Let's Talk Eggs

Like meats, egg labels tend to be very confusing. There are buzzwords like, "Cage-Free," "Organic," "No Hormones,"  "Pasture-Raised" etc. But what do those really mean and which eggs should you buy? Let us help you break it down.

Farm Fresh: Honestly, this term does not mean anything! It's just a "marketing term" to try and sell more eggs. 

All Natural: Once again this is just a "marketing term" to make the consumer think they are buying eggs from hens who were raised naturally and on a natural diet. However, this term holds no real weight.  

Cage-Free: The hens do no live in cages, but this does not mean that they live in their natural environment. They usually live in aviaries: massive industrial barns that house thousands of birds. Each bird has, on average, 1 square foot of space. This increases the chance for diseases, poor air quality and a higher chance of death (due to pecking from another hen).

No Hormones: This term is misleading, because it's illegal to give hormones to poultry, and no large-scale farms in the U.S. do so. It's like putting a label on a cereal box that says, "No toxic waste."

Free Range: Free-range means cage-free plus "access to the outdoors." "Access" typically meaning a few small doors that lead to a screened-in porch with cement, dirt or a modicum of grass (this is very similar to cage-free for the most part).

Organic: Organic standards help lower risk of contaminated feed and organic eggs usually have a higher nutrient quality. Organic eggs must come from hens that are cage-free, fed organic feed and given no hormones or antibiotics.  However, remember that organic by itself does not guarantee a natural lifestyle for the egg-laying chickens. 

Pasture- Raised: This is the GOLD STANDARD when it comes to eggs! Pasture- raised chickens spend their lives outside with plenty of room to move around. The birds eat their natural diet and are often times rotated through different pastures to ensure a rich & varied diet. The best way to buy pasture-raised eggs is to go straight to a local farmer. Someone that you can trust and that has transparent farming practices.  

 

Read More Here: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/12/23/370377902/farm-fresh-natural-eggs-not-always-what-they-re-cracked-up-to-be