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Local, pastured, humanely-raised eggs, chicken and milk

Anyone know where I can find organic, pastured, humanely-raised eggs, chicken and milk in Los Angeles? Preferably from a family farm. I don't care how much it costs. No more caging and debeaking chickens and force-feeding corn to cows for me!

Please don't suggest Costco, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. If you dig a bit you'll find they don't actually meet these criteria.

Thanks!

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  1. Get thee to the farmers' markets. Lily's Eggs, Montebello Eggs... and you can ask questions (some markets you may need to ask in Spanish). Hollywood (Sunday mornings) and Santa Monica (Wednesday and Saturday mornings) will have sustainably-raised chickens as well, and maybe milk (don't remember about SM -- I know for sure Hollywood has it). You can also buy grass-fed beef and bison.

    Lily's eggs are in the $4-$5 range per dozen, $7 or so for a flat of 20 eggs. Down here in OC we have Five Bar grass-fed, sustainably-raised beef from Silverado Canyon, $6 for ground beef, $9 for steaks, $12 for fancy steaks and $15 for offal (all per pound).

    And in the meantime go to Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica. I vividly remember a fight during a membership meeting about where exactly the line ought to be drawn for sustainably, humanely-raised eggs.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      and when you are at co-opportunity check out their bulk foods dept,
      it's one of my favorites.

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Santa Monica FM on wed. has all of this as well. For the most part, they are the exact same vendors.

      2. I m an avid SM FM shopper and I have found that 'Healthy Family Farms' organic eggs (they also have chicken but I haven't tried it) are the best. I know they are at the saturday mkt in sm and sunday mkt in venice and bh. You can join their CSA and get discounts and pre-order lamb, duck, beef, pork, goat milk, etc. -- healthyfamilyfarms@gmail.com

        7 Replies
          1. re: Cinnamon

            that entire website is fantastic!
            thank you so much for finding it and sharing it!
            it gave information on several local farms, the products they sell, and the farmer's markets at which their products can be found..
            (i was astonished to find a listing for an egg farm in the midwest that raised chickens and DIDN'T kill any chickens, not even the roosters nor the old ones)

            1. re: westsidegal

              You're welcome! (I hope it at least partly makes up for my Dinah's fiasco!)

              1. re: Cinnamon

                there was no fiasco at dinah's, imho.
                you were trusting enough to try to a dish that i like, and it didn't work out.
                if anything, i should be apologizing to you for a bum steer.

          2. re: organic snob

            Organic Snob, may I ask when's the last time you saw this farm at a farmer's market or heard back from them by e-mail? I stopped in at the Playa Vista farmer's market Saturday hoping to see them but didn't... and then googled around for their actual Website again and ran across this late-2008 article about one of them being briefly jailed in a bust over suspicion of the crime of having sold raw goat milk or something without a license. Is that now ancient history or what?
            http://www.venturacountystar.com/news...

            1. re: Cinnamon

              They were certainly at the HFM this morning.

              1. re: condiment

                Heard from the company that yes they are operating and going to multiple farmer's markets in the L.A. area.

          3. I get fresh eggs biweekly from the Torrance Farmer's Market from La Bahn Ranch. They also see whole chicken, chicken parts (i.e. breast, legs, wings,) all separately and they have the innards too (i.e. liver, gizzards). The prices are actually very reasonable and although they are not certified organic, it is cage free, hormone free, etc. The eggs there are absolutely delicious and so much creamier than store bought eggs. I refuse to go back to storebought now (I actually want to raise my own chickens one day!)

            http://talk.2itch.com

            7 Replies
            1. re: kushnerom

              I buy eggs and whole chickens from them as well. They are delicious.

              There is an Organic Pastures raw milk stand at the Torrance FM, but I'll usually buy Claravale Farms raw milk at Whole Foods or Broguiere's (pastuerized and not certified organic) since they are local.

              1. re: annapurna7

                I think you mean "pastured" here and not "pasteurized" since that involves heating. (?)

                1. re: Cinnamon

                  Broguieres is pasteurized/heated to kill bacteria. I'll still drink it though. I'm not raw milk exclusive.

                  1. re: annapurna7

                    Oh yeah, that's right - had that once from Bristol Farms.

              2. re: kushnerom

                Out of curiousity... have you talked to the folks to ask ensure that the chickens are pasture raised? I'm very paranoid now since cage free and free range labels really don't mean anything. I have seen their stand at the Torrance FM and would love to eat eggs again if they are truly from pasture raised chickens.

