Farm to Fork Tour – Taste Alberta & Alberta Egg Farmers

By: Angie Lang, Marketing & Social Media Coordinator, EFA

Hello everyone! It’s been sometime since we last spoke, but we have been very busy spreading the word about EGGS!

A couple of weeks ago we had an opportunity to partner with Taste Alberta, a group that represents  a variety of organizations within the Alberta food industry that have come together to encourage loyalty to locally produced food. They work with groups such as, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pulses, Alberta Chicken, Alberta Pork etc. A food tour was arranged by Taste Alberta and ourselves for foodies to learn the importance of local food in Alberta and seeing exactly where eggs come from that are bought in grocery stores!

The tour consisted of half a dozen food industry and food bloggers in Edmonton, Alta. Sharon Yeo from Only Here For The Food, Sharman Hnatiuk from This Piggy’s Tale, Amy Hayduk – Assistant Market Director from Wild Heart Collective | 124 Grand Market and Kirtsa Franke – Market Director & Proprietor from Wild Heart Collective | 124 Grand Market. We started off at Glasshouse Bistro in St.Albert’s Enjoy Centre. We sat down to a beautiful family style breakfast, in an equally as beautiful restaurant. Large windows surrounded us, with light pouring in from the crisp St.Albert morning.

Local ingredients were used to prepare the delicious breakfast, more importantly eggs from Morinville Colony. After breakfast we made our way out to Morinville Colony, where our good friend Paul Wurz greeted us and began the tour of showing our guests his 10,000 white bird layer barn. The birds are housed in conventional housing units and has been the egg industry’s standard hen housing system for decades.

One thing that is extra special about the eggs laid at Morinville Colony is they are  graded in the same building as the eggs are laid. In approximately two hours, 20,000 eggs from both flocks, are graded by one of the men who work in the barn. After eggs are washed, they then go through the process of ‘candling’, which is the process of passing the eggs over a bright light to make its interior visible. The grader checks the shell quality and size of the air cell, and confirms that the yolk is well-centered.

The ladies were surprised to know that eggs bought in the grocery store are fresh and almost all of them are from local farmers around the area. Most eggs arrive at the grocery store within a week of being laid, stopping at a grading station to be inspected before arriving at the store and on the shelves. Because the Morinville Colony has their own grading station, they are able to have eggs to the grocery store within 24 hours!

They were also interested in knowing that the different colour of egg yolk is due to the different feed the hens eat. Some commented that they were surprised to learn that brown and white eggs are nutritionally equal.

You can read more about the tour from Sharon’s blog post & Sharman’s blog post!