Did you Know about the Egg Prohibition?- The Egg Police

Did you Know about the Egg Prohibition?- The Egg Police

Farm eggs are now in hot demand, and in California alternative eggs have reached cult status. The farmers who raise them are now almost as famous as the Hollywood star’s imprints that grace the grounds of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. These eggs now offer smaller farmers a good source of revenue. But, this growing market for a different kind of egg is creating tension between those smaller farmers that raise them and our local egg marketing boards. If you had no idea, these boards were created to develop the mainstream egg industry in Canada and its large chicken farms.

The egg farming is governed by a supply management system in Canada, which means egg marketing boards control the number of eggs produced. This quota system maintains a constant price, and proponents say it ensures that farmers make a living and consumers have a steady supply of eggs. But the eggs produced on farms that hold the quotas are not the eggs that foodies now desire. It’s the small, often organic operator who is supplying the fresh eggs to farmers’ markets that are in high demand.

All farmers are allowed to keep 99 laying hens without a buying quota, which is going to cost them thousands of dollars. They can then sell their eggs from the farm gate without grading them, a process that evaluates quality. But they are forbidden from selling them anywhere else unless they are graded, which, for the small farmer, is a tough regulation to meet because grading stations are often a long way from the farm and it is very expensive to set one up.

This whole dilemma has now created what they call “a grey market for eggs”. However, if you know the imaginary password, sometimes you can buy the odd dozen at an Ontario health food store. These popular eggs at some farmers’ markets are kept out of sight – for a reason. It’s now considered more like Prohibition bootlegging with a lot more people ignoring the regulations and selling eggs.

But when markets or stores sell these eggs their risk becomes VERY HIGH. There is much talk of the “egg police” who keep track of who’s doing what. Then there are the rumours and sometimes facts of farmers getting in trouble for breaking the rules. A farmer was fined in 2008 over $3,000 CDN for selling eggs to Ottawa-area restaurants. Somewhere in Eastern Ontario in 2006, the egg marketing board, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and police officers raided one particular farm and pressed charges including unlawful possession of laying hens because the farmer allegedly owned more than the permitted 99 laying hens.

read— Egg Grading, Distribution, Sales and Processing in Ontario

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

10 responses »

  1. Every word of this is true. Same thing for chicken except small farms can’t fly under the radar if they want birds to be legally processed ( IF you can book a sit yo get your birds processed in a given srason/year!)


      • Linda ~ If you’ve been around as long as I…then you must remember the Bruck Mills plant in Cowansville.


      • They say that life comes 360 and it does. I enjoy dropping off small memory tidbits on the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (Almonte ON) Facebook page. Curator Sean N Michael Rikley-Lancaster told me they were working together with Bruck Mills from Cowansville, Quebec which was also an enormous textile mill that employed the town like Rosamond Mills did for the town of Almonte, Ontario. Here is a picture from 1947. My mother Bernice Ethelyne Crittenden Knight is front and centre with the white dress and Joan Crawford hair. She worked for Bruck Mills and I am so proud they are saving the memories for Cowansville like Almonte has done. Photo from Ville de Cowansville.


  2. Good morning Linda,

    The photo that you refer to is not visible, or if it is, I’m not sure how to access it.

    The reason I asked about the mill, was I had a job at the Montreal office, when I first left high school about 50+ years ago. I seem to recall there was a mill in Cowansville and someplace else, but I forget where.


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