                1. re: nkpham

                  I have asked if they really do roam around and they said yes, although we do have take the farmer's word for it... we can never really know what their vision of "roaming" is. All I know is that their chicken meat looks like chicken should (not crazy huge and plump, but smaller and lean). Their eggs are the creamiest I have tastest since my aunt's chicken eggs in France (that she raises on veggie scraps!) Also, I had to buy some eggs and couldn't go to the Torrance FM, so settled for the eggs at my local Mar Vista Market and the sizes of the eggs were very inconsistent, some were large, some were tiny which makes baking an issue.... but La Bahn's eggs are very consistent in size which is another plus for me.

                2. re: kushnerom

                  They have the best tasting eggs. Nope, they're not certified, but who cares--the eggs are rich and delicious with a deep rich orange center. I only use La Bahn eggs for my sunny side up eggs!

                3. I've noticed two egg vendors at the Santa Monica market the times I've visited, both on 1st Ave I believe. The one north of the intersection where there is a tent covering chairs sells lots of cheaper eggs, but when I asked the woman once if her chickens were pasture-raised she looked at me in horror and said no, they were kept off the ground, and did I want them off eating disgusting BUGS? (Uh... yeah, actually).

                  There's a smaller stand south of the intersection, a guy who sells eggs and chickens and possibly other things. He says his are completely pasture-raised.

                  1. Thank you everyone! This is wonderful!!!!!

                    1. Does anyone know about the humane practices/sustainability of the chicken and egg products at the 3rd and Fairfax farmers market (Puritan Poultry and Farmers Market Poultry)?

                      Mr Taster

                      1. You may want to enquire with the folks at Rawsome. I've asked them about these issues in the past and they claimed that their sources do all of the above. Talk with James - it's his show...

                        Rawsome
                        665 Rose Avenue
                        Venice, CA 90291

                        1. You could buy a cow and just treat it humanely yourself. There are people in Los Angeles proper who do that . . .

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: apple7blue

                            Ok.... I'll bite... where?

                            On a related note, does anyone know of anywhere I can obtain no-kill dairy products in the greater Southern California area? In other words, places which not only don't kill their females after their milk production goes down, but don't sell the males for meat, etc. etc.? Cow milk would be ideal, but I imagine sheep or goat would be more likely. I have a couple of sources for eggs, but none currently for milk. I am guessing this doesn't describe a commercial operation, but if you know of private individuals who might qualify, let me know, either here or privately.

                            1. re: will47

                              Try contacting Rawsome on Rose in Venice. I don't have their phone number but I will post their address below. As their name implies, their products are raw with a strong emphasis on knowing their sources. I know they sell raw cow and goat milk but I don't know about the issues that concern you - they should.

                              A few caveats: Rawsome is a membership/coop-type place that sells premium products so expect to pay premium prices. The place is operated by a very "casual" bunch, like they just rolled out of a 70's love bus. Really nice folks in general - don't let their appearances throw you. I think they're still cash-only as well.

                              Rawsome
                              665 Rose Avenue
                              Venice, CA 90291

                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                bulavinaka,
                                fwiw, i've been told that rawsome does no true investigation of their suppliers or the claims of their suppliers.
                                they are open to being completely scammed.
                                indeed, regarding Sharon Palmer, there is plenty of evidence that they HAVE been completely scammed into selling commercially mass-produced eggs and other products that she repackaged and fraudulently relabeled as being organic, humanely-raised, and pastured products

                              2. re: will47

                                We split some comments regarding urban livestock to our Not About Food board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/771583

                                1. re: will47

                                  Hi will47, I wish I had seen this thread earlier as I do have some advice on these topics as well as the eggs. I don't know if you are familiar with http://certifiedhumane.org/ but it's a fairly comprehensive website that lists places that are certified humane. I live in the Los Angeles area and don't know of anywhere local for milk, but I know that both Clover and Organic Valley are certified humane dairies. They must abide by strict standards to maintain this certification, from the daily handling of the animals all the way to euthanasia or slaughter and if you are really interested in knowing all those details they are posted on the website. Of course, at some point one must hope that these standards are being upheld, and unless you do know a farmer who is kind and cares about the well being of the animals, you must have some faith in these safeguards.
                                  As for goat farms there are a few that have really wonderful websites. Since goat farming is a pretty small industry it seems that the farmers are very dedicated to their animals. Redwood Hills in particular has a lovely site with a great video which has info about their goats and how they do not have to birth every year and once retired, they get to live out their years on the farm. They aren't in SoCal (they are in Sebastopol, up north a bit.) They have wonderful cheese that's widely available at Whole Foods and I think maybe Trader Joe's. For eggs, I love Edendale Farm in Silverlake. The eggs are lovely, the chickens are beautiful and it's a tiny, family operation in Los Angeles proper. You must call in advance to see if they have eggs available pick them up yourself. It's not cheap but they are the most lovely eggs you will ever see or eat and you can rest assured that there are no horror stories of what happens to male chicks or spent hens. I hope these help you out... if you have any further questions I'm happy to offer any info I can as I am truly passionate about these topics.

