The national media will continue to barrage us with reports about the egg recall, but it has us thinking we should probably start listening to Michael Pollan more and not question the fact that farmers’ market eggs cost $8 a dozen. The Egg Safety Center has a list of recalled brands, and CNN has this state-by-state guide, but the easy solution here is just to stop buying industrially farmed eggs! Salmonella is not new, and it should come as no surprise that those eggs you buy for 99 cents at the corner store come from a place where a 100,000 chickens lead vermin-infested lives that are nasty, brutish, and short.
Granted, many of the people already sickened in the current outbreak ate uncooked eggs in restaurant lemon-meringue pies, etc., but the fact remains that if you want to avoid salmonella, pay a little extra and buy organic eggs from some local producer who doesn’t have rat-infested, mile-long coops.
As the Journal reports:
Hens can be infected with salmonella and pass it to their eggs in a variety of ways, but frequently the bacteria come from rodents that leave fecal droppings in feed troughs and silos. Unusually heavy rains in the Galt [Iowa] area [where Wright County Eggs are produced] may have sent mice and rats seeking shelter in chicken houses and feed bins, said AccuWeather.com, a meteorological service.
It stands to reason that small, local producers of eggs can notice and combat rat problems a lot easier than an industrial chicken farmer, and like Pollan says, “Farmers aren’t getting wealthy.” It just costs more to deal with your rat problem when you aren’t using poisons. Also, free range chickens don’t live in such close quarters with rats, and their feces.
If you want to be truly safe, cook your damn eggs. And make sure the bartender making you that pisco sour is using the pasteurized stuff.