We've all done it. Get up on early on a bright Saturday morning and take a trip to the local Farmer's Market to look around and buy farm-fresh food before its all been picked over. We've envisioned the farmer working out in the fields, digging in the garden, harvesting their vegetables, gathering eggs, or taking care of his livestock to provide us with home-grown goodness or is it?
Every time I think of what I'm about to tell you, sickens me.
Farmer's work hard, very hard, every single day, to provide you with life sustaining food. Being a real farmer is a labor of love that goes above and beyond any office or factory job. A farmer's work day is from sunrise to sunset.
It doesn't matter if they have 10 or 1,000 acres, they care about how and what they grow. It is a passion that comes from birth.
It's not about the money, most farmers barely make ends meet. It's about being one with soil, planting the seed, nurturing, and watching it grow to its best potential to provide you with healthy, honest, home-grown food.
For out here, one is closer to God than any other place on earth.
For the most part, those who sell their produce and eggs at a farmer's market are good, honest, hard working people, but to know that there are some that would take this God-given right away from a farmer, is just appalling!
On a recent visit to the their local farmers market, a family purchased "farm-fresh" brown eggs. They don't eat eggs often, but when they do, they want the "good ones".
Two weeks later, while at a "bulk-buy" store, they walked by the dairy case and was utterly shocked to see the couple they bought their "farm-fresh" eggs from loading their cart up with crates of refrigerated, brown eggs.
The family approached the couple whom quickly walk away as if they didn't see them and kept looking back to see if the family was following them.
Ok, maybe, just maybe, the couple's hens weren't producing enough eggs to sell, but that's no reason to be deceptive and pass the store bought eggs off as if they came from their farm, if they actually own a farm at all.
What really shocks me about this, among other things, is not just their deception, it's the fact, store-bought refrigerated eggs cannot, I repeat, cannot be left out of the refrigerator!
Store bought eggs are washed mechanically, then sprayed with a chlorine chemical solution to "re-seal" the egg shell. But it only works correctly when the egg has been refrigerated and kept that way.
When the egg is exposed to warm air, it will sweat, opening the thousands of tiny pores in the egg shell, allowing bacteria inside, and contaminating the egg. Which can make a person ill. And lord only knows, how long those eggs have been in the store. Mass egg producers have up to sixty days, that's right, sixty days to package and ship the eggs to the store's refrigerated warehouse.
True, organic, farm fresh eggs, do not need to be refrigerated. Nature has provided the egg with a protective coating, called the "bloom". When the egg is first laid, it comes out wet, the warmth of the hen's body dries the bloom.
The bloom seals the egg's pores so no harmful bacteria can penetrate the shell, giving you the best tasting and healthy egg the hen can produce.
As for the couple at the farmer's market re-selling, store bought eggs as "farm-fresh" eggs, shame on them!
They are not showing any respect for real farmers at the market, the food they are selling, themselves, or you, the buyer.
So, the next time you visit your local farmer's market, ask questions. It's as simple as that. Ask the farmer/seller how their food was raised? How many hens do they have? Where's their farm located?, etc.
You have the right and should want to know where the food you are about to purchase and consume comes from.
You are putting your trust in anyone that is selling food at a farmer's market, whether it's eggs, fruits or vegetables. You believe the farmer/seller is the one that produced the food and that it is truly home-grown, farm-to-table raised.
Now some folks may be ok with a person buying bulk foods at one place then selling them at a farmer's market. I personally am not ok with it at all.
Selling home decor products is one thing. I buy from a supplier below wholesale then advertise them on our site below retail. That's materialistic items for your home.
But when it comes to your food; food that you believe the farmer actually raised and is selling to make a few bucks to provide you with true homegrown goodness that's another thing all together!
Buying food at the farmers market makes you feel good inside knowing you help support the farmer and it's you're way of thanking them for all their hard efforts of supplying you with healthy, home-grown food.
Don't let others steal that from you or a farmer!
So, the next time you visit your local farmer's market, ask questions.
Make sure the food they are selling is actually grown by them.