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Organic: Good For You, But Not For Everyone

So many of you have been asking about my little backyard chicken flock, and I’ve been getting a lot of requests for updates. We have big plans to add more girls to our family in the spring, but for now it’s just Daisy, Georgia, Hazel, Mitzy, Sophie, Biscuit, Gravy and Terry.

They’re separated into two flocks – the five big girls who arrived together are in one flock and our three bantam hens live in the small coop. This prevents territory issues and keeps the hens safe from each other. You may recall a certain bad girl named Camilla who had to be re-homed to bigger farm when she pecked all the other girls bald.

It’s a slow time at the Borucki Farm. Nothing is growing in the garden (only herbs and sprouts inside), and the hens aren’t laying as much now that the sun is setting earlier. We’ve only gotten three tiny eggs from the bantam hens over the past three days.

This brings up a HUGELY important issue for me and one of the main reasons I decided to raise my own chickens. By now you know how important it is for me to feed my family clean food. We buy mostly organic and only make exceptions for foods I consider to be safe. And while organic animal products are definitely better for you than non-organic (they are, don’t be fooled by the germ hype), they aren’t necessarily better for the animals. Organic farms use many – if not all – of the same cruel methods that factory farms use to harvest their product.

My chickens stop laying in the winter because that’s the natural cycle – less sun = less eggs. I could put a light in their coop to simulate sunlight and force them to keep laying, but I feel like that’s messing with the order of things. I’m not a vegan, but I honor and respect animals. I hope that I’m giving my girls a good home in exchange for the amazing nutritious eggs they provide for my family.

Instead of getting too preachy, I’d love for you to just watch some of my chicken videos that tell the story of our little urban farming experiment and documentaries like Food Inc. (featuring my favorite journalist-activist-author-food-industry-health-expert, Michael Pollan). The information is out there, so please go check it out for yourself – you’ll be healthier for it!

I’m curious… Do you buy organic options at the grocery store? Have you thought about the difference between organic and non-organic meat, eggs and dairy? The ethics of eating is so crazy complicated, and I’d love to hear how other people deal with it when it comes to their own diets.