The FDA says it could take months to really get to the bottom of the egg recall after more than 1,000 people became sick. The recall centers on salmonella-contaminated eggs from two Iowa companies that produced eggs that were sold under two dozen different brand names.
The recall list you're asked to check before making your morning sunny-side up eggs is extensive: www.eggsafety.org/mediacenter/press-releases/74-recall-affected-brands-and-descriptions
This is just the latest recall to dominate the headlines. Before this it was a massive frozen beef recall in 2008. Before that health officials told consumers to avoid eating spinach in 2006.
Recalls like this make some question where their groceries come from.
Sarah Kate Buckles, the grocery manager at the Old North Grocery Co-Op in north St. Louis says, "I think that's been on a lot of people's minds a lot lately. That's been a major issue. Personally, with dairy products and meat and eggs, its very important to know where that comes from."
The store sells locally-grown fruits and vegetables along with locally-produced milk and meat - when possible. Much of their produce come from Lee Farms in Truxton, Missouri - located about 70 miles west of downtown St. Louis. A few of the veggies offered in the store are grown next door, in the 13th street community garden. Other items like apples, bananas, and oranges aren't always available locally - though Buckles says she tries to work with local distributors.
Read more about the 13th Street Community Garden: www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Louis-MO/13th-Street-Community-Garden/126677209434
Co-ops like this have sprung up across St. Louis in an attempt to reach consumers who are looking for organic, but affordable food.
Buckles says she keeps her costs low by dealing directly with farmers whenever possible. She explains that Rusty Lee, of Lee farms, makes two deliveries of small quantities of produce a week to keep refrigeration and transportation costs low.
"If Rusty charges me 50 cents a pound for tomatoes, I can charge $1.09 a pound for tomatoes and everybody is happy."
Other programs, often called CSAs or Community Supported Agriculture, ask that a household pays a membership fee at the start of the growing season. Consumers agree to contribute to the cost of production of the food by paying the membership fees. Consumers then pick up their share of groceries (specific items change depending on season and availability) during scheduled pick-up times. With the membership comes the risk of weak harvests because of weather or other conditions.
Old North's program works a little differently because the co-op also runs a grocery store at 13th and St. Louis Avenue (just north of downtown). Membership isn't required to shop in the store, but members do get a 10% discount on their purchases in the store. Standard membership is $80 per household (that's a one-time membership fee), but there are discounts for students, seniors, and low-income families.
Learn more about The Old North Grocery Co-Op by clicking here: oldnorthgrocery.com/