The egg story. Our local corner store and purveyor of “organic free range” eggs had a visit from a representative of the Egg Marketing Board and was informed that they are no longer allowed to sell their organic eggs (i.e. non caged from a local supplier) unless they are approved by the Board. Evidently they also confiscated their entire stock of organic eggs from the shelves (December, 2010).
Organic Cage Free Eggs - First Choice
We have since found another local supplier of organic “non caged” eggs! The farm did mention that they often sell out of their organically certified eggs because of their limited quota. This is what they told us about their eggs :
- The laying hens are fed organic food, no hormones or antibiotics. (Hormones in poultry feed is evidently illegal in Canada)
- Our newly purchased organic (non caged) eggs were not washed but sanded which is also called “dry cleaning” by using a loofah or sandpaper to clean the eggs! Washing eggs (in water) evidently removes the protective “bloom” potentially allowing bacteria to enter the egg. Unwashed eggs stay fresher ~ longer. Amazing what you find out when you go to “The Source”.
- We confirmed that the laying hens were not caged but were kept inside a large barn with lots of light (for reasons of disease or organic certification?).
- Yes, they do cost more but they do have a quota from the Egg Marketing Board. Only $1 a dozen more than the chain food store.
In closing, you may ask why are eggs washed? And the answer is - they don't need to be - but that's the way customers prefer them.
Links & References
- Egg Marketing Board BC – A quick perusal of legal Board jargon leads me to understand that a “commercial” hatchery has to be approved by the “Board”, etc and in turn they are protecting the “public” safety by regulating the product and care of the hens and our original supplier was obviously violating Egg Board rules. Probably an oversimplification but . . . you might need to be a lawyer!
- The following documentation was found on the Canadian Government Food Inspection Agency site regarding the regulations controlling hormones allowed (if any) in poultry feed for either meat or egg production. It is called Health of Animals Regulations - Food for Ruminants, Livestock and Poultry Good luck!
- And here is more egg information than you could ever dream of!