Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Hundreds believed sickened by tainted eggs."

Our chickens have become productive!

As I sat at my computer earlier today, the CNN headline about a recent food illness issue involving eggs caught my attention.  I thought, "I sure am glad I get my eggs from the back yard."  The beauty of raising your own food is that you know pretty much everything about it.  This knowledge includes:
  • how it's raised (what it's fed, what's sprayed on it, when it's picked, etc., etc., etc.)
  • if it's treated appropriately (in the case of eggs, how soon they are refrigerated)
  • how ethically the workers are treated
  • if employees or the farmer are paid a fair wage for their work
I believe there are many checks in our current food system to keep food as safe as possible.  Still, to me, there's nothing like knowing for yourself the safety of the food you eat, especially with high risk foods.  Unfortunately, it seems many foods are becoming high risk, from spinach to peanut butter, in which outbreaks of food borne illness have occurred.

After returning home from Oregon a couple weeks ago, I found a nest full of eggs in the hen house.  Most of them ended up in the compost pile, not knowing which were fresh and which were not I wasn't about to save them.  I am my own check and balance when it comes to the safety of my eggs, and that feels really great in light of today's egg outbreak news.

As I've said before, chickens are really easy animals to care for - check out my post about raising chickens if you're considering getting a few hens.  You can get chicks from local farm stores or order online from a site such as Murray McMurray.  If you prefer to start with hens, craigslist is a great place to search, but remember, no roosters within city limits!

Chicken Update:  Our chicken's don't set foot in the hen house at night any longer - post opossum attack.  Nope, it's on the window sill as close to Chris and I as they can get...after all, in absence of real ones, we're considered the "roosters."  I'm hoping the winter weather causes them to return to the house on their own, only time will tell.

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