Verde Farms

January 7, 2012

Verde FarmsSummary:

Verde Farms is a reseller of organic beef under it’s own name for a few farms based in the US, Australia and Uruguay.  They sell primarily Organic Beef but are continually looking for more sources of organic, grass fed beef.  One of the main sources for grass fed, USDA Organic is Uruguay; and nearby Argentina is where the Verde Farms was born in a sense.  The founder of Verde Farms, Dana Ehrlich, visited a Ranch while living in Argentina and became interested in what kind of beef is bought by consumers in the US; at which point Verde Farms was born to bring high quality, Organic beef to US Consumers.

According to their website Verde Farms currently only supplies to the East Coast in the US; however Top Foods in Washington sells a variety of Verde Farms beef (multiple cuts, sizes, and ground beef).

Products:

  • Organic Beef (all cuts and sizes)
  • Organic Ground Beef
  • Organic, Grass Fed Beef
  • Organic, Grass Fed Ground Beef

Standards:

Misc Info:

Related Posts:

  • N/A
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On the Lamb Farm

December 3, 2011

On The Lamb FarmSummary:

On The Lamb Farm is a relatively young farm (founded in 1998) that produces pasture raised Beef and Lamb.  I like this farm, they are a small operation that go after their passions.  One of the founds even raises, trains and competes cattle dogs.  Price-wise I would say they are average for local, grass fed.  Please note, that their products are not grain finished as many grass-fed cattle are.

Products:

  • Beef (Select cuts, ground or all the way up to Whole Cow)
  • Lamb (Whole)
  • Eggs

Standards:

  • Practicing Organic
  • Pasture Raised (Beef and Lamb)
  • Grass Finished
  • No Antibiotics or Hormones

Misc Info:

Related Posts:

  • None (yet)

Commentary: What Will Keep Our Food Safe?

October 21, 2011

I found an article about food safety and food certifications on an economics site if you can believe it.  Find it here: http://mises.org/daily/5591/What-Will-Keep-Our-Food-Safe

In a very brief summary (it’s a brief article) it discusses some of the issues people are having with the USDA Organic label versus private labeling or just “practicing organic”.  The author briefly discusses a CSA he uses and links to another article about it; though I just glanced at it and didn’t read it fully.  He comes to the conclusion the USDA Organic label could easily be replaced by the variety of private certification labels already around.  I tend to agree.  A lot of good, small farms out there don’t even use the USDA Organic label due to it’s expense but just use the best practices available to them; which tend to be organic anyways.  It’s just the monetary cost and time cost that prevents them from doing so.

Anyways, check it out; decent article and I thought I’d share.


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.

Full Circle

September 13, 2011

Summary:

Full Circle LogoFull Circle started out as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in 1996 and has turned into one of the largest Organic CSA type farm businesses in the Northwest.  They are not only just a CSA however, they are also a reasonably sized distributors who’s products can be found in large retail stores.  Closest location near this author is 2.5 miles away at a Top Food & Drug.

Full Circle is an excellent, wide range producer and distributor of organic food.  It’s hard to quantify them specifically as they are a distributor, but technically each of their partners should be looked at individually.  For example, Full Circle eggs come from Stieber Farms and Full Circle Dairy comes from Fresh Breeze Organic.  Both of which us at NW Farm Review have reviewed before and find to be top notch producers.  Click their names above to see prior reviews.  Full Circle lists all their farmers and producers on their website here, it’s worth checking out.

Products:

  • Huge range of Vegetables and Herbs full list here
  • Full list of available products on the website here
  • Grains
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Meat/Seafood
  • Tofu

Standards:

Misc Info:

  • Location: Multiple Farms all in Washington
  • NW Farm Review Rating: 4.5 Star
  • NW Farm Review Visit:  None
  • Standards Confirmation:  None
  • Website:  Full Circlehttp://www.fullcircle.com/

Related Posts:


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.


Dog Mountain Farm

March 26, 2011

Summary:

Dog Mountain Farm is less than a decade old but produces a huge variety of vegetables, eggs, meat, herbs and fruits.  One of their primary focuses is on the health of their produce (whether animal based or vegetation) and thus the health of the consuming individual.

Products:

  • Full list of available products on the website here
  • Vegetables (you name it they got it)
  • Eggs (Chicken, Duck & Goose)
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Goose
  • Rabbit
  • Pork

Standards:

  • Practicing Organic
  • Pasture Raised
  • No Antibiotics or Hormones
  • No Herbicides, Pesticides or Commercial Fertilizer

Misc Info:

Related Posts: