By Sarah Fritschner
Kentucky author Wendell Berry writes about a time in rural Kentucky when part of the farm economy depended on animals close to the house — a milk cow and a flock of chickens. Families — women — would take extra cream, milk and eggs to town to sell for a little extra money, sorely needed cash flow between the tobacco harvest and the beef auction.
Those days gave way eventually to tiny battery cages with too many chickens, debeaking and the other horrors of factory farming, billed as a boon that allows Americans to have cheap eggs that taste pleasant and produce a moderately fluffy meringue. Easy enough to give up when we learned that they had too much cholesterol. Health regulations made it impossible for the homemaker to sell extra eggs.
Thankful for the local food movement are those consumers who now have easy access to farm-raised eggs. No longer do friends of friends have to sneak us cartons in anonymous brown paper bags. State regulators, with a little education, allow farmers to earn a little extra cash by selling eggs. Consumers must be ever vigilant, it seems, understanding what lawmakers are doing to hurt or help our access to delicious, safe and local food.
Continue reading Good Eggs and Edible Louisville March/April 2011 issue.