Market Report for October 26th
On this cool Friday evening, it was the last Toledo Farmers' market for the season. It was bittersweet, exhausted vendors were ready to put their market gear away for the winter, but the vendors will also miss seeing the friendly faces of dedicated customers from the season. There was still plenty of produce available this market night. Some of the items available were tomatoes, potatoes, winter squash, broccoli, radishes, cabbage, hot and sweet peppers, fresh and dried herbs, pumpkins, onions, garlic, lettuce pots, carrots, bakery, mums, jams, jellies, squirrel corn, honey, and eggs. If you missed us this market season, remember we start again the first Friday in May.
There are a few vendors that provide farm fresh eggs at the Toledo Farmers market. If you haven't tasted a farm fresh egg, you really need to. Eggs are often called the perfect food, because one egg contains nearly all the nutrients necessary for life, lacking only vitamin C. An egg is among the highest quality protein found in food. Egg protein is complete, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. One large egg contains approximately the same amount of protein as an ounce of lean meat, poultry, fish, or legumes. A large egg is approximately 31% yolk, 58% white, and 11% shell. Many people believe a brown egg is more nutritious than white-shelled eggs. The color of the shell has nothing to do with the eggs nutritional value. It is how the hens are managed. An egg laid by hens that are raised on pasture or free range is more nutritious than eggs produced by hens that are kept in cages. An egg laid by hens that have pasture or other green feeds contain less cholesterol and saturated fat, more vitamins A,D, and E and more beta carotene, folic acid, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids than factory-farm produced eggs laid by caged hens. Look at the yolk color. If it is a darker yolk, it is a good reflection of an egg's lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat.
Many people are scared of fresh eggs. If an egg is handled correctly, there is nothing that should bother you. Eggs produced in a clean environment are collected often, and promptly refrigerated are generally safe eggs to eat. You don't want a cracked egg, especially if the membrane has also been broken and leaking. These eggs can contain microbes that can cause human illness. If you have a seriously soiled egg you should also discard it. You can wash it, but did you know that by washing eggs you are washing away the bloom that seals the pores and keeps out bacteria. Clean eggs that are stored properly will keep well for at least 12 weeks. If you're worried your eggs are spoiled, do the float test. Put your eggs in a deep bowl of water. A very fresh egg will sink to the bottom and lay flat on its side. This is because the air cell in the egg is very small. As an egg begins to lose its freshness and more air starts to enter the egg, it will begin to float and stand upright. The smaller end will lie on the bottom of the bowl while the broader end will point towards the surface. This egg is still good to consume. IF the egg floats and doesn't touch the bottom it is not a good egg to consume. You need to discard of the egg. Enjoy some farm fresh eggs and see you at market next spring!