Everything You Need to Know About Local Eggs

The yolks are brighter, the flavor is richer–there’s nothing quite like farm fresh eggs. In our fast-paced, processed world, quality local eggs have a way of teleporting you to a simpler time. They make you feel a bit more connected to nature’s simple rhythym.

For years and years, I took my access to local, farm fresh eggs, for granted. We raised hens who hatched eggs and filled our fridge with beautiful eggs. Then, the coffee shop that I worked at in a quaint farming town had fresh eggs delivered regularly. I would have my boiled egg with pourover coffee each morning, and the world was right.

Fast forward to the present, and I had to figure out how to find farm fresh eggs while living in the city. Although I spent nearly five years eating a plant-based diet, I began eating eggs again to up my B-12 intake. Little did I realize that store-bought eggs were far less satisfying than farm fresh local eggs that I grew up on. Thankfully, I have a few students who homestead and have kindly brought me some eggs from their hens. However, I needed to find a bit more of a permanent solution to my local egg shortage.

six farm fresh eggs in cartion against white background

Benefits of Eating Local Eggs

There are many benefits to eating local eggs. Although all eggs are rich in nutrients, farm fresh eggs are raised in a clean and spacious environment and the quality difference is obvious.

Health Benefits

According to Mother Earth News, local eggs offer many health benefits, including lower cholesterol,and greater Vitamin E and Omega-3s than factory farm produced eggs. Here’s what they say: “Backyard eggs have approximately 25 percent more vitamin E, 75 percent more beta carotene, and as much as 20 times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as do factory farmed eggs. Oh — and for everyone who’s ever said eggs are riddled with cholesterol — backyard eggs contain only about half as much cholesterol as factory farmed eggs.”

Environmental Benefts

When hens are allowed to be free range, they can forage their own food and eat insects, which means that they’ll require less food. When eggs are purchased locally, this requires less transport, which means less burning of fossil fuels. When eggs aren’t washed, they also aren’t refrigerated. The more freedom the hens have, the less the environment suffers.

The Importance of Supporting Local Farmers

While the health and environmental benefits speak for themselves, considering the needs of local farmers is also super important. Farmers are constantly faced with pressure to sell out and make their practices less ethical and more profitable, so finding and targetting these farms is incredibly important. The more people who can support local farms, the more that sustainable farming and ethical care for animals will prevail. Each little purchase adds up and makes for a better world.

closeup of multi-color eggs in cartion

Where to Buy Local Fresh Eggs

Local Hens

Local Hens is a website that will connect you to a farm near you that has farm fresh eggs. You can also find local meat, produce, and other grocery items. Simply enter your zipcode, select the food items you’re interested in, and fill your cart. Much like community supported agriculture, which is a farm subscription box, Local Hens will you get connected to farmers in your community and some delicious fresh food.

Natural Markets

If you want to go pickup some local eggs in your neighborhood, scoping out the natural market scene is a great place to start. Many farmers markets offer farm fresh eggs. Plus, many health food stores work with local farms to bring local eggs to their shelves. In Denver, I love Leevers Locavore and their selection of local eggs. Explore the health food stores and farmers markets in your neck of the woods to find local eggs.

Social Media

If you’re like us, you love to follow cute, family-owned farms on Instagram. Social media is a great place to discover small farms and buy local eggs. Although farms won’t most likely sell eggs directly through social media, it’s a great way to discover some farms, make new friends, and buy local eggs.

Local Harvest

Local Harvest is another great site for getting connected to local farms in your area. You can discover local farms, CSAs, markets, and restaraunts in your community by entering your zipcode. Check out their site to start supporting some local eggs.

bowl of eggs in a variety of colors against a marble background

Answers To Your Questions on Local, Farm Fresh Eggs

Are farm fresh eggs safe?

Farm fresh eggs are completely safe. All eggs are susceptible to foodborne pathogens, but farm fresh eggs pose no increased risk.

Do farm fresh eggs need to be refrigerated?

Once washed, farm fresh eggs should be refrigerated, just as all other eggs.

Do farm fresh eggs need to be washed?

Avoid washing farm fresh eggs and they should last for two to three months in the refrigerator. Egg shells come with a natural coating, and washing them isn’t necessary.

Do farm fresh eggs float?

You can use the float test on both commercial eggs and local eggs. To do this test, simply place an egg in a cup of water. If the egg floats, it is no longer fresh.

Do farm fresh eggs taste different?

Although taste is subjective, most people believe that farm fresh eggs taste better than their commercial counterparts. Local egg yolks are typically thicker, brighter in color, and bursting in flavor, whereas commercial egg yolks can have a filmy gray-ish hue and a dull flavor.

Do free range eggs have more protein?

According to this test performed by Marketplace, organic free range eggs have one gram more protein than commercial eggs.

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