I get at chuckle out of all the ads now advertising their eggs are freshly cracked. We hear it from McDonalds, A& W, Tim Hortons… “How else are you going to get it out of the shell?” I ask myself. Telekinesis?
I have had laying hens on the farm. My sister-in-law grew up on the farm but high-tailed it to the city the day she finished high school. I will never forget the look of disgust on her face as she watched her 4 year old pick eggs. I guess she knew they came from a chicken’s butt but choose to not process that fact.
I you think this is a bit too connected to food. But pause to consider how intriguing it is that marketers know it resonates to tell you they serve food “in its natural form”. We eat it up. It fits in with all the coverage on eating unprocessed foods, not purchasing products with more than 5 ingredients, and not buying goods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. We’re told to shop only the outside of the grocery store.
When I prepare food for my family I inherently gravitate towards those rules. I agree that they inherently seem right – even more so when the “whole food” comes from our farm. But I won’t lie. My table has seen its share of Kraft Dinner and frozen pizza. Why? Because it’s convenient, cheap, comfort food. AND IT IS SAFE.
I’m not going to dispute all the reports on the evils of processed foods. I recognize it is often high in sodium, fat, and sugar and low in vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. But, these are long term lifestyle issues. In food safety terms, IT IS SAFE. You can eat ANYTHING in a Canadian grocery store and provided you are not allergic to it not get sick. We rarely pause to think how amazing that fact is. We take our food safety for granted.
Canadian farmers participate in a wide range of food safety and quality assurance programs. Some are mandatory, others voluntary. All of them focus on identifying potential food safety hazards and implementing procedures to minimize risk. Most of these programs were developed in the last 20 years. I argue that they are effective and have made our food safer today than ever before.
So the next time you buy a freshly-cracked breakfast sandwich, load it up with bacon and cheese and enjoy it. Your greatest worry is the length of the line-up because the egg farmer, pig producer, dairy farmer, and wheat grower worried about food safety for you.