National Food Corp

October 6, 2011

Summary:

National Food Corporation is a ~55 year old company that has produced eggs from the beginning.  While they have a simple and easily navigable website, it lacks some of the information that is desirable for research purposes and I need to contact them for additional information.

They produce eggs and egg products and have been doing so since 1956 but one thing to note is that they generally don’t sell the eggs in an obviously “National Food Corporation” carton.  They have a variety of different brands that the eggs are sold under with a small stamp on the back mentioning National Food Corp.  See their website – here – for their list of specialty egg brands.  They do sell a variety, organic, free-range and Omega-3 fed, as well as their ‘nominal’ brown eggs.

All of National Food Corporations egg products are UEP Certified, which while it does maintain a good minimum set of overall guidelines regarding space, hormone use, diet, medication, … it isn’t top of the line if you are concerned about such things.  For those that are, they do produce Free-Range, USDA Organic eggs.  Again, as with most Free-Range labeled eggs, they are generally housed in large open buildings with limited access to the outdoors.

I have personally only consumed their Naturally Nested brand eggs ($2.99 for a dozen @ Safeway Sept 2011), and they had surprisingly large yolks.  At the time the only yolks I could compare it to where Stieber Farms eggs and on average the Naturally Nested eggs had larger yolks for a similar sized shell.  I will have to do another egg comparison in the future.

Products:

  • Eggs (Omega 3, Brown, Organic, Free Range)
  • Misc other Egg Products

Standards:

Misc Info:

Related Posts:

  • None, look for a Naturally Nested egg review in the future.
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Eggs! Full Circle and Stieber Farms

September 7, 2011

So the other day there was a large sale for a variety of Full Circle Farms foods.  Always eager to try organic foods, especially when they are on sale I bought a few items; not knowing very much about Full Circle.  Sadly, it was primarily foods I don’t eat very often like grain based cereals, and ultra-pasturized milk.  I did however purchase some of their eggs.

Normally I don’t purchase milk because it will go bad before my family can drink it all, as I’m an breakfast burrito guy in the morning and only granola once or twice a week – generally with yogurt.  So my lack of cereal and mixed with the fact that I prefer the least amount of pasteurization I can get (which decreases the speed for milk spoilage) means I just rarely buy milk.  I was going to purchase Full Circle milk anyways and just deal with it but while it was Organic and Whole (two musts!) it was ultra-pasteurized, which threw the deal for me.  On ultra-pasteurization see some of the top google hits here, here and here.  I just prefer it as natural as possible.

Ultra-Pasturized

Full Circle Whole Milk - Ultra Pasteurized

However, like I said I did purchase eggs and sought then to taste test a few.  I compared the Full Circle brand Organic, Brown eggs to Stiebrs Farms Organic, Free-Range, Omega-3 eggs.  See below for the final product.  Oh, and the bacon on the side, well it’s hard NOT to cook up some bacon if there is any defrosted and begging to be cooked, and this morning I added a strip of Beeler’s Bacon to the menu.

Eggs, Bacon and Breakfast

Full Circle & Stieber Farms Eggs with Beelers Bacon: Breakfast!

Full Circle & Stieber Farms Egg Comparison

Full Circle & Stieber Farms Egg Carton Comparison

On an initial, pre-cook exterior examination, my personal thoughts are that the Full Circle eggs are on average slightly larger than the Stiebrs Farm eggs.  Not all the eggs were larger, but on average; the batch was.  Now, I cooked this comparision breakfast up without having done any research on Full Circle farms so I will write the article like I had initially intended.  However, as I have now done research into Full Circle I will admit that there is a surprise revelation below.

Full Circle and Stieber Farms Egg Comparison

Full Circle Upper, Stieber Farms Lower

On cooking the eggs one thing was readily apparent, the Stiebrs Omega-3 Eggs were had a much thicker, or stronger shell.  The color was also slightly different though both organic eggs had a beautiful golden color.  Overall I’d say Stiebr’s Omega-3 eggs were slightly more golden in color.  If you click on the below picture to view it full size you should be able to see the slight difference.  Take a look and comment below which egg appears more golden, I’ll let you know if I agree.  Despite the Full Circle eggs appearing larger in their shell, once out of the shell I was unable to distinguish any difference in size of yolks between the two eggs.  Obviously, as seen below, my cooking methods don’t allow for a comparison of the whites as they mix quite readily.

