Local Eggs Return to the Co-op
By Cristin Burns
After months of no local eggs, they have finally returned. You can now find flats of local eggs (when they are available from the farms) in the refrigerated section. You may choose to purchase a half-dozen carton, a dozen carton or bring your own from home. Fill your carton with your favorite eggs and you are set. We are still looking for more local egg suppliers so stock cannot be guaranteed every day.
Why have we been without these past months? Well, it gets a bit complicated. The Department of Agriculture oversees the cleaning and sale of eggs. Currently, there are laws that require all egg farmers to have a separate facility, including a three-compartment sink, dedicated to cleaning the eggs. This requirement is very costly to small farms with just a few chickens and was not feasible for most of our past suppliers.
Thanks to Grocery Manager Robin Simoneaux and Store Manager Phil Valentine, New Leaf Market is now cleaning local eggs at the store, thereby relieving the farmers of needing facilities to do so. The Co-op’s existing kitchen facilities meet the Department of Agriculture’s requirements with a few tweaks, and the purchase of a Bubble Washer and accessories completed the process.
Please be patient as we build back up the local egg program, however typically demand exceeds our supply so there may continue to be shortages. Local production is very important to us and we are thrilled to have found a compromise that returns local eggs back to the co-op.