Friday, August 22, 2014

Eggs from Real Chickens

I like to get my eggs from real chickens. I tell my kids that the eggs in the grocery store come from fake chickens. Like robot chickens or something.

The Chicken Machine
When I was a kid, there was this thing in the grocery store that was full of plastic eggs and had a plastic chicken inside, sitting on top of the eggs. If you put in a quarter, the chicken would move a little and one of the eggs would fall out. Inside was some silly toy prize. That's pretty much what I think of when I think about eggs and the grocery store.

But seriously, I think eggs from chickens that I know taste better than eggs from chickens that I do not know. I am fortunate (well, sometimes I think so) to live in a rural area where I can get to know the chickens that give me eggs. Sometimes I can even feed the chickens that feed me.

Why do these eggs taste better? I don't know. Maybe it's because they are fresher. Maybe it's because of the chicken's diet. These "free range" chickens tend to eat whatever bugs they can peck up out of the yard. Maybe it's the breed of chicken, or the color of the egg shells. The eggs I buy locally are generally brown. I've also noticed that the eggs from local chickens are harder to crack. Tougher shells I guess.

I feed them, they feed me
Once I determined that real eggs from real chickens were better than factory-made eggs, I started to wonder about other agricultural products.

While it is generally accepted that we have access to better nutrition today than we did 100 years ago, that may be true only in the variety of foods to which we have access. There is quite a bit of evidence that individual foods are becoming less nutritious over time. This is most likely due to modern crops being genetically modified for better yields. Bigger crops, but still the same amount of nutrients to go around.

Have a look at these articles, though, and see what you think.

Industrially Farmed Foods Have Lower Nutritional Content

Dirt Poor: Have Fruits and Vegetables Become Less Nutritious?

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

Amphibian.com comic for August 22, 2014