Full Circle and Stieber Farms Egg Comparison

Full Circle and Stieber Farms Egg, Pre-Deliciousness

The below picture is moments before the scrumptious taste of eggs was to be mine!  On a strict taste comparison I would say that they were equal yet slightly different in taste.  The Omega-3 egg yolks due taste different and I wasn’t surprised by that as their diet is uniquely different.

Eggs, Bacon and Breakfast

Full Circle & Stieber Farms Eggs with Beelers Bacon: Breakfast!

Overall, after eating breakfast I concluded that while I still prefer Stiebr’s Farms eggs the Full Circle farms eggs would work in a pinch!  My only real concern was that I didn’t know where the eggs came from and what the farming practices were.  Obviously, a little bit of research can solve that matter.

Research:  So while preparing for the Comparison blog post I obviously did a bit of reading up on Full Circle.  Funny thing however, and I quote directly from the Full Circle website, here:

Steibrs Farm provides our members with cage-free, organic eggs that are absolutely free from GMO feeds or pesticides.

Haha!  Oh my, it appears I may have been comparing Apples to Apples!  Full Circle eggs ARE Stiebrs Farm’s eggs, just run through Full Circle’s different producer/store network.  At first I was a little embarrassed about learning this because I thought it pointed me out as a biased reviewer; and while that still may be the case, after thinking about it I concluded that what it really showcases are the differences between the Organic and the Organic, Omega-3 eggs.  The yolk color difference I can understand due to the dietary difference; but I am still surprised at the shell thickness difference.  Both sets of hens are Cage-Free and unless Full Circle get’s something special, both are Certified Humane, which is top of the line in my opinion.  I even went through and tested a few more eggs from each dozen, and each time I would say the Full Circle organic eggs have weaker shells.  The Omega-3 diet, or whatever else get’s included in their special diet, must make for a stronger shell.


Acres in Zion

July 16, 2011

Summary:Acres in Zion

Acres in Zion is a wonderful, somewhat small farm that offers grass fed beef that isn’t finished with grain.  That right there is not always the easiest to find.  Looking at their website you can tell immediately that they are huge fans of the Grass-Fed beef culture; as their “About Us” is just an article by Jo Johnson about titled “Why Grassfed is Best!”.

I have personal experience with the beef from Acres in Zion though I have no personal contact with the farm itself as of yet.  Some family went in 1-2 years ago to purchase a 1/2 cow with each house getting 1/8 of a cow.  My wife has stated that it is the best beef she has ever had.  My taste buds are not as discerning and I can’t quite make such a statement; but I blame the somewhat typical male eating patterns known as “shoving too fast to taste”.  Either way, we are in the process of acquiring additional ground beef from Acres in Zion from a friend who is purchasing a portion of a cow.  Typical costs run around $6/lb as packaged.  They advertise $3.85/lb hanging weight, which is before the butcher gets his knife into the animal and debones, trims, and cuts.

What remains to be verified is the “stress-free” environment that they mention on their website.  From the family member that purchased the cow for us last time they even kill the cow in a stress-free way as stress just before death will change the taste of the meat as the body releases a number of hormones to deal with the fright.  I was told that the cows are essentially killed alone (so other cows don’t hear and stress out) and killed quickly while licking a sugar cube.  But again, I’ll want to see that for myself before I say that is what they do.

Products:

  • Grass Fed, Grass Finished Beef
  • Grass Fed Lamb
  • Eggs (According to Eat Wild, though not mentioned on their website)

Standards:

Misc Info:

Related Posts:


Goose Egg

March 26, 2011

My wife recently saw a selection of offerings from Dog Mountain Farm at her work in Seattle and was surprised to see that they were selling Geese eggs.  Naturally, it was a must try.

First things first, these eggs are monstrosities!  I’ve included a picture from a prior Egg Comparison so you can judge for yourself the difference in size.  The yolk itself is easily twice the diameter, maybe three times the volume of the yolk from a Chicken.  I’ve come across plenty of eggs in my life time (Chicken & Duck primarily so nothing large) but haven’t had the opportunity to cook such a large egg.  In all respects, I understand that a Goose egg really isn’t that large compared to many available eggs in this world, but for a suburban city dweller as myself, that is one big egg.


Even cracking up the egg had to be done differently.  I initially went at it as one would a normal egg, but found that a single “smack” on an edge and thumbs to peel apart probably wouldn’t work.  It seemed that if I pried it apart as such I was going to get goose egg shell all over my frying pan and in my egg.  After cracking the egg around it’s perimeter a few more times I was able to deposit it into my waiting cast iron frying pan with sizzling Tillamook butter.