                                  1. re: jenofLA

                                    Just to be clear, I'm only interested in no-kill operations, which pretty much leaves out the type of operations big enough to do the certifications you're talking about - mostly I buy folks who keep a few chickens in their yard. I have been to Edendale farm, and was buying eggs from there for a while, however I'm a little skeptical about them.

                                  2. re: will47

                                    Soledad Goats at Hollywood FM on Sundays is a no-kill farm(particularly for this question: they do not kill their aged nannies which are the milk producing females, nor their billies(unecessary for a dairy farm), and they adopt them out only as pets, grazing work, petting zoos). They rescue loads of animals. They are very open about their practices, welcoming to visitors, and seem to be authentically caring peeps. Their Goat yogurt/cheese/drink is amazing. They occasionally have eggs but are not in the biz of producing eggs.

                                    1. re: drivetoeat

                                      They are also at the Long Beach Marina market (Sunday AM) and the Irvine/UCI market (Saturday AM).

                                      1. re: drivetoeat

                                        Glad to hear this. The baby goats they have along with them at the market are always so cute!

                                  3. You might want to check out Rainbow Ranch Farms. http://www.rainbowranchfarms.com. They have pastured poultry, including chicken and turkeys, chicken and turkey eggs, and raw goat milk. I live in OC but I have been a member of their CSA for many years and get almost all of my poultry from them. Can't be beat.

                                    1. I'm coming a little late to this, but I thought that Whole Foods' eggs were from Vital Farms which is supposedly organic, pastured, humanely-raised eggs.

                                      Can you let me know which of these criteria they do not meet?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Dlish

                                        I don't know of any issues with Vital Farms. I have had these eggs before and they're great, but they aren't as solid as the ones we get through Abundant Harvest Organics (www.abundantharvestorganics.com). AHO uses eggs from Alexandre Kids and Amsterdam Organics - the best eggs I have ever seen!

                                      2. Check out http://www.edendalefarm.com/ in Silverlake, $5 a dozen, and you can see the chickens yourself and how they live. A couple of them are "rescues" and have been debeaked, but most have not, and they seem happy (or as happy as chickens can seem). This place doesn't sell chicken meat or milk, just eggs. I have personal knowledge of these chickens, and I see them every week or so.

                                        For goat cheese and cow cheese, go to the Atwater farmer's market and find the Soledad Farms stand. That market also has someone selling (supposedly) humanely raised and killed lamb. I have no personal knowledge of either source.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: pkoslyn

                                          Soledad Goats is also at Irvine; you can talk to them about their animals.

                                          1. re: pkoslyn

                                            Took pkoslyn's review and braved the wilds of Silverlake for those eggs ($6/ doz). They have a true urban farm there and the chickens were in coops (though a few were roaming the yard). I met the hens and got a doz. multicolored, different sized eggs.

                                            These eggs are great-- bright standup yolks, thick whites and none of the bland taste of supermarket eggs. Call ahead and bring your own egg carton (if you can). You'll not get fresher, humanely-sourced eggs anywhere.

                                            1. re: Tiggilene

                                              So, this is probably not truly up your alley, - I buy Healthy Family Farms eggs at the SM market and we really like them (per another person's wise recommendation). But just in case you care and don't know, Alta Dena has delivery folks in certain parts of LA (they have them on the Westside although my neighbors stopped having them come because we can buy Alta Dena here and the delivery of milk and eggs is not cheaper than at the store) - they come to your house and have a pretty good array of non-pasturized dairy products in glass jars. I'll look for the number if this is up your alley.

                                              1. re: TracyO

                                                Alta Dena pasturizes all dairy products. It hasn't sold raw milk in a decade.

                                                1. re: TracyO

                                                  They are in glass bottles but they are not raw.

                                            2. A second vote for Healthy Family Farms for eggs, but if you go there and pass up the chickens (as I did for a few months - they're expensive) you are making a HUGH mistake. They will probably be the best you will ever eat.

