Know your Eggs

Know your Eggs

Like everything today I believe we need to know where our food comes from, how it is produced and decide whether that is in line with your principles and code of ethics.  Here is a quick run down on the various know your eggs titledeggs and the choices available and what they mean so you can make the choice that best suits you.

Caged Eggs:

 The vast majority of egg-laying hens are confined in battery cages. On average, each caged laying hen is afforded only 67 square inches of cage space—less space than a single sheet of letter-sized paper on which to live her entire life. Unable even to spread their wings, caged laying hens are among the most intensively confined animals in agribusiness.


Uncaged, inside barns

Generally no access to outdoors

Can engage in many of their natural behaviors such as walking, nesting, and spreading their wings

Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted


Uncaged inside barns

Have some access to outdoors, but there are no restrictions regarding what they can be fed, and no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of outdoor access.

Because they are not caged, they can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging.

Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted.

Pasture-raised hens are kept outdoors for most of the year, on a spacious pasture covered with living plants, and are kept indoors at night for protection. 

However, because there is no regulation of the term, there are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed and no requirements for the amount of time spent on the pasture, the amount of space per bird, or the quality of the pasture.

Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted.

Is Certified Organic any better?

They’re better than regular caged eggs, but have a long way to go for us to consider them humanely produced!

Birds producing Certified Organic eggs have the same standards as Free-Range, with the only differences being that they are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program and compliance is verified through third-party auditing.

Common Foods and Non Foods that can contain MSG

Common Foods and Non Foods that can contain MSG

  • Ranch Dressing
  • Nutellacommon foods msg titled
  • Vegetable Dips
  • All flavoured chips and biscuits
  • Bouillon
  • Meat and Vegetable Stock and Broth
  • Baby Formulas and Foods
  • Hair Care Products – Shampoos/Conditioners
  • Toothpaste
  • Teeth Whitening Agent
  • Fluoride Treatments
  • Teeth Cleaning Pumice at the Dentist
  • Medication – Gel capsules
  • Children’s cough syrup


Search our Pantry using the MSG filter to find food that are MSG FREE



Look Out For MSG Activator Ingredients

Look Out For MSG Activator Ingredients

These ingredients are often used in products that already contain MSG. MSG activator titled

They assist with activating the MSG.

  • Disodium Guanylate E627
  • Disodium Inosinate E631
  • Flavours
  • Malt Flavouring
  • Bouillon
  • Broth
  • Barley Malt
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • Ultra-pasteurized Soy Sauce
  • Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
  • Pectin Soy Protein
  • Whey Protein Isolate
  • Whey Protein protease
  • Protease Enzymes
  • Protein Fortified
  • Enzyme Modified
  • Enzymes
  • Fermented anything
  • Citric Acid E330
  • Seasonings
  • Spices
  • Xanthum Gum E415
  • Gelatin


Search our pantries using the MSG free filter

Farming in Frosty Times

Farming in Frosty Times

I have previously touched on the need for consumers to understand how their food is grown and seasonality is a part of this discussion. The truth is, grass fed meat eats better at some times of the year than others. blue_hills_frost titledThe influencing factors include the location of the farm, the season, and the amount of rainfall the farm has received.

Feedlots are the mechanism by which mainstream cattle and lambs are finished to suit the specifications of the large supermarket chains and meat wholesalers. That is a simple explanation; there is a fair bit more to it with feedlots almost a science unto themselves. But feedlots allow the big boys to pump out meat to the same specifications day after day, year after year, for a minimum of cost – no matter how dry or wet the weather has been or what season it is.

In contrast, grass fed meat can vary with seasonal conditions. In our area this period is our hardest of the year with temperatures below zero most nights and some days not reaching 5 degrees. Top this off with heavy frosts ripping nutrients and proteins from grasses and turning pastures into slush, and times are a bit tough for the animals, as well as the farmers! Our neighbour and recent lamb supplier – Charles Roche – recorded minus 11 degrees on his verandah one night in June, worse still it was only minus 6 at 9am – at times like this I’m glad to be in Sydney…

As a result we will be purchasing grass fed meat from outside our area for the coming few weeks or until the weather turns the corner at home. We always choose for quality and to be honest it’s just not quite there at the moment… they’re all too busy trying to keep warm!


by Ben Clinch from The Free Range Butcher


10 Tips to Sail through the change of Seasons

10 Tips to Sail through the change of Seasons

In a blink of an eye summer is over and autumn has begun.  The reality is that days start to get shorter and nights start to have that familiar crisp in the air.  Here comes the cold and here comes the flu season.  Time 10 tips titledto start thinking immune system.  It is so important to care for this very delicate system and you will be rewarded with good health and minimal sick days.

