Why jail birds but not jail eggs?

Hatched: Friday, April 30th, 2010

You have to hand it to the Sandusky County sheriff.  Sensitive to his county’s budget concerns and ongoing budget cuts, the sheriff has put prisoners to work, cultivating their own food and saving taxpayers’ money in the process.  It started with an inmate vegetable garden. Now chickens are being added to the jail yard – and eventually the menu. But when asked if prisoners will be gathering eggs in the near future, the answer was anything but sunny side up.

According to the article, the word was the USDA won’t allow egg farming in the jail yard because of concerns about salmonella poisoning. Far be it for us to be uncompassionate about the health concerns of the incarcerated, but how might this differ from, say, any small-time operator selling eggs by the side of the road or at local farmer’s markets?

 In light of the locally raised food issue that is all the rage, does it really get any more local than this? Fact is, the prison yard spinach could be tainted with E. coli, right? As with any food product, just follow the precautionary steps for cleaning, preparation and consumption.

Let the sheriff keep the cuts coming and the prisoners engaged in productive rehabilitation…and let ’em raise their own eggs.

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