My farmers market purchased freshly laid eggs were a week old. I decided to see how they’d poach without using vinegar and minus the swirling vortex in my simmering water. I wondered if they would hold?
Instead of forming tight matte balls I got this beautiful, glossy result. The whites were more slippery and the yolk was thicker.
You just couldn’t do that with week old supermarket eggs. The protein in those eggs are so old and so degraded they don’t congeal properly, hence the need to use pods and poachers.
It worries me that many supermarket free range eggs are produced by chickens often raised in sheds, not in cages, but still tightly packed in, with no more room to move than a space the size of a doormat.
The packaging of supermarket eggs often show hens in pastures and imply something that is just not true in many cases. It is wrong to hoodwink the public who presume their eggs have been produced more ethically, yet some of these intensively farmed birds can be as traumatized as caged birds.
Chickens deprived of room to roam, lacking the ability to freely forage for bugs and grasses in pasture, does affect the quality of the eggs, which can be less palatable and have been known to produce allergic reactions in people, based on the content of the bird’s diet.
According to a recent survey by the Australian Egg Corporation, a third of Australian farms stock 20,000 birds per hectare, some even more, while in the EU, the stocking density is set at a maximum of 2,500 birds per hectare.
In 2001 the code of practice for free range in AU suggested 1500 hens pha but this is clearly being ignored, with one major supermarket chain stating their eggs came from farms that stocked 10k hens pha.
I buy FRFA standard that are less than 750 per hectare, actually free roaming in pasture to forage and resting in sheds overnight. A happy bird truly makes a much better egg. I have no issue to pay more than supermarket prices for this humanely raised and wondrous food.
Because of the stronger egg proteins I find they are not only a nicer texture and flavour, they are more filling. One egg is sufficient for a meal for me - as pictured. I find that I can use less in cooking too - especially where they are used to bind ingredients.
So they are actually very cost effective and there are savings when you buy a tray farmer direct. Remember farmers market eggs are fresher, they will keep very well in the fridge for at least a month, up to six weeks.
If you’re looking for FRFA certified eggs, visit an accredited farmer direct market. If you’re unsure about what you’re getting, chat to the farmer about how they raise their birds before purchasing. I would love to keep a couple of hens myself, but my small inner city yard would just not do them justice.
(Taken with Instagram)