After reading “The Ominvore’s Dilemma,” I promised myself that I would start buying all my eggs from local farmers who allow their birds to roam free all day and lay eggs at will. According to the book, egg hens have worse lives than birds grown for meat – confined to a shoe-box cage, going so crazy that they will peck themselves and each other until they are featherless and scarred (which is why they aren’t used for meat).
So this brought me to the Piedmont Triad farmers’ market. I decided on one vendor because his eggs were beautifully speckled and HUGE. He was all out of chicken and instead had duck, quail and turkey eggs. They were $3.25 per dozen, which is actually similar to the grocery-store “organic” or “cage-free” egg prices. But at the grocery store, I still don’t know exactly how the animals are raised and fed.
I spoke to the local farmer, peppering him with questions about what the birds ate (no animal by-products) and where they roam. He convinced me that they roam around the yard, pecking at the ground as such animals are wont to do.
The farmer told me that turkey eggs taste the same as chicken eggs, but are bigger and take longer to cook. When I took them home to cook, however, I found that they tasted different. Richer, more substantial. Meatier.
I made a simple egg-over-medium with a slice of rosemary toast. The shells were thicker, harder to crack, and those yolks were so big, the eggs were difficult to flip. I noticed that the whites puffed up and became very thick as they cooked.
It was a delicious meal and I believe what they say about beyond-organic eggs – they have more nutrients than the industrial-ag eggs. I can’t wait to bake with them and see how they do!