Farm Fresh: eggs come from a farm, know your farmer, and how your chickens are raised. You might see signs at the edge of the road "fresh eggs" - drive in! Check them out. My in-laws raise chickens (which is how they got their names 'grandma and tappah with the chickens' YUM!) Our eggs usually come from the farm where D goes to preschool. YUP. He goes to preschool at a farm, outside, everyday. He learns how to care for animals, plant and harvest food, and how our food comes from the farm to our table. Check them out: Turn Back Time.
Cage Free: chickens are not kept in cages. There is no regulation however, on how many chickens are in any given area. They still may be in close quarters and this label doesn't require outside access.
Free Range: chickens are allowed to roam in or outside a barn (this inclusion of the barn is a recent change). In the United States there is no regulation for how many chickens are allowed in a certain amount of area, or if the chickens ever have to leave the inside of a barn. They are not confined to cages, but may be packed in to the inside of a barn. Sometimes they have outdoor access, but this is not regulated.
Organic: chickens are usually cage free but don't have to be. They must be fed feed that is organic and do not receive vaccines or antibiotics. Feed must be produced without the use of pesticides and GMOs. Outdoor access is required - but the time is not regulated.
Vegetarian: chickens are fed a vegetarian diet.
Conventional Pasteurized Eggs: chickens are kept on factory farms. 95% of the eggs in the US are conventional. Five to eight chickens are put in a 14inch cages. There are lots of other nasty facts that I will spare you from, but essentially, because of their treatment, and the fact that they are forced to lay more eggs than they naturally would, AND the fact that their feed isn't so great, the eggs that they produce aren't as nutrient rich as they should be. They are fed hormones and antibiotics to try to prevent infection and to increase egg production. Pasteurized eggs are heated to 140 degrees for 3 minutes to kill bacteria (probably collected in their conditions).
I am happy that we live close to many farms which allow us to eat farm fresh eggs most days (when we want them). If you don't - think about your choices knowing the above information. With that said - this recipe calls for Farm Fresh eggs because they TASTE different (better). When we first started buying them... I was eating them everyday because they were SO good and tasted SO different from any eggs I had tasted before!
Farm Fresh Omelet
We use organic, fair trade, and or local ingredients when possible.
3 Farm Fresh Eggs
10 grape tomatoes, sliced
1 cup of frozen or fresh spinach (defrosted)
1/2 cup of melty cheese (we used swiss and gruyere)
1/4 cup of milk
1 tbs of butter
Melt butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
Whisk eggs and milk together and dump into pan.
DON’T TOUCH longer.
Just when you think you should touch it (when it is almost cooked through) add toppings on one side.
Leave another minute.
Tip pan to side and fold over as you are tipping it out of the pan.
Here is D at Farm School where he learns all about this stuff! Yup he's there in the snow, bundled up and he LOVES it!
While he enjoys caring for the chickens (and pigs, goats, and everything on the farm) - D has no interest in eating eggs. E on the other hand LOVES them :)
Dylan sticks to other farm fresh food - namely, bacon.
Here are some eggy resources for your viewing pleasure/horror:
Egg Carton Labels
Factory Egg Farming
Hop on over to these blogs where - if they are lucky - I'll share this :)