camper Van with bagged garbage to take it to the Lumpkin County landfill/transfer station. Since our middle son moved to Gainesville we have not been able to borrow his pickup truck for trash hauling so the van had to do.

We placed tarps inside the van to catch any spills from leaky trash bags, loaded the van and went on our way to the dump. My wife commented that there we no odors caused by the garbage. We check our guest trash for food at check outs and also take all of our unused food and use it for composting. That explained the lack of odor.

We were also surprised that we had not made the dump trip in over 3 months and marvelled at the small amount of trash we accumulated in the last 3 months. The trash were were taking to the dump were items we could not recycle or compost.

When my wife goes grocery shopping she tries to purchase items in recyclable packaging. By recycling the packaging versus disposing we keep it out of the landfill which helps the environment.

Here in the county we can recycle some plastics (mainly the water bottles guests leave us), cans and paper. We also use shredded paper/junk mail in our composter. Glass has to be taken to another county for recycling. Many wine bottles are bottle trees in the yard. See bottle trees for more information.

Being mindful about what you purchase and the packaging it comes in is very green. So is composting food to keep it out of the landfill. Start today and help the environment. Please do your part and everyone will benefit.

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.

Yurt T Shirts and More

2 Mar


I just linked to a web site that offers yurt T shirts, sweat shirts, tank tops, hats, mugs and more. Check out Yurtopiafor more information. We also have them linked to our eco store page of the inn’s web site. Our regular yurt guests will have to add these great items to their yurting wardrobe. Get yours today.

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