The Promised Farm > News > New News | Old News | No News (articles and opinion) > On Certs and Labels

Consider the source. Your mileage may vary. Objects may appear closer than they really are. Check your mirrors. Buckle-up.


some thoughts on certifications and labels

I'm sure by now, you've figured out that "Best Eggs on the Planet" contains just a bit of hyperbole. Maybe you're thinking to yourself: "You know... you should be doing something officialish to prove your claim. Can't go just saying things like that. Can you?"

One word: Yes.

Why is that? Because I'm tired of labels. I grew up in a time where there were no labels on weed backers, alerting users to the dangers of using said lawn tool for a personal grooming device. My friends and I played with thousands of five-gallon buckets without losing a single soul to drowning. Labels (if we had any back then) were as ignored back then as they are today. So what's the point?

Labels, I suppose, are for those people who worried about Those Other People ruining their lives with their own stupidity and irresponsibility. Why fight Darwin's theories? Forget the labels and let evolution work its magic.



proving that claim somehow, to certify that my labeling is correct, then I have four words for you: No Eggs For You!!

All shell eggs that are fresh from a farm that uses some form of management OTHER THAN confined, medicated, caged production hens, are going to be better in all ways, when compared to any eggs produced by factory producers. Does that mean store-bought eggs are bad, or unhealthy, or generally less nutritious than farm-fresh eggs? No... well... maybe... well... probably not.

While we're on this train of thought, let's look the other way down the tracks.

Are eggs from hens that are treated and housed differently or fed certain specialized diets, or given Swedish massages, or given only grain or only grass or only lightly seasoned tofu during a full moon and on holidays, any better than your average egg from a clean, decently managed farm? No... well maybe... probably not so much of a difference that it's more significant than, say, your tap water vs. bottled tap water.



So this is what I'm thinking on the label issue:

1st • We're not talking about USDA or nutritional or the other labels egg producers are required to place on their carton anywhere. I know that they treat the customer like idiots, but what are we going to do? The label on weed backers that warns against using it to cut one's hair means that at one point... well, you've probably read the Darwin Awards too.

2nd •



All our hens are hormone, medication [1] and antibiotic free, [2] pasture fed (when there's pasture) free ranged, [3] allowed to eat as many bugs as nature's bounty can supply, pampered with bread crumbs and occasional table scraps, and encouraged to clean up all the scratch grains they can handle from the floor of the barn. (Our horses are sloppy eaters.) To say that our eggs are "organic" would be true in about every sense, if one were using common sense and not just labels.

But common sense doesn't often apply when labels are required. So I don't mess with them. You want eggs that are better than any store bought egg you have ever had? Let me know.

You want them to be certified some-such-or-otherfied by the PETA Labeling Control Ministry or blessed by the Pastor of Organic Purity? Forget it. I'd have to triple my prices.

And while we're at it... what does "Vegetarian Eggs" mean? That the hen didn't eat meat? What about bugs? What about worms? Ever see a chicken catch a mouse? They're better than our stinkin' cats!!! I think that if one's vegetarian issues tend to run into speed bumps with eggs... best to just move along to another awesome source of protein. Ummmmmmm. Well, I hope you find a good one.




[1] We have not had to medicate our hens for any major diseases or conditions. (We give God the credit for this blessing.) This does not mean that we wouldn't intervene should something life threatening to the flock turn up. We'll cross that bridge if we come to it. I personally believe that it is neither responsible nor moral to allow an entire flock of livestock to die horrible deaths on the alter of Organic Purity when it is within our power to prevent it. That said... if a hen gets a cold, we let her work it out on her own. back

[2] We buy day old chicks and start them out on a commercial ration that includes antibiotics. This to me, makes sense as it helps them to acclimate to their new environment and decreases the mortality rate. Doesn't seem humane to me to impose a high mortality rate on the little peeps, if it can possibly be minimized or avoided. But after that, we don't use medicated feeds. We try to pay for as little feed as possible. back

[3] Now about the label "Free Range:" For The Promised Farm, this means our laying hens are cage free and not caged on pasture. If we raise any meat birds in the future, we will probably put them in a pasture pen. Is that cruel? You decide. Are they more likely to end up in the bellies of predators if they aren't contained? Yup. And Coyotes don't pay.





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