Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fresh Eggs For Sale

Not ours but we get a similar range of colors

Funny story that I probably wouldn't have shared but for a development this week. A few weeks back Ken the beeman was at a local Farmer's Market, sharing a table with a lady selling eggs and produce. Now Ken's honey is exemplary, I can vouch for that having eaten it but apparently, according to a passing FDA Inspector, he can't sell it at the market because it doesn't have the weight in grams! As Ken said, he wasn't intending on exporting to Europe, or even Canada, but rules are rules. The Inspector then turned to the lady and said, "you have to take down your sign saying "Fresh Eggs", only eggs that have been inspected and passed by the FDA can be classified as "Fresh"". "But", said the lady, "these were taken out of the coops this morning, they are fresh". Well you can't buck the guvnment, so down came the sign (at least while the Inspector was around, I guess!).

OK, so big laugh all round, typical bureaucracy, and really no one buying at a Farmer's Market probably cares. End of story. So now cut to this week. CNN reports that half a billion eggs have been recalled due to salmonella, and that at least 1,000 people have been poisoned. Now it could be seen that the FDA Inspector was right and only "fresh", as in untainted, eggs get to the consumer and this proves that the system works. Well, no, the eggs did get to the consumer and it was only after they were sick that the eggs were recalled. My Merriam Webster defines "Fresh" as (and I only quote the first entry:
1 a : having its original qualities unimpaired: as (1) : full of or renewed in vigor : refreshed (2) : not stale, sour, or decayed (3) : not faded (4) : not worn or rumpled b : not altered by processing
There is nothing about waiting three days while an FDA Inspector ticks a box to say they are OK, even if they aren't! I shall continue to put out my "Fresh Eggs For Sale" sign, regardless.