While the recall of a half billion eggs seems to be impacting the Midwest and South direclty, we all should be thinking about the reason that food is making people sick. A recent article in the Huffington Post traces the root cause of the problem to the industrial food system and the nature of factory farms. I agree – and here is why. And here is a graph depicting the relative number of salmonella cases in different hen raising systems. Big factory farms use battery cages.
It is difficult to know how to respond however, when almost all of the eggs we see in our supermarkets are from big factory farms using battery cages. But….. WE DO HAVE CHOICES!
Today’s press reported several stories about how the egg recall was stimulating interest in local eggs (mostly free-range). But you need to make sure your “local” eggs are really grown locally – not just repacked with a local label. To find a local egg producer in Western Massachusetts check the CISA website. Lots of local hens! Or even better…..
Raise your own hens!
Backyard hens……. one of the reasons we don’t see more hens in the towns and cities of Western Massachusetts is the local zoning ordinances. But that is changing! For more on zoning laws in one town and on raising hens in general, click here.
And finally, click here to join a listserve of “backyard chicken folks” – there are lots of us in Western Massachusetts! Join us!