Friday, March 4, 2011

Am I being duped?

We went to Whole Foods the other night to look for some fancy ingredients I need to make Aaron's formula, rather than buying it. This is not a money saving issue, as I'm sure it will end up costing us more in the long run, but it's a health issue. The more I read about the process of making baby formula (the commercial kind) the more I'm horrified about what I'm putting into my tiny man's body. I mean, he's still at the age where he gets the majority of his nourishment from liquid and since I'm not breastfeeding, it's from formula. We bought a Berkey water filter a while back (yes, we had to SMUGGLE it into California--LAME!) because of the fact that we put more water into our bodies than anything else. If that water we're drinking is contaminated with even the slightest of things our bodies don't need, it builds up over time. I'm a big water drinker and I don't want yucky stuff in my body--if I'm going to have yucky stuff, it's going to be from something tasty--something fried, preferably! :) Anyway, my point is...shouldn't we look at what we consume as a majority and start there with eliminating the bad stuff and adding in the good stuff? I mean, grass fed beef is fantastic, but if you only eat beef 1-2x a week, but drink 3 quarts of water a day, doesn't it make sense to focus on drinking PURE water before buying that grass fed beef? Makes sense to me!

So anyway...I digress. Back to Whole Foods. We were in the egg aisle, looking at the myriad options of eggs they carry--fertilized, free range, cage free, pastured, plain ol' brown, etc. A woman walked up and grabbed a dozen "fertilized" eggs and before she walked off, I asked her, "Do those taste any different than other eggs?" (Yes, I'm THAT annoying person that strikes up conversations with random people in the store). She said, "No, they're pretty much the same", so I asked, "Do they LOOK any different?", "No", she said..."they have a little somethin' in the yolk, but nothing really noticeable." So I go to the next logical question, "What is the benefit of buying fertilized eggs over regular eggs?" She didn't know. She said she had always bought them and honestly couldn't tell me why. Hmmmmm. I know that that's the kind of consumers we tend to be...we "hear" something is what we should be doing, so we do it. We don't question it, it seems logical, so we do it. So here I am...from what I've read, PASTURED eggs are the way to go. They're able to stretch their sweet little wings, they eat bugs, if they have to be fed grain, it's organic, good stuff...not soy and nasty other stuff that chickens aren't supposed to eat, etc.
So, although they were $6.99/dozen, I thought why not? I'm going to give them a try. We eat a lot of eggs, so if they ARE much better for you, it's worth it, right?

Soooo...this morning I decided to make scrambled eggs for breakfast. I thought I'd do a little experiment. I had generic, mass produced, white eggs from Costco--you know, the ones that are like $3 for 2 dozen? Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Then I had bought "Organic Cage Free" eggs from Trader Joes, they were around $3/dozen, then I had my "Organic, Pastured, Fancy-Schmancy, ridiculously overpriced but worth it from what I've heard" eggs from Whole Foods--$6.99/dozen. I cracked them into separate ramekins and examined them. I took photos, but I'm not sure how good they came out, maybe I should take a video instead?!?! Anyway...I could see NOOOOOOOO difference. The yolks were ALL pale, the yolks were all fact, the Costco egg seemed to have the largest and darkest yolk out of all of them. So if they all LOOK the same, could they possibly be any different nutritionally? Sure, organic is better...and knowing they're eating a healthier diet (not other chickens--YUCK!) is better...but $5.50/dozen better? I think I was robbed.

Unfortunately, I don't have a pocket nutrition analyzer, so I honestly don't KNOW what is better for me...I have to go by what the "experts" tell me...and that is NEVER a good thing. My solution, if I could do it? Get my OWN stinkin' chickens, feed 'em bugs and eat their eggs. Now that would be ideal.

Now don't get me started on the raw milk sitting in my refrigerator that I'm too scared to open and $25/gallon, including CRV, I'm afraid of spilling a drop!


chewymama said...

somethings wrong with that. a pastured chicken who is out in the SUN should have a dark, dark yolk. Did you check where the eggs were from? maybe they are from a place where its still snowy and there is no sun? Ive done the same experiment and noticed a drastic difference. Maybe try and find a local chicken person to buy eggs from? I found my first lady on Craigslist. Also people who sell raw milk often have chickens. I pay $3/dozen for my organic, local pastured chicken eggs. If I cant get them (they dont lay much when its cold or the eggs freeze) I buy the organic eggs from costco - also $3/dozen???