Here are 10 tips you can easily implement to help Boost that baby, as the days get cooler.

  1. Water Water Water – as the days get cooler we forget to keep drinking, as we don’t feel as thirsty.  Good, clean filtered water is essential for flushing out mucus as well as keeping your mucus membranes hydrated to ease congestion. If you are struggling with water try a herbal tea.
  2. Dairy – try reducing your dairy intake over the cooler months. Too much dairy is known to increase your mucus production. Try some delicious alternatives to dairy like almond milk, coconut yoghurt and goats cheese.  There are a lot on the market, find one you like and stick to that where ever you can.
  3. Garlic – is known for its bacteria and virus fighting properties.  It is a very powerful antiviral nutrient to support the body when the temperature changes. Easy to add to meals, eat it where ever you can.
  4. Caffeine – try and reduce your caffeine intake in the form of coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, all of them! Whilst you may feel like you need a pick me up with the change of season however this will dehydrate your mucus membranes and draw vital water out of your body needed to keep you hydrated.
  5. Vitamin C – you’ve heard it before vitamin c boosts your immune system so why not add a supplement to your morning regime it is such a great vitamin for winter and is predominant in all the seasonal fruit around winter. Foods such as broccoli and blueberries will have your highest concentration, but don’t forget the citrus fruits such as your orange and lemons.
  6. Probiotics – take a therapeutic probiotic that has an accompanying prebiotic as you immune system starts in your gut.  Support your gut and you have a much better chance of fighting the bugs off.  Try also adding some fermented foods into your diet.  You can never have enough probiotics.
  7. Essential fatty acids – increase these into your diet, especially omega 3’s. These are important for their anti-inflammatory action which will keep your sinuses clear. High sources of these omegas are fish, avocado, nuts and seeds.
  8. Pineapple – this will be your best asset to your diet. Pineapple is high in bromelain an enzyme proven to reduce congestion and inflammation – the two most important symptoms to be reduced at this time of year.
  9. Veggies – eat as many as you can throughout the day in raw or juice form.  These are packed full of immune boosting nutrients to keep you fighting fit. Focus on your leafy greens such as your spinach and kale.
  10. Exercise – stay active, as it starts to cool down DO NOT reduce your exercise. Exercise is an important part of keep your immune system at a level to fight infection

Follow these simple tips to ensure your immune system is ready for the change of season

Reference: Sinead Smyth from Naednutrition

What Does Free Range Mean to You?

What Does Free Range Mean to You?

There has been some talk in the media and at the markets recently about Free Range and exactly how ‘free’ is the ‘range’. When we first started the business and we were thinking of a name, we sent out a sample of What Does Free Range titledour top five names to family and friends. The Free Range Butcher was not among them. In a moment of disappointment as we realised the web address of our desired name was not available, we had to go back to basics…let’s name the business after what we do. We produce free-range meat and we are butchers. Sorted.

What is Free Range?

My idea of Free Range is animals in the open, feet on the ground, eating grass and sleeping under trees; I’m sure that your thoughts are similar. Essentially an animal free to do as it pleases and display its natural behaviours.

Since being in the meat industry I have learnt that not all is, as it seems. The poultry and pork industry seem to be the worst, and the issue seems to me that the deception starts from the top. Industry bodies and associations can be full of the biggest stakeholders in the industry. Companies that have tens of thousands of animals. For this conversation let’s call them ‘The Big Boys’. The reality is, when the Big Boys change, it is only ever reactionary; to increase sales because customer perceptions or ideals are changing. The best way for them to increase profit is minimum system changes, and therefore capital outlay, but maximum perception of change at the shopping centre. Let’s take Free Range Pork as an example. I have been in a large supermarket chain and seen pork labelled ‘Free Range’. I might be getting ahead of myself, but I think I know a fair few of the Free Range pork producers in NSW, and I know that if we all got together there is still no way we could supply the amount of pork needed to fill these supermarket shelves. This is simply not Free Range Pork as you think it is. But it is Free Range Pork as the so called ‘standards’ allow, and guess who influenced and made up the standards, yes the Big Boys. Added to this, labelling laws fall short of the mark in many cases. 20, 000 chooks per hectare is like 20 blokes in a lift…mmm spacious. Not.

The only real way to ensure the food you are eating is what you think it is, is to ask the question; call the hotline or better still, talk to the producer…I’m at the markets every weekend!

Guest post submitted by Ben Clinch  – Free Range Butchers


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