Larry Engel’s Eggs
First of all, I apologize in advance if this ever gets to be the near the top of the list when you google documentary filmmaker Larry Engel, because this is not really about his career. Prof. Engel as I’ve known him, works at the School of Communication at American University, where I have three block classes a week this semester. He also has chickens. He has a sign on the door to his office advertising a dozen eggs from his farm (where I’m not certain in New Paltz, NY) for three dollars. When I first saw this, I thought, “OK, that’s kooky.”
The next time I was shopping for eggs at Whole Foods, I noticed that even the cheapest fair-seeming (as the NYT notes, there is no cut and dry label) dozen was $3.19. So yesterday I flagged Prof. Engel down for some eggs. Today he handed them to me and said “I’ll need that box back, eventually.” Later, I had a chance to look at them in preparation of my first Engel-omelet. As you can tell from the picture below, no two eggs are the same. Some are long and more oval-shaped, and some have much darker shells. They are delicious.
I love this whole situation so much. This food could not be more local: These eggs are taking a trip that Prof. Engel has to take every day anyway so transportation costs are zilch. The label reads, “No Antibiotics/No Hormones/Free-range.” And while I doubt very much that Prof. Engel needs the business from selling these eggs, it supports his hobby and enriches his community (i.e. me and other customers).
It also reminds me of my own family. My mom grew up on a farm in Fountainville, PA, and my grandfather tended his own egg-laying hens before taking the train to town to teach electrical engineering at Drexel every day. Growing plants and animals to eat and sell—farming, in other words—does not belong solely to the laymen. Now more than ever, it is neccesary to care and know about the food that you feed yourself. The best oppurtunities are often unexpected, and in this case, delicious.
Interested egg eaters in DC can inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.