Vending Machines in Germany

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Learning to Live in Germany Found Eggs for Sale in a Vending Machine

Normally when Americans think of a vending machine, they envision cookies, crackers, Snickers bars and soda inside a machine. You put some coins or bills into the machine, pull a lever or push a button and out comes the product! Well, here in Germany they use the same concept for fresh eggs (eier) and other staples used for cooking a meal.

A farm in Lindach, Germany, owned by the Neumair family, has been in business for over 300 years. They have the “egg” thing down to a science and you can buy fresh eggs 24-hours a day because they have their very own vending machine!

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Inside this vending machine you can purchase numerous grades and sizes of eggs along with Nudeln or Spätzle.  As you can see from the image below, eggs here in Germany usually come with ten inside the carton, although there is much more to it than that!

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The European Union incorporated a law in 2004 that requires all eggs to have a producer code stamped on them. This is formally known as egg marking. This allows the consumers to know if the hens laid the egg on the free range, if they are organic, or if the hens were caged. Check out the producer codes on the eggs below.

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Here is what this code tells the consumer:

0 = organic production
1 = free range
2 = deep litter (indoor housing)
3 = battery cage

The code will also distinguish the origin of the country that the eggs came from. You can check out the information here: Eggid. As you can see in the photo above, our eggs came from deep litter (indoor housing) and are from Germany. All the eggs in Germany come on the shelf in the grocery store–not in the refrigerated section. You put them in the fridge when you get home, (or at least we do). The law states the shelf life for eggs is 28 days after laying, according to the Neumair Family Farm.

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The eggs and noodles that come in the vending machine are pretty cool but you can also buy fresh potatoes! Inside the little house that hosts the vending machine is also a small table where in good faith–you can purchase a small bag of fresh potatoes. It would be unheard of to steal them–Germans rely on honesty.

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That concludes our visit to the farm with the vending machine. We invite you to share our blog with your friends and family. Stay tuned for our next adventure!

 

Auf Wiedersehen for now!

*All photos courtesy of Lance Benson
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