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!
2 thoughts on “How do we respond to the egg recall?”
If you think that small flocks can’t have salmonella, your very mistaken…salmonella can be passed to any flock or any feed mill from wild birds, so home flocks can have it and never know it just like big flocks. In fact, if this outbreak turns out to be from eggs, (remember the tomato scare that turned out to be from peppers) and i am not sure,since one of the first women to file a law suit claims to have gotten it from a cobb salad, which uses boiled eggs – pretty difficult to have salmonella in a hard boiled egg if handled with clean hands –
but if it does turn out to an egg issue, it apparently came from the wild birds in the feed mill…and i presume you buy your feed, or corn or CaCO2…?
I also just posted about it– and I really think the key is decentralization. It’s not currently feasible, or even realistic to expand testing or regulation. Local accountability is definitely the way to go. (I will admit that I buy Organic Valley eggs more often than metro Boston eggs though– metro Boston eggs are wicked expensive and surprisingly difficult to get unless you stalk your farmer.)