Monday, August 22, 2011

The Smoking Egg?

The smoking gun...Where there's smoke there's fire...THE SMOKING EGG??? You tell me:

Credit: Abbey Cat Chat Blog, May 2010, comparing Healthy Family Farms 'grass-fed' egg with store bought cage free, grain fed egg)

My opinion: This photo is very telling. This is photographic evidence of HFF egg quality before Aajanus' website came out and the first Rawesome raid went down. This was taken before Rawesome customers knew that at least one point they were sold outsourced eggs repackaged as HFF eggs. The yolk of the store bought egg, on the left, was darker orange in color, which in Weston A. Price Foundation circles is the gold standard of egg yolk nutrient density or content. The HFF egg, on right, was bright yellow. Although, it's yolk sac and white were more intact and clear which leads me to believe it was a fresher egg than the store bought version. In reality, it could have been a farm fresh egg (from which farm remains to be seen) but the hen was not getting the adequate nutrition required for a hen to produce an egg with a deep orange yolk.  

‎"Pale yolks indicate that hens are not getting sufficient green feed. Probably clover, vetch, rape, grass and other green feeds will all produce yellow yolks." 
--Profitable Poultry Production by M. G. Kains, 1910

Which leads me to another question: let's just say this was a Healthy Family Farms produced egg. How can they call it "grass-fed"? Is this not misleading to their consumers who probably relate "grass-fed" with truly pastured a la the Joel Salatin method? So many questions...this egg issue is frustrating indeed for a confused consumer. If you want to learn more, read all about it from Mother Jones. And hopefully soon I will come up with a consumer guide on what to ask for and look for when determining the quality of eggs you purchase from your farmer or farmers market.

Nothing compares to the deep, dare I say almost radioactive looking orange yolk of a truly pastured egg like Organic Pastures or Dey Dey's here in Southern Cali. Yes, I am passionate about TRULY grass-fed, free-range, pastured eggs!!!

While I'm at it, here are photos from Healthy Family Farms Facebook page 
the truly pastured egg operations of Organic Pastures and Dey Dey's Best Beef Ever who follow the pastured poultry practices of Joel Salatin. More on day...I hope...

Egg Comparison Poster courtesy of the Weston A. Price Foundation Chapter - Santa Barbara:

For more pictures and discussion on battery vs. organic vs. pastured egg comparisons, see this photo from Nourishing Our Children:

or this photo from Organic Pastures on Facebook. 

I rest my obsession with the HFF egg issue...for now.
I was honestly going to go to three different outlets and buy truly Pastured vs. store bought vs. HFF eggs and photograph them. But this past Sunday after obsessing about eggs all week, it didn't seem all that appealing. I went to one, bought my favorite eggs from Dey Dey's, and am now eating it fried with the Trader Joe's Free Range egg we had left over from last week. Guess which one is bright orange? Guess which one this nursing mama prefers for brekkie? This fabulous photo will be posted soon.

I figure people who care about the quality of their food and farmer's markets will fall into one of these three categories or shades between: 
1) Those who are HFF supporters and deny that Sharon could have done any fraudulent behavior.
2) Those who say, "What does it matter?" She is a small farmer, we've got bigger fish to fry.
3) Those who accept that HFF has participated in de-frauding their customers and are interested in preserving farmer-market-consumer integrity.

I still want to talk with the people from Hohberg, and also follow up with Laura Avery, the market manager from Wednesday Santa Monica who is checking into this story. I would even like to visit Healthy Family Farms, if they would have me. I haven't heard back you think I should drop by one of these days? For now my little ones want their mommy back and my husband wants his wife back from the land of obsession with eggs and food politics. If you want to really be political, you have to cook the foods you advocate, which has been a little lacking around here.

To be continued...for those who wait!!!


edited to add content about egg yolk debate: 11/20/11


  1. This blog post is perfect. I just came across your blog today. Have you ever visited HFF? By the way, the "anonymous" testimonial that Aajonus Vonderplanitz posted on his website some time ago was taken from an email that I sent to him - I've pasted it here:

    I used to be a member of Rawesome Foods and agree with the concept behind what they stood for obviously. I stopped shopping there about a year ago after you brought some important issues to light and after visiting HFF. I definitely consider myself to have been “duped” regarding the eggs and was very frustrated (especially since I eat most of them raw) that I had taken Rawesome’s word for it. I never liked the yellowness of the yolks (as opposed to the brighter, darker orange – a sign of a grass diet) or the way they poached (or didn’t).

    I visited Healthy Family Farms during an “open house” on a Sunday and was extremely disappointed, even though I was bracing myself for a negative experience already. The reps at the numerous farmer’s markets, HFF literature, and web info indicate that it is a grass/pasture based farm (i.e. Joel Salatin), as does Rawesome. The farm is nothing of the sort as you know. It reminds me of a petting zoo. Since they have four open houses per year they can prepare to put their best foot forward each time and yet not one blade of green growing grass was available for any animal to consume. They have permanent fencing and dirt “pastures” just piling up with bacteria. The amount of nitrogen the animals are putting down is far too much for the soil to metabolize. This kind of farming does not demand my food dollar. For all the talk about James Stewart and Sharon Palmer working an “under the table” deal, did no other Rawesome leaders visit Healthy Family Farms and see this?

  2. Luke and Steph: Thanks for commenting. I have wanted to talk with you for awhile because I truly appreciated your anonymous letter! It was very revealing when I first looked at Aajanus' website!!!

    I did visit HFF but after I learned enough about Sharon and didn't want to take a "canned" tour. I also had a person who I now consider a friend come forward and help me with my investigation as this person is a private investigator by trade!

    This is the post where I describe me impromptu visit since I was up in that area:

    All three parts are pretty interesting, in my unbiased opinion, lol!