Local farmers’ market benefits from egg recall

Rabab Al-Sharif

The recent egg recall may not have affected Ohio much, but it did boost sales of one farmer at the Haymaker Market in Kent.

The recent egg recall may not have affected Ohio much, but it did boost sales of one farmer at the Haymaker Market in Kent.

At the Haymaker Market on Franklin Avenue, local farmers, bakers and artists set up each Saturday to sell goods.

This Saturday, a number of customers looking to buy eggs from the Salt of the Earth Farm booth had to be turned away. They were sold out.

Katrina Kohout is the owner of Salt of the Earth Farm in Randolph, Ohio, where they raise animals that are pasture based, grass fed and free of antibiotics. At the farm she raises pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese.

“The demand for the meat and eggs for all of those things were booming to begin with so I couldn’t keep up as it was,” Kohout said.

“But since the egg recall, I’m sold out before I even open up at the market.”

Eggs have been flagged in grocery stores across the country, including in Ohio, after a salmonella outbreak at an Iowa company more than a week ago.

And that, perhaps, has led to the surge of egg-buyers at the Kent farmers’ market.

Kohout said she has a ton of regular customers that take up most of her product, and when she has extra she sells it at the market.

In the past few weeks, many new people have come to her booth.

Leslie Ann Geer was one of those new customers. Geer said she tries to buy eggs from local markets whenever she can, and she likes to ensure her eggs come from free-range chickens.

“It’s healthier, and it’s more humane,” Geer said.

Geer attributes the boost in interest for the eggs at the farmers’ market in people wanting to support local farmers.

“If they’re organic and free range that means a lot,” she said. “Healthier chickens, healthier eggs, and we’re healthier.”

Although eggs from grass-fed chickens are definitely better for you, they are not necessarily safe from salmonella, Kohout said.

“Grass-fed eggs or organic eggs would be no less likely to contain salmonella as would grocery store eggs,” Kohout said. “It’s not a safeguard, but it’s definitely better for you.”

Chickens that are pasture based have much higher nutrient levels that caged eggs don’t have, she said.

As for the boost in customers, Kohout said she thinks people are probably just being more cautious.

“I guess they are just scared, but it’s healthier food,” she said. “Eating grass-fed eggs is just healthier for everybody, so it’s a happy thing that they are doing it.”

Contact Rabab Al-Sharif at [email protected].