[rant]Cage free eggs[rant]

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Sac Arrow, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Appreciate it. I've lived this business since I could walk and am very passionate about it. Some other interesting tidbits.

    1. We have machines that can wash, inspect, sanitize, crack, and inspect the inside contents of an egg. We can separate the white and yolk and the machine can do 200,000 eggs/hr. Our largest plant has three of these machines and processes nearly 2 billion eggs per year.

    2. We have machines of similar capacity that wash, inspect with cameras, ping the shell for cracks, weight each egg, sort them for individual packing lanes, and put them in cartons. 200,000 eggs per hour and never touched by a human. The machine can even tell where and how severe and egg might be cracked. We can tell the machine to only put the most slightly cracked eggs in the pack and can put that crack down in the package.

    3. The average American eats 260 eggs per year. Approximately 1/3 of those are in product form such as egg patties, powder, mayonnaise, or ice cream.

    4. We are constantly battling with fluid milk for lowest cost protein per serving. We are slowly gaining every year as efficiencies climb.

    5. We are starting to use drones with thermographic cameras to precisely dial in our environmental controls for uniformity.

    6. We specifically order a blend of five different micron size limestone particles to feed so that the bird dissolves them evenly in the gizzard over 24 hours so she always has adequate blood calcium to make the shell.

    7. We expect to get 500 eggs for a hen before she is no longer economically viable.

    8. We use near infrared spectroscopy on incoming feed ingredients to precisely tailor rations. We have a program that uses up to 25 parameters to reformulate nutrition so that the bird has what she needs without giving excess.

    9. That excess ends up in the manure which we sell to farmers to use in lieu of commercial fertilizers. We control the moisture and let it compost to help with pest control and odor.

    10. It takes one employee 10 hours per day to care for 300,000 birds.


    I could talk about this stuff for hours. Thanks all for indulging me.

    Eggman
     
  2. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    The other night this thread had me Googling for at least a hour and a half trying to find information about how large scale operations like yours work, in particular the technology behind making it work. For no real reason other than such things are fascinating. I was pretty amazed at how difficult it is to find basically any information at all. Perhaps one of those things the public doesn't want to know?
     
  3. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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  4. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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  5. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    What happens to the eggs that are intended to be cartoned whole but have unacceptable cracking. Are they able to then be directed to liquified instead? Or just discarded because it's not worth trying to do that?
     
  6. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    We are really a pretty small industry and the technology is supplied by few. No reason to spend much money on marketing. We all know each other.

    Google

    Moba
    Sanovo Stalkat
    Big Dutchman
    Chore time
    Facco
    PMSI
    Farmer automatic
    WEM automation

    Not my company, but-


    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvxs9fn-y1U
     
  7. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    We call those chex or restricted and a good plant will run under 3%. They are sent to a breaker to be turned into liquid but have a lower value than sound eggs as the recovery is lower and the bacteria is higher.
     
  8. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Is their 250 to 300 eggs per hen a year BS?
     
  9. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    PM me when your in NW Iowa. We'll go up in the ChickenHawk and I'll give you a tour. I'm very proud of what we do and have no reason to hide it. Be away from other poultry for a week and expect to take a shower and garb up to get in.
     
  10. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    About right. I figure closer to the high side of that for our shell egg operations. Middle of the range for our liquid operations.
     
  11. Doggtyred

    Doggtyred En-Route

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    He's right. If you eliminate dietary cholesterol your body will still manufacture it. If your genetics make yours high, it will be high. Unless its treated.
     
  12. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I've always hoped that one day you would talk a little bit about your industry. This has been a fascinating thread, thanks for the education!

    I love getting up early on Saturday while everyone else is asleep (they're not into breakfast) and making myself a big egg, bacon, hashbrown, and toast breakfast. Life's little indulgences!
     
  13. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    James,

    Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought egg production to be so high-tech. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
     
  14. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's cheating! But, I have a way around that: when I buy a dozen eggs, I don't just open the carton to look for cracks, I actually nudge each egg to make sure the bottom is not stuck, due to one of your slightly cracked eggs getting worse in transit. Strangely, when i buy 18 at a time, I just look at them (just not worth the hassle of nudging those extra 6 eggs :dunno:)

    My family, especially my son, is working very hard to increase that number for you, especially on the straight egg count. You're welcome. :)

    And I must echo the thanks for our own little episode of "How Stuff Works."
     
  15. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  16. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Anecdotal of course, but my Grandfather ate eggs and bacon nearly every day of his 94 years on this earth.
     
  17. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I just saw that. Feel free to edit it, and include a reference to an educational thread on eggs.
     
  18. dweyant

    dweyant Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wow,

    This has been one of the most interesting threads I think I've ever read on POA!

    I've always loved the technology behind automation, and this is just some amazing stuff.

    Any chance I can get a tour sometime? Might be worth a trip to Iowa to see.

    -Dan
     
  19. garyb

    garyb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Somehow my post disappeared. Do you have an airstrip and do you do tours?
     
  20. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    Will do. I bounce up there every so often. Either to take an airplane to Spencer Avionics for work -- or to see my sister/nephew that live right by Spencer.
     
  21. LoneAspen

    LoneAspen Line Up and Wait

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    Definitely an interesting thread. Thanks for sharing all the info!

    I like eggs, I usually eat a few each week. Eggs on toast for breakfast.

    I remember shopping with my Mom, she'd do the "inspect and nudge each egg" thing, and I do it, too.

    I saw a lady in a store once go the extra mile. She'd not only inspect each egg, she'd mix and match from other cartons of the same kind until she had the perfect dozen. I've never seen anybody do this since.

