Egg terminology can be confusing. So can figuring out what the best eggs to use are. When you’re buying a few dozen at a time, and can go to the farm yourself to pick them up, it’s much easier to feel confident that they were raised in a way that you are happy to support. But when you look at egg labels in a supermarket, or try to buy large cases of eggs wholesale, it’s not as easy to figure out how your eggs were raised. That lack of transparency is not always an accident, and healthy-sounding claims are attached to eggs all the time, without necessarily meaning a lot.
We decided it was time to seek out an egg that lived up to the standards we would want for ourselves at home. We wanted to get you an egg that had an organic, non-gmo diet. We wanted to make sure that the chickens had access to the outdoors–real access, to move around and get plenty of sunshine and exercise, forage for worms and grubs on healthy land, and be treated humanely at every stage of life.
When the eggs are American Humane Certified, the designation “free-range” means a lot: hens are not only never in cages while indoors, but they must have a minimum amount of space while indoors. This gives them plenty of room to roam and plenty of time to do it. Further, the fields themselves must be rotated yearly, so that the ground has time to replenish itself. This means that the chickens are free to supplement their diet with worms, grubs, bugs and anything else they find. As you can imagine, a chicken with a richer diet lays a tastier egg. Deep gold yolks, thick shells and tight whites are the first thing you’ll notice when cracking into these eggs. The flavor difference is significant.
Our eggs are from hens raised on a hillside next to Owasco Lake in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Every single egg is collected, graded, and packed by Dwight Martin and his family.
“Dwight Martin and his family moved to Moravia, NY in 2004. Devout Mennonites, the Martin family is honored to work the land on behalf of their community. There are no short days on the farm, but many beautiful ones.”