The Way Eggs
We believe the way eggs are handled is important.
Eggs are very unique in how they are to be handled. Small, seemingly insignificant things can effect them in adverse ways. Even if you do not purchase eggs from us, we hope that this information will benefit you as you enjoy Fresh Pastured Eggs.
Unwashed Mobile Pastured Eggs:
While it is true that a fresh, unwashed egg is very safe due to its natural God-given protection called a bloom or cuticle, it is very important to store them properly or they will age and lose the freshness that we love. If an unwashed egg is stored in room temperature for more than a few days it will begin to lose quality. Some of the first things you will notice is a change in the consistency of the egg white. When broken it will be runny and eventually be much like water. Also if done for an extended period of time, the egg will eventually begin to dehydrate causing the air pocket inside to become loose and expand. Other things can affect this as well, such as the chickens diet, lifestyle, etc., but it generally comes back to handling.
Unwashed eggs should be stored in a cool environment with very low humidity. If possible, store them around 45F. If the humidity and temperature are managed properly, an unwashed egg will last several months without much internal change or spoiling.
All that being said, 95% of the eggs we sell are washed and we take that process very seriously. Unwashed eggs are only available through special order and cost more per dozen due to the higher labor costs associated with gathering clean, unwashed eggs and packaging them.
How eggs are washed is a very important step in the handling process.
How we wash our mobile pastured eggs:
Our washer is different from nearly all standard commercial egg washers. Because of its unique setup it allows us to wash using only fresh water. The water that touches the egg has never been used before. You may think, “that’s how it should be anyway, why mention it?” Unfortunately it is very uncommon to wash the way we wash. Most egg washing is done with over 50% recycled water. The way that this water is deemed safe is by the introduction of heavy chemicals consistently fed into the water stream. This kills the bacteria and allows them to reuse the water. However these chemicals are typically chlorine or something even stronger. While this is by USDA standards considered “safe” we choose to make sure and use fresh water. If any sanitizer is used in our machine during washing it is hydrogen peroxide which is approved for use by Organic Standards and is not harmful to humans or animals when used properly.
It is also important that eggs are not submerged in water or washed with cold water during the wash process. If submersion washing is not done properly, the eggs’ pores can open allowing bacteria and fecal matter to get inside. This greatly reduces shelf life and increases the chance of salmonella.
Fresh Mobile Pastured Eggs:
We always aim to provide fresh eggs to our customers. This is difficult with the egg market always changing.
However, we can guarantee that the eggs you receive from us will always be fresher than what you can buy in any supermarket. How do we know that? Eggs sold commonly in grocery stores, etc (Organic, Free Range, Caged, and even some Pastured) are often over 4 weeks old before they ever reach the store. Sometimes even more than 6 weeks. Then it can be another week before they get on the shelf for purchase. This happens for many reasons: logistics, availability/demand, etc. Don’t let the ‘Use by’ date fool you. That is simply a date they have to put on per regulation. The egg processing plants often store the eggs for a few weeks before washing. Once washed, they are given a Julian Date (this date reflects the day of the year the eggs were washed in format of “123”) and a “Use By” or “Best By” date. That date generally ranges from 45 to 65 days from day of washing depending on what the plant deems acceptable.
We encourage you to get to know your farmer and ask him how he handles the eggs you purchase. We believe that the only way to know what you need to about your food is to know and understand the source, in this case, your egg farmer. And please do not assume that just because your eggs come from a small farm or organization, that they are handled safely and with care. Asking questions will show them that you care about the quality and reliability of what you receive!