Jennie Bolen said...

Do you seriously spend $25 a gallon? That is absolutely criminal that you are being charged that much. And as far as the eggs, if they were honestly having the free range life as my chickens have always had, you would 100% absolutely notice a difference in not only the look but taste. I'm afraid you and a whole lot of other people are being scammed. It is such a shame that companies are taking advantage of people with some money that want to be healthy. I wish there was a way to crack down on this sort of stuff, but it's everywhere. We are being "duped" somewhere or other. So frustrating. Another shame is a lot of the "organic" fruits and veggies we buy that aren't really "organic. Once again, like you said, the best way to do these things if possible, is to grow/raise yourself. If you can't do that, next best thing would be to go and personally buy from a farm where you can see how things are grown or how chickens are being raised. Do you have that option with the chickens?

~*~Janelle~*~ said...

Rachel, we live in farm country, so we're going to check out our options. I have a friend who gets pastured eggs from the organic produce delivery service for $8/dozen. I don't get it...but I thought since I was already AT Whole Foods that I'd give them a shot. I've found some local chicken owners that are selling them for $4-5/dozen. I'm definitely going to research it well as grass fed beef.
I was wondering if the yolks were pale because its winter?

Jennie, the milk is $25/gallon IF you factor in $1.50/bottle CRV and you guy 4 quarts. You can buy a half gallon for $8.50 and there is no CRV because it's in a normal milk jug. I just bought some different kinds--raw quart, raw half gallon and a pasteurized, non-homogenized quart. I'd never actually pay that much/gallon unless I was checking out the options.

Tanya said...

My SIL's flock is "free range" the roam her yard all day and get cooped at night (to protect from predators) isn't that the same as pastured? I do notice hers are different from store bought the yolks are a deeper yellow.

I'm curious Janelle do you think you will try to breastfeed the next one longer? I was so relived Addy was BF when they had that formula recall. I'm a radical BF convert after being a BF drop out with the first two some encouragement from a friend who is big in Le Leche has helped me stay with it with my last two.

~*~Janelle~*~ said...

Tanya, the only reason I didn't continue breastfeeding is because I have genuine supply issues. I was bound and determined that I'd nurse as long as possible with Aaron--with 1 year being my goal, especially since that's kinda what we were using for birth control. Without fail, my cycle comes back within 2 months of having a baby, whether I'm exclusively breastfeeding or not. Aaron hadn't ever had a bottle...I was pumping when I could, taking herbs, feeding on demand and still my cycle came back. Once that happens, my hormones shift and my supply decreases. Savannah was my only baby that I successfully breastfed for a year, but she was TINY (19lbs at a year old) and not the happiest baby in the world. In retrospect, since all of my OTHER babies have been very similar in size, I realize that she wasn't getting enough milk, even though I nursed on demand and NEVER gave her a bottle or pacifier. The only thing I didn't try was pharmaceuticals. I didn't want to take the risk in case I got pregnant, and I'm very glad I didn't because I would have been putting this little one at risk.

So, to answer your question, yes, I'm going to try to breastfeed as long as possible yet goal is always to do it as long as I can unless it starts to interfere with my life (I CANNOT have a baby stuck to me 24/7 and pump any moment the baby isn't nursing to keep my supply up--that's not possible with my life).

I was blessed that I was breastfeeding during the recall disgusting. That's a big reason that I want to make my own least I control what's going into it. And if all else fails, our babies are getting old so fast...pretty soon he'll be off of formula anyway!

chewymama said...

Wow, I just saw the RAW milk prices. wow. that makes me mad that it is so high some places. I pay $6/gallon, my friend picks it up from the farm (illegal to sell it in stores here) and its never more than 3 days old when I get it. At least we know that more and more people are learning about all this and hopefully that will lead to better availability AND lower prices.