Friday, January 1, 2010

Local Eggs and Dairy Products

I eat more eggs and dairy then most people I know. Every morning I eat 3 eggs, sometimes baked with cream and cheese, usually with a side of yogurt. I put sweet cream butter on my toast, in my sauces and on my vegetables. In addition to that, I consume at least 2 tall glasses of cold, whole milk everyday, some kind of cheese finds it's way onto my plate at almost every meal, and I use heavy cream in my coffee (if available, sometimes I have to settle for half and half). Bottom line, I love eggs and I love dairy products.

So how important is it for me to find the highest quality, closest, freshest product that I can? Not only is this very important to me, it is also one of the most challenging changes that I have had to make to my eating recently. Challenging because high quality eggs and dairy are EXPENSIVE!

As I stroll through the refrigerated isle at Costco, temptation sets in. 5 dozen eggs for under 6 bucks you say?? How can this be possible. I could make egg salad, deviled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, frittata until I bust and still have extra eggs to figure out what to do with. But is that possible? What IS the true cost of eggs and why am I not paying that figure? What corner has been cut that I am not paying a reasonable and fair price for a product which claims to be clean, safe and nutritious? But hey, and egg is an egg right?...Right?! I won't go into all the nutritional and moral implications that go into buying this product here. But I will recommend everyone go out and watch the documentary "Food Inc." Its on Netflix right now and available to watch instantly. I've never been squeamish about animals having to die in order for me to eat, but the difference between the life of a free range chicken and that of the industrial, conventional bird is so drastically different, that there HAS to be serious differences in the final product, which ultimately ends up on my plate.

Is it important to me that the food I am eating had a life resembling that which could have occurred in nature? Yes. Even more so, I am concerned with what is going into my family's digestive system. I think that is something that more people can relate too.

We all have to trust the farmer to use clean, ethical and sustainable practices that will not destroy the earth, the health of the animals and ultimately the value of the food that we put into our mouths. So does it not make sense that we would want to check out the source of our food? Absolutely, which is why I am planning numerous trips this coming summer to local farms and ranches, so that I can make more educated decisions about what food I will purchase.

In the meantime, I have found a dairy farm with an exceptional reputation and a very informative website about what they are all about. The Straus Family Creamery. Their products can be found at Whole Foods if you are in the Bay Area, and they are more expensive than anything else on the shelf. But that is one investment that I have decided to make, for the health of my family and the future health of the California countryside. Every time we buy a product, we tell the food companies what we want, and how we want them to perform. I hope more people start making this investment into our health and future with me.

I am open for any suggestions on where I can get the best quality products, beef, chicken, eggs, whatever.


  1. Mike, your blog is RIGHT up my alley! Love it!

    A few things:

    1. Consider eating fewer milk products. Dr. Weil has a lot of info out there on why we consume too much milk and especially if you or anyone in your family has autoimmune issues, it's worth researching.

    2. We belong to a CSA ( and the host of our CSA sells his eggs (I've seen his very nice coops in his backyard) every week - they're around $4/dozen I believe. Let me know if you want more info.

    - Jenn Wong

  2. I am definitely interested in that. I've been looking around for the best local eggs and meat. I would love to hear more about how you like the CSA and if you feel that it supplies enough for your daily needs. I have a new produce market near our house that I love. Its owned by this awesome Turkish family who try to get as much local stuff as possible. But they don't carry meat and some of their fruits are imported, so they will only be able to satisfy some of our needs.

    I love milk! And neither of us has any history of any autoimmune issues in our families. I consider dairy some of the most essential foods that I eat. I've read a lot of the pro and cons to dairy products and am totally open to check out anything new, but so far I am really leaning on the "dairy is really good for me" side of things.

  3. Mike - you can check out the CSA web site for the past boxes and what types of stuff they supply...I researched CSAs on Yelp for the Bay Area and they got top ratings. We've used them for 2 years and they're great. It's a primarily veggie CSA, with some fruits like apples, melon, strawberries. I just build my meals each week around what they provide. It runs March - November.