In order to be deemed "organic" the hens must have access to the outdoors. Of course, due to Ontario's climate, this is weather permitting, though.
Look for egg cartons marked "free range" or "organic" in your grocery store. The only difference between the two is that organic birds are fed certified organic feed. And since in Ontario, most free range farmers have chosen to feed their birds organic feed, it will be easier to find Ontario organic eggs.
There are more varieties of eggs available in Ontario than ever before – all produced by local farm families.
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Hard-boiled eggs are good for about one week if kept in the shell and refrigerated. If unshelled, they are good for 4 or 5 days.
Some egg graders have been stamping specialty eggs for many years. Starting in 2014, some grading stations began stamping a wider range of Ontario shell eggs. For consumers, this code conveniently gives you easy access to the best before date, to allow traceability, even in such cases when a carton is discarded when transferring the eggs to a reusable carton or refrigerator tray.
What does the stamp mean?
The information is printed on multiple lines for ease of printing, reading and legibility. Here is what they mean:
Line 1: The best before date (MM/DD/YY) and a grading station identification code
Line 2: The specialty egg type (when applicable)
Line 3: The identification code for your local Canadian farmer
The stamping process is done with a vegetable-based printing, approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). So whether you are boiling, scrambling or cracking your eggs, you can feel safe knowing the ink used is 100% food safe.
Ontario egg farmers work hard to provide a safe environment for their hens and the eggs they produce. Unfortunately, this means that farmers must limit the visitors to their barns for there are strict biosecurity practices for egg farms. Biosecurity practices are designed to prevent the spread of disease onto the farm though minimal traffic of bacterial organisms (i.e. viruses, bacteria etc.) Biosecurity is the most effective means of disease control and the best way to keep hens safe and healthy.
But there's good news! Ontario egg farmers are happy to provide alternatives that allow you to see what Ontario egg farming is like.
Hens are fed a balanced diet made from crops grown on the farm. The main ingredients are a mixture of corn, wheat and soybeans. The farmer uses only the elements needed to produce a healthy crop. This will include fertilizers, herbicides (which control weeds) and planting methods that will encourage the growth of an abundant crop. Crops are grown using only the amounts of fertilizer and chemicals needed; these will not be present in the seed harvested nor in the hen feed.
We always have eggs in the house and sometimes it feels like I live in the barn – so the line between farm and family is very blurry but we like it that way. I actually have a minimum of 3 eggs a day and have done so as long as I can remember. My mother would fry up 3 over easy for breakfast and I'd also have 2 over easy sandwiches in my lunch. It's my staple.
That is a great question. Egg Farmers of Ontario (EFO) is an association that has a long history of representing more than 400 egg farm families in Ontario.
Our organization started in 1964 and continues to go strong today. We are entirely funded be the farmers and provide a variety of programs and services for them including: