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Fresh Eggs

If you’ve ever kept a flock of chickens, you’re probably aware of a basic perversity of homestead life: While your family’s consumption of eggs tends to remain fairly constant year round . . . your hens’ production of the delicious edibles doesn’t.

Is there a way to level out this feast-or-famine scheme of things . . . is there a way for you to stash away one month’s surplus cackleberries and then eat ’em, say, six or eight months later?

Yep. Several forms of egg storage are supposed to make it possible for you to do just that. As MOTHER’s continuing tests have already proven, however, some of those “guaranteed” methods of storage work a whole lot better than others!

According to an old joke, “The best way to keep an egg fresh is to keep it in the chicken.” A heck of a bunch of MOTHER readers, though, must find that a little hard to do. Because if we’ve been asked once since founding this magazine, we’ve been asked a thousand times, “is there any way I can save one month’s surplus eggs … and then use them six or eight months later?”

Well, for several years, we answered that question by recommending one or another (or several) of the “guaranteed, gen-u-wine egg preservation” methods that we’d run across in old farm magazines, ancient Department of Agriculture pamphlets, and other sources. And, although we usually asked the folks we’d advised to let us know how the ideas worked, we never seemed to hear from them again . . . .

And that left us with, at best, an uneasy feeling. “What happened, anyway?” we asked each other. “Did the idea (or ideas) work? Were the eggs good? After how long? Were they bad? When did they go bad? And how bad did they get? Could they still have been eaten in a pinch? Maybe they were still good, but they just changed color . . . or texture . . . or something. WHAT HAPPENED, ANYWAY?”

So we mulled that over for a while and finally, about seven months ago, we figured that enough was enough. “By grannies,” we told each other, “we’ll just set up a test that’ll — once and for all — answer all the questions we have about storing fresh eggs.”

And that’s exactly what we did. We went out and bought ourselves 30 dozen guaranteed fresh, washed, uniform-sized, agribiz-type, unfertile, supermarket eggs from a wholesaler . . . and we also rounded up another 30 dozen fresh, unwashed, nonuniform, homestead-type, fertile, non-supermarket eggs.

Source: Mother Earth News

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