Dear Mr. (name withheld),

Thank you for reaching out to let us know your opinion of the Locally Laid Egg Company. I want to acknowledge your right to find our name vulgar and also to tell the grocery store owner that we are crude.

So having respectfully listened to you, I ask that you hear me out.

Here's why we named our company, Locally Laid. We are the first pasture-raised egg company in the Upper Midwest providing you with eggs which are laid locally.

The average food product in this country travels some 1,500-2,000 miles from farmer to processor to distributor to your plate. That's a lot of diesel burned and CO2 pumped in the air. Our cartons travel a fraction of those miles.

You commented that our eggs were expensive. Yes, they do cost more because we practice sustainable agriculture, a sector that does not enjoy large government subsidies like commodity products do.

Locally Laid is directly challenging the egg industry status quo. It's incredibly demanding work to get birds out of doors. And it all costs more. However, we believe it's worth it. Hens that forage and exercise on fresh pasture lay eggs with less fat and cholesterol and stronger yolk integrity.

We call our girls "Salad-Eating Poultry Athletes." We sacrifice economies of scale by having small flock sizes - fewer than three percent of the numbers kept in a typical caged or cage-free operations where chickens never see the light of day. Lastly, our ladies don't eat cheap: non-GMO corn grown in Northern Minnesota, high-end vitamins and soy protein. (Ca-ching!)

Our partner farmers have commissioned tons of corn from their neighbors, buy implements from a nearby farm store and use a local mill to grind and store their grains. And because Locally Laid eggs are only sold regionally, all that retail income sticks around too, all the while stamping down food miles.

I can honestly say this community now enjoys a higher quality of living thanks to a public willing to pay more for a different kind of egg.

So, to the point of your letter, I want to say you're right. Our name, Locally Laid, is totally cheeky and pushes the envelope. And, I am truly sorry, we offended you. (I'd offer you one of our American-made "Local Chicks are Better" t-shirts, but I don't think you'd wear it.)

With that second look from a consumer, we educate about animal welfare, eating local, real food and the economics of our broken food system.

We all vote with our food dollars every day, and we respect your decision if our playful moniker keeps you from buying our eggs.

Now I gotta ask, would you have learned all this if we were named Amundsen Farms?

Best regards and be well,

Lucie B. Amundsen

Lucie B. Amundsen is the "Marketing Chick" for Locally Laid Egg Company in Wrenshall, Minn.

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