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John Block Reports from Washington

RSS By: John Block, AgWeb.com

John Block has dedicated his professional career to the fields of agriculture, food and health.

Eggs Anyone?

Jun 03, 2010

I sat at my desk this morning to prepare my radio commentary and a host of ideas were on my mind. How about the oil spill in the Gulf? What about North and South Korea at each others’ throats? Then I glanced at an article in the Washington Post Food Section. The title read: “Well, the Yolk’s on Me.” The article is instructive. Let me tell you what it’s all about.
 
This lady and her husband moved from Manhattan to Cape Cod. Like many of their neighbors, they wanted to raise some chickens in their back yard and have their own eggs. They knew without any doubt free range chickens laying fresh eggs would taste so much better. So, they had their own eggs and they tasted good. The couple knew the eggs were delicious, but they couldn’t help but wonder if they really tasted better or did they just think they tasted better.
 
Well, the only way to answer that question would be to have a taste test. They enlisted four neighbors that were blindfolded and ready to sample four kinds of eggs: ordinary supermarket eggs, organic supermarket eggs, high-end organic country hen brand eggs, and eggs from their own chickens.
 
You guessed it – they couldn’t tell any difference. Eggs taste like eggs. There is one difference but it’s not taste. The conventional supermarket white eggs cost $1.99 per dozen. The country hen free range organic eggs cost $3.29 per dozen. The eggs from their own chickens scratching in the back yard just cost some feed and extra work. I know how that is. When I was a boy, my job was to feed the chickens in the hen house and gather the eggs.
 
The story behind this story is that the popular attack on commercial agriculture and push for every family with their own garden, chickens, maybe pigs and a cow to milk is not as perfect as it sounds. I’m not against it. Just remember, it can be costly and may not taste any better.
 
In closing, I would encourage you to access my website which archives my radio commentaries dating back 10 years and will go back 20 years when complete. Check on what I said back then. Go to www.johnblockreports.com.
 
Until next week, I am John Block in Washington.
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