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Happier Chicken, Better Egg

I enjoyed "Growing a Conscience" (Cover Story, June 13). I agree with food critic B.P. Fox ("The Taste Test") that you get spoiled eating fresh, local food.

I wanted to clarify one point that I feel Fox missed. Freshness is not the only reason an egg from the farmers' market tastes better. The difference is in how the chicken lives and what she eats. Instead of living in a confinement house with thousands of other chickens, the chickens of those who sell at farmers' markets live outside with access to the very foods chickens are intended by nature to eat: greens (grass, clover and my chicken's favorite, chickweed), seeds, bugs and worms.

The beta carotene in the greens turns the yolk that beautiful dark orange. An egg from a chicken raised outside on pasture is superior in every way to those old pale eggs produced by an industrial model.

Buying "organic" eggs does not guarantee that a chicken has lived the good life outside. When buying eggs, ask if the chickens lived outside on pasture. You can get locally raised pastured eggs at your local farmers' markets and at local natural food stores like Ellwood Thompson and Good Foods Grocery. For more information on the benefits of animals raised on pasture, check out www.eatwild.com. Molly Sharp

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