Frequently Asked Questions
This is our FAQ page where you will find all the answers to both the meaning of life and the most common questions we receive concerning chickens and our farm.
- What does OCIA Certification Mean?
- What is sustainable agriculture?
- How do you clean your eggs?
- What is the difference between raw and cooked eggs?
- Are eggs really nutritious?
- What is a fresh egg?
- Why did I get a bad egg?
- How should I store eggs?
- What do grade and size mean?
- What about cholesterol?
- Safe egg handling tips
OCIA (Organic Crop Improvement Association) is an international organic certification program that uses an independent and neutral third party system of inspectors to ensure that certified members adhere to a unified set of stringent production and handling standards, backed up by an audit trail through which the product can be traced from the final consumer, back to the farm.
Every aspect of production, is important to us, from the quality of the water and certified organic grains, to the healthy and clean houses in which our hens are free to roam.
Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance.
We believe that reaching toward the goal of sustainable agriculture is the responsibility of all participants in the system, including farmers, laborers, retailers and consumers. Each group has its own part to play. We are doing our part and make every effort to support the efforts of other participants to make this a reality.
The eggs are washed, rinsed, and then sanitized with an ozone rinse. We do not use chlorine or mineral oil. Ozone works great to clean the pores of the egg and since its by-products are oxygen and water, it is very environmentally friendly.
Food is always best in its most natural state but the changes in eggs are minimal with cooking. The biotin does degrade, but that's about the extent of my nutrionist skills.
You bet! Eggs contain a wide range of the nutrients necessary for human nutrition - varying amounts of 13 vitamins plus many minerals, including iron. The eggs is unrivaled as a source of protein and egg yolk is one of the few foods that contain vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin).
All this nutrition packed into only 70 calories for a large egg. No wonder eggs are called a "nutrient dense" food.
The age of an egg has a bearing on its freshness but age is only one of many contributing factors. The temperature at which it is held,, the humidity and the handling all play their parts. These variables are so important that an egg one week old, held under ideal conditions, can be fresher than an egg left at room temperature for one day. Ideal conditions are:
- Temperature of less than 40 degrees
- Humidity of 70 to 80%
- Proper handling
- Prompt gathering and cleaning of the eggs.
I apologize that you got a bad egg. We try very hard to avoid this but once in awhile a bad one slips by the candler who checks for bad eggs.
Eggs should be stored in their cartons in the refrigerator. Unless you seldom open the door, place the eggs on an inside shelf. Repeated opening and closing the door can cause temperature fluctuations and slamming can result in breakage. The carton protects the eggs from picking up odors and flavors from other foods and prevents moisture loss. Fresh uncooked eggs may be kept refrigerated for at least 4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date.
Grade is a way of classifying by interior and exterior quality and is indicated by the letters AA, A and B. In the grading process, eggs shells are inspected for soundness, shape, texture and strength. The interior is generally inspected by "candling", a process by which light shining through the egg enables the grader to see the quality. Quality is determined by the weight and roundness of the yolks and the clarity, firmness or thickness of the white or albumen. Sizes available are pea, small, medium, large, extra large and jumbo. The bulk of the market now rests in large eggs and when a recipe does not specify the size, you can assume it to be large. The major factor in determination of of an egg is the hen's age. As the hen ages, her eggs increase in size. The breed and weight of the hen are also factors.
A large egg contains 213 mg. Of cholesterol, 22% less than was formerly thought. When it comes to cholesterol and eggs a lot of people have trouble separating fact from fiction. The fact that many people do not realize is that not all cholesterol is bad. Your body actually makes most of its own cholesterol - 80% of it is produced in the liver. You can't live without it! It is true that as blood cholesterol levels rise above normal, risk of heart disease rises too. However there is much evidence that shows cholesterol in food has little or no effect on blood cholesterol levels in most people. Only 20% comes from the foods we eat. If you eat more cholesterol, your body simply makes less. In the diet, saturated fat, not cholesterol in foods, can cause blood cholesterol levels to rise. Eggs, as it happens, are naturally low in saturated fat, containing just 1.5 grams saturated fat per large egg.
If you've been cutting back on egg consumption, here's some encouraging news. Recent studies on cholesterol metabolism indicate that egg consumption has very little effect on blood cholesterol levels and that most healthy people can safely increase egg consumption up to seven eggs a week!
- Buy AA or A graded eggs from refrigerated egg cases only.
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 40 degrees F. or lower until ready for use.
- Discard any eggs that are unclean, cracked, broken or leaking.
- Use hard-cooked eggs within one week.
- Use an egg separator to separate eggs.
- Be sure that hands and equipment are clean before food preparation and thoroughly re-clean them after egg preparation and before re-using for another food.
- Do not leave egg-containing foods out of refrigeration for more than 1 hour.
- Cook eggs until the whites are completely set and the yolks begin to thicken.
- Yolks should no longer be runny, but need not be hard.
- Cook slowly over gentle heat for even heat penetration.
- Serve promptly.