Part of the expanding movement to localize food systems and stimulate small-scale food production is the trend in cottage food production and distribution.
To support this trend, Cottage Food Laws, also known as Baker’s Bills, are emerging all over the country. These are laws that allow people to prepare certain foods in their own home kitchen for sale and distribution. Such initiatives support individuals who would like to start their own food business but can’t afford the financial and logistical burden of having a commercial kitchen.
By taking the first small steps at their home kitchens, budding food businesses can begin to develop a customer base and raise part of the capital that will eventually expand their companies.
Currently, there are more than two-dozen states in the U.S. allowing some sort of commercial homemade food sales. Guidelines differ from state to state; check out this full list of states with Cottage Food Laws.
The trend goes hand in hand with other behavior changes sweeping the country; namely awareness and demand for locally grown and produced food and goods, sustainable agriculture, backyard chickens, and small batches versus mass-produced products.
If you would like to start a home-based food production business, or would simply like more information about Cottage Food Laws & resources see:
Photo credit: Pike Place Honey Jars
Copyright All rights reserved by Laura Zimmerman
For people with certain dietary restrictions and food allergies, eggs can be an essential part of a healthy diet. Recently, we’ve been experimenting with a ‘no’ carbohydrate/high protein diet known as the Paleo diet, and lucky for us eggs are on the menu! Interestingly, we have many friends who are vegetarians and they chuckle at the idea of a ‘caveman’ diet, after all, it does sound pretty meaty doesn’t it? ‘-) Fortunately, between fruits, vegetables and eggs, we can still share a meal with those same meat-shunning friends.
We all know that eggs are a great source of protein and yes, eggs are high in cholesterol, but they are also low in saturated fats and rich in hard to find nutrients such as vitamin D (in the yolks) and choline. And remember, eggs from pastured birds are proven to be healthier and more nutritious than traditionally produced eggs.
Basic egg muffin recipes ingredients:
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 8 – 10 pastured eggs
- 1/4 cup milk (almond milk is a great substitute if dairy is not in your diet)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Prepare a 12-cup muffin pan with shortening of choice
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, salt and pepper and milk
- Use a measuring cup to fill muffin wells with egg mixture, about 1/4 cup each
- Bake the egg muffins for 20 to 25 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle, cool on rack 5 minutes before serving
Feel free to mix and add other ingredients as you desire, and as your diet permits. You can add things like cheese, fresh herbs, seasonal vegetables and meats or meat substitute and even smoked fish. Need some ideas? Here are a few egg muffin recipes we really like:
Do eggs need to be refrigerated? It’s a question we get all the time. On the heels of last week’s post regarding Eggzy’s new ‘Last updated‘ feature, it seems like a relevant topic to revisit.
Yes, eggs are best when kept refrigerated – at or below 45°F is the standard and safe recommendation.
That said, we’ve all seen images of eggs sitting out on a counter, be it at a farmers market, the local diner or in a catalog or a magazine of a beautifully rustic kitchen setting. Additionally, I have made recipes that call for eggs to be at room temperature, which is typically much warmer than 45°F. It would seem only reasonable to assume that those eggs need to be out of the refrigerator to achieve the recommended room temperature right – so what is the threshold for safekeeping?
According to www.eggsafety.org, after eggs are refrigerated, it is important that they stay that way. “A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria. Refrigerated eggs should not be left out more than two hours.” But the Egg Safety Council is an industry organization sponsored by large-scale egg producers in large-scale facilities.
Perhaps that’s the key; perhaps fresh eggs, which have never been refrigerated, are less vulnerable than their already refrigerated, store bought counter parts. Let’s face it, long before there were refrigerators, people have been gathering eggs, storing, cooking and eating them. I’ve scoured the web with this question and have read similar commentary time and time again; farm fresh eggs (that have not been washed) seem to keep at room temperature for longer periods of time, without issue.
Maybe we need to rely on some best practices and good judgment here:
- Do not keep eggs out for a prolonged period of time. If you know you aren’t going to use all dozen eggs, why not store them in the refrigerator, just for safekeeping?
- Do not wash eggs under water due to the porous nature of the shells; eggshells actually have a protective coating that works to keep bacteria from seeping into the egg.
- Cook eggs thoroughly to an internal temperature of 160°F (killing any Salmonella bacteria)
- Don’t eat eggs from strangers! Know your flock owner and how they raise their birds; healthy birds eating healthy feed will typically lay healthy eggs.
Links & References:
Well, you asked for it and we’ve added it, introducing the ‘update indicator’. Very simply, it’s the date of the last update made to an egg stand by it’s flock owner. There are two places where this information can now be found.
First, there’s the Egg Stand listing page, just click on the ‘Egg Stand’ menu item and you’ll be taken to the egg stand page. You’ll see that this list is now sorted chronologically with the most recently updated egg stands at the very top.
The second place you’ll find this information is on each individual egg stand page. Just click into an egg stand, and you’ll now see the term ‘Last Updated’ under the ‘Eggs’ section. That date tells the prospective customer the last time that flock and egg data was posted.
This information is helpful in two ways; first, it helps a user who is searching for eggs in their area to identify active flocks. Second, this information is important to know to ensure the freshest eggs possible, it’s a part of the transparency of food that we’re all seeking.
Please take a look when you have a chance and tell us what you think. We really do appreciate hearing from our members, your feedback helps to inform and guide us.