The Incredible, Edible (Liberated) Egg

A box without hinges, key, or lid,Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

I've mentioned a search for humanely raised eggs more than once now, and I'm so excited that I've finally found some! So what's my deal with eggs, you ask? Well, until about six months ago I didn't eat them. Then someone introduced me to eggs with garlic--which really is a completely different and tasty beastie--and now I can't get enough.

But, one thing about living in Lawrence is that sometimes you are alerted to stuff that it might be easier not to know. Like that most commercial chickens are kept in tiny cages with floors that cut their feet. Like that chickens get part of their beaks burnt off so that they can't peck each other to death in those cages. Like that chickens are stuck in those cages, never getting fresh air or room even to stretch their wings. Kind of makes those yummy eggs not sound so good, eh?

So began my search for liberated chickens.

But finding truly liberated chickens isn't easy. The label "free range" covers an entire spectrum of practices from what I would truly think of as free range ("liberated" in my-speak), to chickens that are kept in cages for all but a very short time each day. What's more, some companies that offer free-range eggs also still have non-free range eggs, so even if I buy free range from them I'm still giving business to people who are cruel to chickens.

So I wrote to the Grocery Manager at the Merc (which I figured from their general philosophies was my best bet to start with) and got a very nice reply. She gave me a list of brands that met my "liberated chicken" requirement, some of which were even local, which is always good. Turns out that one of her favorites (Coyote Creek Farms) was the brand we already buy, so that's easy-peasy.

The next question most people ask is usually "Ok, but how much more are you spending on these eggs?" It is more--raising liberated chickens takes more space, higher quality feed, and more time than raising chickens inhumanely--I would wonder what was wrong if they weren't more expensive. But they aren't unreasonably so. Using the price of what we used to pay for eggs vs. the Coyote Creek eggs that we buy now, it's only costing us sixteen cents more per egg.

Totally worth it for a guilt-free scramble.