I try to buy as much organic dairy as possible because I am worried about hormones in my food, but it gets very expensive. One item I always buy organic however, is EGGS. I want my eggs hormone free, without antibiotics, free range and local when possible. I pay about $4 in my local grocery store for organic eggs, but they can be up to $7 a dozen in health food stores, especially if they're local. $7 a dozen, you say...isn't that insane?? It's pricey, but when you think about where they came from, they are actually quite fairly priced. High cost is a result of farm workers being paid fair wages, organic chicken feed being much more expensive than standard, the fees farmers pay annually to maintain their organically certified status, more land for fewer chickens to roam around on it, etc. More info on that here.
On my recent farm visit to Garden of Eve on Long Island, one of my tasks was to wash eggs. Once the eggs were taken out of the chicken coop, they were put in big buckets of water to be washed and sorted. All the dented and cracked ones were set aside and given away. The oversized ones were separated and priced higher, and broken ones were fed to the pigs.
You can buy Eve's eggs at Urban Rustic in Willamsburg for $6.75/doz or at her farmstand for $5. I buy eggs at the farmers market all the time, and it makes me feel good to be able to have a much clearer picture of what those eggs went through before they made it to my fridge. See for yourself....
All the cracked eggs that were given away to farm employees and volunteers:
The egg washing tent:
Farmer Eve showed us how to clean all the schmutz, poop and feathers off the eggs before sorting them into cartons:
Sorting the eggs: