A Pricier Egg: That title doesn’t exactly fit the definition of frugality, but sometimes cheaper just doesn’t work. Recently I made the decision to stop buying the cheapest super market eggs. It had a lot to do with this post, but it’s been a long time coming.
Here’s the basic gist of what I have learned. Factory farmed chickens are treated horribly. They have very little space, do not live in an environment even close to their natural habitat, and there are certain practices that I consider very cruel. Not only is this bad for the chickens, but it is bad for the egg because it is nutritionally inferior. Even worse, words like “Organic”, and “Free-Range” don’t guarantee that the farming practices are humane. You have to look specifically for “Pastured” or “Pasture-Raised” on your egg cartons. Please don’t take my word for it, and consider doing some reading yourself.
The thing is that none of this was a surprise to me. I’ve known about the inhumane treatment of animals in large scale productions for a long time. What prompted the decision to change? We’ve been eating mostly locally raised meat for a long time now. Why not the eggs before, and why now? I just can’t contribute to that industry anymore.
Should you make the switch? Hey, I’m an opinionated person. As much as I like to be right – and I have dreams about everyone agreeing with me – this isn’t about being right. We have to decide what is right for our home and family. Sometimes that can be overwhelming, especially if you lead a busy life. Maybe that’s why it took me so long to commit to the switch. When we started learning about the cruelty present in large scale animal farms, we started looking into local and more humane farms. Sometimes we would buy from the grocery store, and other times we would commit full time to local meat. We did that off and on for several years until finally in the last year or so we have learned how to cook what I call semi-vegetarian with meat from local farms whenever we can. Change takes time.
So now we’re at a point where we willingly pay 2-3 times more for eggs than we were before. When I think about it though, that doesn’t bring us a significant increase in grocery costs. Eggs are still cheap protein. We’re paying a max of $0.41 per egg ($0.25 if we look hard enough), and I can make great a meal on 2 fried eggs and some toast. Throw in some hot cereal instead and it’s enough for my husband. There’s also one real tangible benefit; the eggs taste much better.
I’m still holding on to my cheap milk, for now.
This is one of my favorite ways to have eggs. I love my yolks warm and runny, perfect for toast dipping. Here’s how I get the best fried eggs.
Note: The yolks of fresher eggs will be less likely to break.
You’ll need a good non-stick, or better yet a well seasoned cast-iron pan*. Melt a little butter, or bacon grease on the pan at medium-low (this depends on your stove, but you’ll get the right temp in time). Let the butter bubble a few seconds before putting in the egg. Crack the egg in the pan, and let cook for 2-3 minutes tops. Using your metal spatula, flip the egg over. If you’ve got an egg that’s too big for your spatula, just flip the sides of the whites in a bit first to make it easier. Let that cook for 20-30 seconds. Not too long or your yolks will harden (unless you like that, of course).
Remove, and serve with your favorite sides. I love toast with butter.
* Don’t have a non-stick or cast-iron pan? Put the butter or bacon grease in as usual. Crack in your egg, but this time just cook it with the lid on until the whites are all cooked. No flipping, and no broken yolks. Generally about 3 minutes.