Being a sustainable shopper is a hard task, especially as a college student. $100, or even $150, a month doesn’t go as far as you might think, and buying that $3 head of organic broccoli seems like such a waste when there is a $1.50 head right next to it, and they look exactly the same! Plus, sometimes an organic head of broccoli can have just as much of a negative impact on the earth as non-organic, depending on how far it’s traveled and where it’s being grown.
That’s why my fifth Baby Step to Sustainability is buying local eggs.
I eat at least 3 eggs a day, mostly because a hardboiled egg is the only healthy food I know of that leaves me with no dishes to wash. Eggs are filled with nutrients and protein, are low carb, incredibly versatile and insanely cheap. A dozen can cost less than $2 (or, less than 17 cents an egg), and last almost a week.
This is why I suggest that there is no reason that anyone able to spend at least $100 a month on groceries can not shell out an extra $2 (or, an extra 14 cents an egg) on a dozen eggs. Even the most expensive of dozen boxes won’t even amount to 50 cents per egg. Often, if you eat 3 eggs in a morning, you will spend less than $1 for breakfast! That is less than a coffee, and has way more nutrients.
Now on to why it’s sustainable. I’m going to stick to a single point to keep it concise, though there are many reasons that local eggs are better for the environment.
As you may know, Sustain Mizzou -and many other organizations- generally defines sustainability as using resources today in a way that does not sacrifice the resources and comforts of our children and Earth in the future.
Reduction of the use of non-renewable resources such as fossil fuels is generally one of the most sustainable things we can do in this day, in our first world country. (If you’ve forgotten why, our own MacKenzie Reagan explained this in What the Frack is Fracking) last year. Thus buying food which requires minimal transportation is very sustainable- and often a lot cheaper! – than buying food from states and states away.
Luckily, here in the state of Missouri, we have a plethora of farmers who raise chickens. Even the Columbia Center For Urban Agriculture, which is only about a mile north of the University campus, has chickens which produce eggs! Also, at every store in Columbia, there are a variety of local eggs, most notably from the Stanton Brothers who are located in Centralia.
Yes, those young boys really are the Stanton Brothers. And they really do run a farm of ~12,000 free range chickens. That amazing fact in itself is a post for another day.
I’ve found, (unsurprisingly) that Lucky’s Market is the best place to buy local eggs, with Gerbes coming in for a close second. Most days, Lucky’s has a variety of eight or more different brands of local eggs. These local eggs also often are free range, antibiotic and hormone free and grain fed, all things which you are free to look up on your own, but that we will also be covering in the future under Sustainability 101.
But, if only for the reason that it reduces fossil fuel emissions, please pick local eggs the next time you shop! Even if you buy eggs four times a month, and only do it once, it will be an improvement.
There are many other factors which play into the sustainability of local eggs, but we’ll post about that in the future when we talk more about factory farming and nutrient pollution.
For now, I appreciate all three of you making it to the end of this post (hi mom) and have a great True/False weekend!