The old saying goes 'you are what you eat' and we may not want to think about it, but that goes for chickens, too. I realize this makes buying eggs harder, but have you priced out cancer lately? I decided to reach out to Alicia Finley, the Co-Founder of Living Earth Ranch and Farm, out in Potrero, Ca for some expert advice. Alicia's mission is to create a local, organic poultry source for San Diego County so I asked her about GMO free eggs, where to get them, and how Prop 37 has affected her flock.
Alicia on Prop 37:
We attended 4 markets every week from April-Oct and had the opportunity to talk to many people. Often we were diffusing confusion brought about by the misinformation from the opposition: explaining why labeling wouldn't cost more and, no, GMOs haven't already been in our foods for a 100 years. I think sales did increase towards the end of the year and that could have been because of the increased volume of the conversation. Many customers were very happy knowing the chickens were fed gmo-free organic corn, soy and wheat. But many of out customers were only interested in the good taste, supporting local farms and the excellent humane treatment the animals receive.
I have many recipes on our website. Please check them out and use whatever you'd like. We love chicken tortilla soup and adding the feet early to simmer adds collagen and glycosamine.
Alicia's thoughts about how a consumer should ask a chicken farmer what they feed the chickens to ensure the eggs are gmo free:
To be GMO free the feed needs to be certified organic. It is 90% (est) likely that conventional animal feed containing corn and soy and likely wheat is GMO. It may be possible to avoid these ingredients but not likely. At home chicken owners could try raising and feeding black soldier fly larva as a source of protein, fat and calcium.
Alicia's advice on who should we buy eggs from in SD County:
I'd recommend Descanso Valley Ranch or Suzie's. They're a couple more using organic feed. Eben-haezer ranch sells at the Rancho San Diego farmers market and sells an organic Pastured egg.
More About Alicia's Living Earth Ranch and Farm:
A traditional small-scale family farm grounded on the principles of sustainable organic agriculture and permaculture systems for land management. We raise heirloom and traditional meat chickens on pasture and certified organic grain creating the highest quality meat for you and your family. Our chickens are moved to fresh grasses everyday, never degrading the land or nearby streams, but actually improving the soil and in return creating the healthiest and tastiest poultry possible. You may buy directly from us at livingearthranch.com or find us at a local farmers market. Follow us on Facebook, too.
Happy New Year!