You’ve no doubt heard about the massive salmonella-related egg recall that’s based right here in good old Iowa.
Hundreds of people have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to eggs in four states and possibly more, health officials said Wednesday as a company dramatically expanded a recall to 380 million eggs.
This just underscores, to me, the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Does your food come from a grocery store? Or does it come from your friendly area farmer. Have you visited the farm where your eggs are raised? Is that farm even in your state? Do you have any idea where that farm is?
I don’t think there is a state in this country where it’s not easy to find a local source of eggs. You just have to know where to look. Farmer’s Markets are a great place to start. If you don’t see eggs, ask around. Or you could try posting on Facebook or checking CraigsList offerings.
Once you’ve found local eggs, take it a step further. Talk to the farmer about their chickens. How are they raised? How much space do they have? Can you come visit? Don’t necessarily expect to be able to get overly close to the birds. Some larger operations have to – and some smaller operations choose to – comply with regulations aimed at preventing the spread of disease among flocks. And don’t assume that you know everything there is to know about raising chickens, either. Balance your ideals with the knowledge your farmer can give you. (It’s common for people to think that chickens who are allowed to roam thither and yon without fences are better, but your farmer might be able to educate you about the predators in their area that make it safer for the birds to keep them a bit more confined behind predator-proof fences.)
See, once you know your farmer, you develop a relationship with that person. Just like any relationship, you start to figure out whether you can trust them – and then there’s that give-and-take, education, learning, discussion – it not only results in more food security for you, but it also results in you learning a bit along the way, too.