Photo by Dana Mcmahan
Good farm eggs
Buying local. Knowing where your food comes from. There's nothing trendier these days. Sometimes it's easy to forget in all the hubbub and tasting menus and Instagrammed photos why exactly it's so important. I got a reminder recently when I learned that the farm I buy my eggs from suffered a devastating loss; the owners' house burned down.
I was at a loss as to how to respond. What can you say when someone loses their home? I felt terrible, and wondered what I could possibly say when I went to the market that Saturday to buy my eggs. I complain about things like my wireless internet connection and water pressure in my house, while I take far too much for granted.
When I approached the stand at the market to buy my eggs, the woman's smile blew me away. She laughed about the travails of living in a camper trailer on the farm while they wait for the insurance to get straightened out and build a new home. The process will take months. Insurance would pay for a hotel, she told me, but they have to remain on the farm to tend to their chickens. You know, so people like me who have things way too easy can have their local eggs.
Suddenly buying my local eggs seemed a lot more important. And though it's a tiny, tiny thing for me to buy my dozen eggs every week, I thought of all the times it was too inconvenient to go to the market on Saturday morning and I instead bought “cage free,” “organic” eggs from the grocery store. I supported some random faraway business that may or may not actually be taking good care of their animals instead of a local family I know, a family willing to take camp showers in sub-freezing temperatures so they can continue to bring eggs to the market. I couldn't have felt like a bigger horse's ass.
I know the $4.50 I spend once a week doesn't really make that much of a difference, but besides getting the best-tasting eggs I've ever had, I can at least feel in some small way like I'm thanking the farmers who give so much. So I'll keep buying local, and I'll take more care not to take the privilege for granted.