    I'm not that picky. If there's a broken one, I just close the carton and look for another.
     
  22. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  23. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Fantastic topic! I came here to read just another random POA rant, but ended up fascinated by the tech in the egg industry.

    A few questions to Mr. Dean if I may, what's your opinion about pasteurizing eggs? It seems Americans are the only people who refrigerate their eggs, elsewhere they are stored room temp. Pros/cons?

    Also, what's your take on food safety regarding soft yolk eggs? It's not hot enough to kill most bacteria such as salmonella, so, how safe is it?
     
  24. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    We are one of the only countries that mandates the washing of eggs prior to sale. That washing process removes the protective cuticle off the shell and makes refrigeration very much necessary. The washing process actually introduces spoilage, but not necessarily pathogenic, bacteria into the permeable shell. Getting this changed would literally take an act of congress and a cooperative FDA - neither of those is happening if it is coming from industry.

    There are in shell pasteurized eggs for sale at many retailers, but the cost and functional changes have made market penetration difficult.

    As to egg safety, I'm in the business so the following will probably come off as biased. The FDA is currently doing a new baseline study to determine salmonella prevelance in shell eggs, but current thinking is that 1 in 20,000 to 80,000 eggs contains a salmonella organism. Quite frankly, our industry did a terrible job on food safety for many years, but that has changed radically in the last 10, particularly in 2010 when new federal egg safety rules came into effect. Industry wide our houses now must be monitored for salmonella enteritidis and if found in the environment those eggs must be diverted to pasteurization until they have been shown to be pathogen free. Usually this is done by testing the eggs from that flock over a period of eight weeks at a national accredited lab. The incidence of SE being found in the last few years is remarkably low.

    FWIW, I would let my kids eat raw eggs procured from non-cage free flocks from any supermarket with no fear of illness. They eat my eggs every day over easy. I'm way more concerned about listeria from the meat in their lunchables.

    Cage free or from a producer with less than 3,000 birds(current threshold for FDA inspections)? Not without yolks cooked firm.

    Only other caveat is egg dishes from pooled eggs on a buffet line. The egg was probably pure, but if Filepe in the kitchen didn't wash his hands well and they let that hollandaise sit at 120* for eight hours there WILL be things in there you don't want to eat. That is the nature of bacteria and logarithmic growth for foods held below pasteurization temp.

    Eggman
     
  25. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    What ever happened to that law anyway? I remember going into our corner diner and ordering basted eggs and being told I couldn't have them that a new federal law had dictated they could only serve them with fully cooked yolks. That lasted about 3 days at the diner and they decided they would let their customers decide what kind of eggs they would eat. Did the law go away, or does everybody just ignore it?:dunno:
     
  26. MikeS

    MikeS Pre-takeoff checklist

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    > We have to figure out how to feed +9 billion people.

    Why? Feeding them just encourages more mindless breeding. As with feeding feral cat colonies, they first need to be spayed and neutered. What the planet really needs instead of more food is a spay/neuter project for hairless apes infected with ideologies.

    > I always find it ironic that those who seem to identify most with animals care the least about their fellow humans.

    What’s ironic?

    ***********************

    Very informative thread. Thanks!

    Costco briefly ran out of their brown cage-free eggs recently and I really missed them. Had to pay more for the same thing at Von's. Cruel world.
     
  27. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    To the best of my knowledge it was stop serving or put a statement on the menu that there were risks to eating undercooked foods that we've all now read.
     
  28. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting. I seemed to notice recently that I occasionally got some intestinal distress from 'general population' eggs from the supermarket, and almost always from the large cartons of 'plane white' eggs from Sam's Club. Since then, I have been going for the cage-free brown offerings from both, as well as the farmer's market, with better luck. Maybe it is not processing / hormones / etc. after all, but something else entirely (Slight allergy showing itself)? :dunno:

    What say you, Eggman?
     
  29. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    So basically it's just another irrelevant law, got it.:nonod:
     
  30. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Define "intestinal distress". How long after eating? How were they cooked? Did you go to the hospital?

    Sam's and Walmart have one of the more stringent set of requirements and auditing of their shell egg suppliers of the major retailers and I'm 99.999% confident they are compliant with the federal egg safety rules which makes the likelihood of repetitive incidents of food poisioning from the eggs extremely unlikely.

    Allergies from egg proteins would affect you from any egg.

    Supplemental hormones haven't been legal in decades in the egg business and were never widely used in any case.

    Eggman
     
  31. James_Dean

    James_Dean Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I think is as more the argument that you had to cook a filet mignon to mid well that was the bigger issue for diners. ;)
     
  32. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    that would certainly keep me away...burned beef is no bueno
     
  33. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    :eek: Blasphemy!
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Charred on the outside, bright red in the middle please.:yesnod:
     
  35. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    3-4 eggs for breakfast (and nothing else), hard boiled using the Emeril 13 minute method. No hospital, something like this 3-4 hours later, less 50%:



    Maybe it's all in my head. Wouldn't be the first time. And I'll ignore "hormone-free" labeling from now on, thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  36. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    mid well is no bueno...I can handle cold purple on the inside but anything past pink in the middle is bad
     
  37. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Would they include cayenne pepper?:lol:
     
  38. James_Dean

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    If the yolks were firm, which they would be with that method, your issue wasn't salmonella.
     
  39. flyingron

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    I always get a chuckle when I see the "free range eggs" for sale. I have visions of them rolling around the farm until the farmer corrals them into the little cartons.
     
  40. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have always envisioned little monkeys wearing Gaucho outfits while riding border collies for the great chicken roundup out on the great prairies... :rofl::rofl::rofl: