a while ago i quit buying grocery store eggs because even when you pay extra to get cage-free eggs, you still aren't getting the product of humanely treated animals. all cage-free means is that the hens are warehoused on a floor and it can be a crowded, unpleasant floor.
i'm by no means an extremist; i happily eat red meat, although i very much prefer locally raised grass-fed beef. not grass-fed corn-finished, as is on so many labels these days, since the general population seems to think grass-fed is good, but haven't taken the trouble to learn anything about it.
it is getting harder and harder to learn anything about it, too, because a number of states are passing laws making it illegal to take pictures of farming operations because farmers (read: big business) are afraid that if people saw where their food comes from, they might start buying food from local farms (read: farmers).
anyway, they pasture beef on my road and every time i drive by those boys i sing out : have a good day, boys! be delicious!
so it made me happy when i found a friend with chickens and a surplus of eggs. i could eat eggs and be happy about it again! so it was a sad thing when my chicken guy told me he was sending the herd out to his sons.
but then yesterday afternoon i found a family who lives ON THE WAY TO THE GROCERY STORE who has a handsome flock of chickens wandering around the yard.
i went to buy eggs and she showed me the chickens and talked about their habits and the problem they've had lately with hawks coming down and eating them. turns out hawks like free range chickens, too.
but when you get a dozen eggs from a small flock of birds, you're getting nonstandard eggs. because the birds are diverse, their eggs are, too. and because nobody sizes and grades them, they come in many more shapes and sizes than from the grocery store.
here's the dozen i bought yesterday. one is so big the box won't close.