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Contest: $50 Gift Certificate to Chez Cora

After being asked to participate in the Egg Farmers of Ontario’s World Egg Month promotion I’ve done some more reading about this food staple that I think a lot of us take for granted. I’m working some posts on the topic but in the meantime you can read my French toast post and today I have a giveaway contest.

I’d like to spread the love (and the reading) around a bit and have a $50 gift certificate courtesy of Egg Farmers of Ontario good at any Chez Cora restaurant to give away.

Head over to the EFO’s web site and do some clicking around and find a fun fact on the different types of eggs. Post a comment with a brief summary of the differences between conventional, free run, and free range eggs.  A winner will be randomly selected from the correct answers.

To provide some context and extra information for all of us I’d like to add a dimension here. The next time you’re at the grocery store take a look at the prices for large conventional, free run, and free range eggs and include this information in your comment. (For this experiment be sure to disregard Omega-3 or other vitamin-enriched eggs, the “double-yolk” eggs, and eggs in graded sizes other than large.)

If you buy your eggs at a farmers’ market, not to worry just let us know what the going price is, what class they fit into and whether they’re certified organic.

Obviously, this informal field research will take a bit of time so this contest will be open until 5 PM eastern next Wednesday, November 2. I’ll randomly draw the winner from qualifying comments and post the result by noon the next day.

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10 Comments

  1. Graham says:

    The main difference between egg types are as follows:

    Conventional – Hens do not have outdoor access, beaks are typically trimmed and are housed in battery cages.

    Free Run – Hens have access to nesting boxes but also have space to roam about indoors.

    Free Range – Free to roam about indoors and outdoors which makes collecting the eggs difficult to be done in a timely manner.

    As for pricing it really depends where you are getting the eggs from. In a supermarket, conventional will always be the cheapest, free run will be about 70% more expensive and free range can be almost double the price of conventional.

  2. Vanessa says:

    I’d like to see the Leggy take on Eggs Benedict. I find it tricky to get the egg at that right cooked-enough-that-the-whites-are-all-opaque-but-the-yolk-is-nice-and-runny stage. Poaching right in the water also sometimes just yields waterlogged runny eggs, which are gross.

    School me. :)

  3. Carrie Oliver says:

    Well, David, I spent about 10 minutes on the site (I even asked a question of one of the farmers). Sadly, I found only one reference to free-run, free-range, organic, etc. I’d be curious the differences between them. As for price, next time I go to the store, I’ll look this up for you. My recollection is that the organic eggs run about 2x that of the commodity eggs.

  4. Carol says:

    Free-range eggs are those from hens who have access to nesting boxes, open floor space, perches and outdoor runs. Free run eggs are from hens allowed to run freely in an enclosed facility (barn). While conventional eggs come from hens raised in conventional cage housing systems.

    I assume the first two are generally more expensive, because producers have more work, since egg safety and quality is more challenging to manage (eggs can come in contact with droppings and dirt, as well as can be laid in more places, making quick egg collection more difficult).

  5. foodwithlegs says:

    Thanks to all that have entered so far. You’re right Carrie that it is a bit difficult to find and that’s partly my fault because when I was checking for the answer myself I didn’t realise I had clicked onto the associated site from the Egg Farmers of Canada.

    Anyway, the correct answer can be found here: http://www.eggs.ca/farmers-and-farming/down-on-the-farm

    I’ll consider anyone who has taken the time to visit the site and comment so far as having completed an entry. Contest closes tomorrow at five.

  6. Vanessa says:

    Conventional eggs are come from caged hens. The cages purportedly keep them safe from predators, though I do wonder how much of a threat that is vs disease or (self-)injury from the close quarters.

    Free-run eggs come from hens who are not enclosed in cages, but are enclosed in a barn. Must have to tread carefully to pick those up! Also, if the temperature control is important for the growth of bacteria, they must have to “harvest” more frequently in order to keep to food safety guidelines.

    Free-range eggs are laid by hens with access to the fenced-in outdoors (though I think I recall reading that most never venture outside, sadly). Wonder how the intersect on farms between cats for rodent control and free-range chickens plays out….

    I’ve read that hegglers familiar enough with their chickens can actually taste the difference between each hen’s eggs – fascinating if true, because presumably they all would be eating the same feed.

  7. Cara says:

    So, I could just copy and paste the answer from those hardworking (hard-reading?) posters from above, or from the site you helpfully linked to. :P

    But the interesting thing that I learned from this website was that, according to this blog post (http://is.gd/r1SMI0) and the corresponding Washington Post article (http://is.gd/Rh0J3R), when it comes to a blind taste-test between free run, free range, and conventional eggs, there was no difference (at least not for this group of tasters).

    There may be visual differences, and the freshness of the egg cam make for differences in peeling/whipping whites, but in terms of taste, apparently not a discernable difference.

    Perhaps if one works in the egg industry, they can taste what must be very subtle variances in the eggs. But I guess the takeaway for the lay (har!) person is that you should buy free run / free range eggs because it makes for a happier chicken, not a tastier egg.

  8. Cathy says:

    “conventional” eggs come from hens in cages.

    “free run” refers to a production system where hens can roam inside a laying barn.

    “free range” is similar to free-run , except the hens have access to the outdoors in a fenced-off pasture.

    Bonus anecdote: in undergrad I overheard a now-PhD phoning an egg farmer to ask if an egg was a chicken’s period. I wish I could say it was a prank call.

  9. foodwithlegs says:

    Thanks to all who participated. This contest was a bit more difficult than usual so I appreciate the extra you put in.

    I used the random number generator at random.org and it gave a result of “1″ so the winner of the gift certificate is Graham. Graham, I’ll be in touch.

    Thanks again, all.

  10. Graham says:

    Thanks for running this contest David!

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