Monday Mouthful: Free-Range Egg Crackdown
Stories like these make me see green. A mom-and-pop B&B in Prince Edward Island decided to shut down business this week, in the face of a Health Department order to stop using the eggs from their 75 pastured laying hens. The government wants them to buy the eggs they serve at their B&B from the supermarket instead. Because those eggs are safer. And, this is all in the name of “prevention” – no one has ever been sick from the eggs at this B&B.
What a joke. Eggs from the grocery store are the real risk!! The government spokesperson who handled media questions on this issue explained that the problem is unsanitary conditions in unregulated facilities. There is joke #2. The government thinks it’s more likely that contaminated eggs will come from a family farm, where healthy hens roam on pasture, and the farmers consume and take responsibility for the product and the handling process themselves, than grocery store eggs from hens that have never seen the light of day, eat GMO feed, and get pumped up on medications and hormones to increase their egg production (but have little numbered stamps on the shells, assuring the consumer that the egg comes from an inspected facility). Too bad a stamp can’t create quality where there was none in the first place!
Get out of the kitchen, and leave small farmers alone, “Health” Department!! What a waste of tax money, and a slap in the face to real, homegrown food producers.
Do you know what the “riskiest” food is, according to outbreak data, as tracked by the United States FDA? Leafy greens. I personally avoid all non-organically grown greens for this reason, as well as the pesticide factor. I think it’s risky to trust mass producers of anything. So, while I completely agree that there should be government inspection of food production (heaven forbid industry self-regulation!), including mass-produced eggs that are sold in grocery stores, I think it’s ludicrous to target small family farms as risky and shut them down in the name of prevention.
There is a Monday Mouthful for you. That’s the name I’ve come up with for a new series of rants I will be posting on food-related topics.
Coming soon (you know, when life slows down just a tad): my neglected Urban Fermentation Project will be up and running again, and I will be unveiling a new project too. Stay tuned :)