                                              7 Replies
                                              1. re: Bruce Kerr

                                                I've been hearing a lot of questions about Healthy Family Farms' business practices, so some of the other suggestions in this thread might be better for an eggs/chicken source. Someone posted a website about them called "unhealthy family farms" - it reads like a smear campaign, but the info is still disturbing. Sorry I can't point to another source for chicken/eggs -- I'm still looking myself!

                                                1. re: Miriam22

                                                  if someone were to smear your name, wouldn't you want a chance to respond? Ask them about it and see what they have to say.

                                                  1. re: AAQjr

                                                    Visit www.abundantharvestorganics.com for an awesome weekly, organic produce delivery all over southern California. They offer TRULY pastured eggs from places like Alexandre Kids and Amsterdam Organics. You can also add REAL milk from Organic Pastures and other items such as 100% grass-fed beef. Now if you're looking for truly pastured chicken - such as from Polyface - you're not going to find it. But still a ton of great options. And I bet it will probably be available in the future when we all start actually demanding it.
                                                    -
                                                    By the way, simply visit the farm (HFF) and you can see how things don't add up... It's very small and contains all permanent fencing. There's no way to ever grow grass for the animals because the land has no time to heal and grow when it's being constantly beat upon by too many animals who have nowhere else to go. And feel free to do your own egg tests with HFF eggs and others - both with other conventional and organic eggs, and with truly pastured eggs. It's as plain as day. I put a lot of [unwarranted] faith in Rawesome back when I was eating those eggs, especially since I eat so many of them raw. Now I've had the real thing and there's no way I would send my food dollars to HFF for ANYTHING.

                                                    1. re: AAQjr

                                                      AAQjr:
                                                      there is plenty of evidence that the place is a scam.
                                                      no need to ask them anything.
                                                      they have been investigated by licensed private investigation firms who are willing to put their names/license on the line.

                                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                                        is the evidence published somewhere? Has this evidence been presented to the Market Manager.. I am curious what her response is.

                                                        I don't claim to know anything other than having used their eggs (which are pretty good, but not great IMO) I am always concerned when I see a lot of accusations (appeal to an unknown authority) with out anything to back it up (so far.)

                                                        1. re: AAQjr

                                                          the name of the private investigation firm is:
                                                          Hermann and Hermann
                                                          their california license is:
                                                          25570

                                                          their report has been posted online
                                                          the firm that paid for the report, i believe, is:
                                                          Spiegelman and Edwards

                                                          i have no idea what "has been presented" to the market manager and, to be honest, i don't care. my guess is that the market manager is a nice person that means well but doesn't have the skill nor time to actually check out his/her suppliers.

                                                      2. re: AAQjr

                                                        AAQr:
                                                        normal "smear campaigns" don't result in being held for $ 2 million bail in one county for 39 different felony counts AND being charged in a neighboring county (i.e. different DA) of additional charges.

                                                        just sayin' when there's this much smoke there's usually fire.

                                                        also, "asking them about it" is not likely to result in more accurate information than the info that the TWO district attorneys have independently established about this person and her operations.

                                                  2. To anyone who travels in or would wish to visit Anaheim I recommend OC Poultry and Rotisserie at the northeast corner of Ball and State College. They raise their own pastured chickens and ducks in Chino Hills and you can purchase raw, fresh, broilers, roosters, and ducks as well as eggs. Head and feet still on. They also have rotisserie cooked broilers and will cook a rooster or duck with a little notice. Great chicken banh mi as well!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. I just wanted to mention regarding Lily's Eggs, that they feed their hens soy. So if you're interested in eggs from hens that are not fed soy or corn (both of which are primarily GMO products in the US) you may want to try a different source.

                                                      1. After trying a couple of different pastured eggs at the Hollywood farmer's market (including Lily's), I'm disappointed that the yolks are not the deep orange/yellow that I remember from childhood when we had chickens. They look and taste like ordinary eggs. There is some brand of eggs labeled "Golden Yolks" that I had been buying at the grocery store. I don't even think they're free range (I may be wrong), but the eggs are much deeper in color. I think I might go back to buying those, at least some of the time. Not a good solution, but if I'm paying $7 for pastured eggs, I want good ones.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: rnhuber

                                                          Egg color is easily manipulated by feed tweaking and is not in and off itself. Mark of quality. I do like Ha's eggs from the HFM. The various vital farms / backyard eggs / al fresco are also quite good tasting.