Everything you need to know about farm fresh eggs: how to wash them, how to store them, and WHY you should be buying them from a local farmer if you don’t raise chickens yourself.
There’s nothing quite like being able to eat fresh and natural foods. There is no question that fresh foods are much tastier than store bought, and they are healthier too! However, many people believe that all eggs are the same, regardless of where they come from.
Many store-bought eggs come from factory farms that confine chickens into cages. This causes great damage to the chickens, as well as the surrounding environments and communities. The chickens that are raised in factory farms are fed foods that are not the best quality, which then affects the quality of the eggs. That is why I personally love to buy farm fresh eggs! That way, I know that I’m getting good quality eggs for my meals.
Farm Fresh Eggs vs. Store-Bought
Possibly the first difference you’ll notice with farm fresh eggs is that they come in various different colors, which is not common with store-bought. The size of farm fresh eggs can vary depending on the type of chicken. You can find eggs much smaller than store-bought eggs as well as much bigger!
The next difference that you’ll notice is the color of the egg white and yolk. The egg white of a farm fresh egg tends to be more clear, and the yolk is a golden yellow color that is a bit darker than store-bought eggs.
As for taste, farm fresh eggs taste much better than store-bought, and they also have a better texture. Store-bought eggs have to travel far, and for who knows how many days, just to reach the grocery store. With farm fresh eggs, you can get eggs that were laid the very same day! And that makes all the difference.
Pros and Cons of Farm Fresh Eggs
Let’s start with the pros. Farm fresh eggs come from chickens that are raised on grass and pretty much do what chickens do: forage, scratch and spread their manure. These chickens are never restricted to cages or poorly treated the way factory chickens are treated. In all honesty, they are considered to be the Mercedes of all types of eggs.
One of the greatest things about farm fresh eggs is that you can directly support the local farmers in your area! Of course, I recommend that you do a bit of research to find information about the farmer before buying from them because not all farmers treat their animals in natural and healthy ways.
Small farms are able to feed their chickens with higher quality foods that are much more beneficial to the chickens and the eggs they produce. Farm fresh eggs are more nutritious than store-bought, and the taste can’t be beat!
Since farm fresh eggs come from individual farmers, they tend to be a bit more expensive than store-bought eggs. It may also be hard to find farm fresh eggs depending on where you live. It isn’t common to find farm fresh eggs if you live in a big city.
The eggshells tend to be thicker than store-bought eggs, which may be an inconvenience when peeling hardboiled eggs. Older eggs have thinner shells and are therefore easier to peel once hardboiled.
In all honesty, these aren’t strong cons for me. I believe that you get what you pay for, and I prefer paying a little bit extra for good quality eggs that are better for my health. I also save my oldest eggs to use for hard boiled eggs, and use fresher eggs when making other types of eggs.
How to Wash and Store Farm Fresh Eggs
Once you get your hands on some farm fresh eggs, it is important to know how to wash and store them. To be honest, farm fresh eggs don’t need to be washed! This is because they have a protective layer around the outer shell known as the egg bloom. It prevents bacteria from infecting the inside of the eggs. However, if you still decide to wash your eggs, you can wash them right before using them, or you can wash them and store them in the refrigerator.
You can wipe the eggs with a dry and slightly abrasive sponge to remove the dirt and droppings. For a more thorough cleaning, rinse your farm fresh eggs under warm water. Since eggshells are porous, do not use soap, bleach or detergent because they will be absorbed through the eggshells and into the eggs.
Next, dry the eggs with a paper towel and place them in a closed container or egg carton and into the fridge. Drying the eggs will prevent bacteria from growing on the shell.
If you choose to not wash your farm fresh eggs, they can last about two months outside of the refrigerator! Unwashed eggs should be kept at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. You can also place unwashed eggs into the refrigerator, and they will actually last twice as long as washed eggs. Always remember to wash farm fresh eggs before using them to cook a meal!
Nutritional Benefits of Fresh Eggs
Studies show that farm fresh eggs are much more nutritious than the eggs that you find at the store. They contain less cholesterol and saturated fat and higher in essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E and beta carotene. The only food that contains vitamin D are eggs, a vitamin that most Americans tend to be deficient in. These nutritional benefits, along with the freshness, make farm fresh eggs a much better and healthier option.
Farm fresh eggs are just too good to skip. The health and nutritious benefits, the freshness, the rich taste: you won’t regret buying farm fresh eggs!
Keeping Your Own Chickens
If you’re feeling adventurous, consider raising your own chickens after checking out your local laws and any HOA guidelines. Many areas are now allowing people to keep several hens for eggs as they’re easy to care for and can provide food for the family.
I have quite a few blog posts about chicken keeping including the following:
- What can Chickens Eat?
- How to Put a Chicken Moat around a Garden
- DIY Hanging Chicken Waterer
- DIY Chicken Roost Using a Branch
- DIY Chicken Coop Ideas
While large coops are awesome and can house quite a few birds, most home owners who only want to raise enough eggs for their family could work with 3 hens. With a small flock, I love these easy to move Omlet Chicken Runs.They’re too small for our flock of 12, but we have a similar run for our rabbit and it’s SO easy to clean. It’s also perfect for a small yard because the wheels allow you to move the coop around daily, giving your flock clean grass to eat and they’ll even eat BUGS in your yard! Bugs like ticks! As you move the chickens, they effectively mow and fertilize your grass.
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