Friday, November 12, 2010


So, this may not be the most glamorous photo I've ever taken but this jar is filled with yummy goodness. Who knew 15# of pears could fit in a gallon jar?! I made these in my Excalibur dehydrator. I have only used it twice but have 20# of apples coming specifically for dehydrating and I can't wait! Have any of you dehydrated? What do you like to do and any tips?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Organic Eggs

Eggs are a controversial subject in healthy eating circles. Some people don't eat them because they are vegan and I do respect that. Others don't eat them because of cholesterol issues. In today's market there are more reasons to not eat them than cholesterol. The type of chicken farming that happens today has significantly decreased the quality and the taste of eggs.

If you have chickens in your back yard, you are extremely blessed. Home raised chickens produce eggs of higher nutrient quality and just looking at one broken open you can see the difference in color and texture. But wait until you taste it, yummy! Eggs happen to be one of my favorite foods in the entire world... I'd rather eat them than ice cream. But eggs don't like me so well and when I can, I adapt a lot of my recipes for vegan.

But today on Facebook I ran across a post that Nutiva had shared and thought it was interesting. Those of us who do buy eggs that we think are healthy... well, maybe they are not!

I hadn't heard of the Cornucopia Institute before but they have this video that talks about egg farming and quality as well as an egg score card that scores various national and regional egg farmers on their care of and provision for chickens. Many of the places where I have purchased "organic eggs" receive a 1 egg score (which is the lowest). Many producers in my home state (Washington) receive high scores, 4-5 eggs, but very few where I live in California. For locals, it appears that Clover Organic Eggs (Clover Stonetta) and Wilcox Organic Eggs (they are west coast) and Organic Valley (Wisconsin - so they are trucked a long way) are the best choices at 3 eggs which is still considered "very good" on the scale. The big surprise for me was the 1 egg score for Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and Safeway's brands! I have purchased all of these eggs in the past.

Lately I have been purchasing from our local farmer's market, but I believe they are still a large producing ranch and I want to look into it further. They are called Haney's Egg Ranch in Ceres, CA. The eggs definitely do not look and taste like farm eggs but they are better and less expensive than many in the stores. Well, doing a little research while I'm writing this up, it doesn't look good. I found a website called California Factory Farms whose purpose is to give information on farms in the state of California known for confining animals. Haney's is on their list. Sad... I think there is the perception that if someone is at a farmer's market they are "healthy".

Some of you might not care about how the chicken is treated. I do, but aside from that, when the animal is not treated well, it effects the quality and nutrition of the food.

I sure would like to have chickens in our backyard but it is required to have 10k square feet or more and we are just under 8K.