Taste wise I recommend geese eggs.  One would think that maybe they would be a bit “gamier” tasting (don’t ask me what I mean by that), but in reality it was a different tasting, just as good as a chicken, egg.  The taste might actually be better.  I’d have to do a strict comparison to be sure.

This particular egg ended up having the yolk popped (on purpose so my wife doesn’t gag on the delicious yellow liquid of life), fried, and on a breakfast burrito with some US Wellness Meats Natural Smoked Bratwurst, Tillamook Cheese, crushed walnuts and various seasonings; similar in style to what was eaten on this Egg Review.

Below is a picture comparing the Dog Mountain Farm Goose Egg to a batch (partially eaten) of Willows Edge Farm to compare the size of the shelled Goose Egg with normal sized eggs.  The size difference isn’t as visible here, as the above yolk shows; but it is a sizable comparison.


Willows Edge Farm

February 8, 2011

Summary:

Willows Edge Farm is a local farm that seems to specialize in poultry and horses.  NWFarm Review focuses on the poultry and eggs as horse care is a wee bit outside our niche.  The farm treats their animals with the utmost respect in an attempt to give them a decent life, devoid of stress.  And as we all know, that kind of life makes for premium meat, and premium eggs.  Due to their practices and quantity available, their eggs and meat is in such high demand that they can be often out of stock for non-regular customers.

Products:

  • Pork (Half/Whole Hog)
  • Chicken
  • Eggs

Standards:

  • Pastured Free Range
  • No Antibiotics, Hormones, MSG
  • No Teeth, Ear, Beak cutting (animal mutilation)

Misc Info:

Related Posts:


Egg Comparison

January 24, 2011

The morning meal often composes of a scrumptious breakfast burrito.   Composed often of bacon or sausage, broccoli, Tillamook cheese, nutritional yeast, flax, walnuts, seasonings, and of course an egg.  But this isn’t a cooking blog so don’t get me started!
Anyways, this morning I thought I’d take a look and compare the Broadview Free Range eggs @ $3.49 for a dozen (left egg) with Stieber Farms Organic, Omega-3 Eggs @ $4.99 a dozen (right egg); nearly a 50% price increase.

As you can see, not too much difference.  Supposedly, healthier free range chickens produce a darker yellow yolk, versus the factory bred ‘n fed hens.  Luckily, as is the case from the shown picture, the Broadview Free Range eggs appear to be the same as the Stieber Farms Certified Organic, free range, Omega-3 eggs.  That boosts Broadview Eggs in this egg eater’s opinion, if the eggs had a difference in color I would have suspected Broadview’s “Free Range” classification, but so far so good!

Note:  Upon a closer inspection, the the Stieber Farms egg appears to be imperceptibly darker yellow, but it’s such a faint difference that I didn’t notice it at first.

One difference that is noticeable from the above picture is the size of the yolk.  The Stieber Farms egg produces a larger yolk, however, the eggs purchased are both described as Grade AA Large Brown.  Taking a brief look at the size of the shells also seems to show that the Stieber Farms hens produce slightly larger eggs (or are sorted differently).  Though the Stieber Farms eggs do vary more from smaller to larger.  The Broadview eggs are a little more consistent in size.

Click on any of the pictures to see them full-size.

Ahh, and last but not least, Beeler’s Bacon makes an excellent grease to use while cooking your eggs.  A grocery shopper would be hard pressed to find a better quality lard than from Heluka Pigs.  The lard is the brownish grease color visible on the edge of the eggs in the above picture


Stiebrs Farms

January 22, 2011

Summary:

Stiebrs Farms appears to be a well run, family farm since 1953.  Since the founding they have grown to employ about 70 people and produce high quality eggs, beef, and hen feed.  We have personally purchased, and deliciously enjoyed their Go-Organic Omega-3, Certified Humane, free range, Certified Organic eggs.  Basically an egg with nearly every “good” certification.

The only downfall we can see here is that from the pictures available on their website (I’d recommend their online “farm tour”, which doesn’t allow direct links) the chicken’s are not quite Pasture Raised, but considering that the hens have plenty of space outdoors and access to a fully organic, made by the Stiebrs Farms feed we aren’t really complaining.

Products:

  • Organic Omega-3 Eggs (Large Brown)
  • Organic Eggs (Brown M,L, XL, Jumbo)
  • Cage-Free Eggs (M,L,XL White & Brown)
  • Cage-Free Omega-3 Eggs (Large White)
  • Fry-N-Try Eggs (Jumbo, AA, White & Brown)
  • Duck Eggs
  • Organic, Grass-Fed Beef
  • Organic Feed

Standards:

Misc Info:

Related Posts: