ISO humane dairy/eggs/poultry
January 8, 2012 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for most humane sources for eggs, dairy products, and chicken in San Francisco Bay Area?

I live in San Francisco and eat/drink, among other food items, eggs, milk, cheese, and chicken. I purchase brands such as Clover for milk and eggs, and Rosie's for chicken. Are there better options? (I appreciate that becoming vegan is one option, though I don't think I'll be doing that any time soon.) I can visit farmer's markets. Also, I have a car. If you have a particular provider you like for its animal practices, I would appreciate names.
posted by ClaudiaCenter to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Getting good, humane stuff is as easy as going to Whole Foods. We buy pastured eggs from Alexandre Kids and Strauss Family Creamery milk. (Both are also available at our local neighborhood market, Falletti.)

I'm a vegetarian, so I can't advise you about chickens personally, but my boyfriend buys meat exclusively as Avedano's in Bernal Heights and has good things to say about their quality and humane sourcing.
posted by jesourie at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2012

Seconding Avedano's in Bernal Heights. The buyers at Bi-Rite would probably also be glad to share information about humane sourcing with you.
posted by bakerina at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've heard that Marin Sun Farms is especially good as humane poultry goes. The Omnivore's Dilemma describes the experience of a Rosie's chicken, which wasn't horrible but didn't quite sound like what many imagine when we hear "free range."

Drewes Brothers Meats has seemed a little less expensive/less chi-chi and more well-stocked than Avedano's.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:14 PM on January 8, 2012

Marin Sun Farms
posted by rhizome at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2012

Rainbow Grocery has great choices for eggs and milk, my general rule is the more $, the better the life of the chicken/cow, though I know that's not 100% accurate. $0.99 eggs are likely horror shows.
posted by bottlebrushtree at 3:28 PM on January 8, 2012

Rainbow Grocery (on Division) has (or did a couple years ago) a table posted for the eggs they carry detailing attributes like "organic", "free range", etc. The most important for me, though, was beak clipping since it usually meant the hens had plenty of space. There was a story by the Chronicle a few years ago about one of the big "organic", "free range" egg producers that actually kept their hens in sterile battery cages with a little tunnel to a small room (the "range"). In other words, a lot of the standard egg qualifiers are meaningless for knowing if the hens are treated well. I don't remember the brand I bougt there though. :(
posted by R343L at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thank you, these are great answers! Keep 'em coming!
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:06 PM on January 8, 2012

We buy our pork, chicken, and beef from Tara Firma Farms, they welcome you coming and wandering through the pastures, petting the cute little bacons, and wading through the herds of laying hens.

A friend of mine ran the camera and did a lot of editing on the Hidden Bounty of Marin (YouTube) documentary, which gave me good fuzzy vibes about Marin Sun Farms and Strauss Family Creamery.

When Tara Firma can't provide we do buy Red Hill Farms pastured eggs that are allegedly local from Whole Foods, but I haven't been out to see that operation personally.
posted by straw at 5:23 PM on January 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Eatwell has amazing eggs, which you can get either through their CSA or at the farmer's market. Bi-rite may carry them as well, I'm not sure. In general, Bi-rite has a fantastic selection of responsibly-sourced animal products.
posted by judith at 6:35 PM on January 8, 2012

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