Shopping for eggs these days has become quite complicated. Not only do we have to consider egg size, we now have a choice of organic, free range, certified human, cage-free, raised without hormones, on so forth. Clearly, if you can afford it, you want to buy organic eggs. But if you plan to spend $4-$6, how do you know that you’re buying the best organic eggs?
USDA Organic Doesn’t Always Mean Ethical
Producers now use a variety of labels and terms for marketing eggs. This has made it more difficult discerning authentic healthy eggs from conventional factory farm eggs disguised with marketing jargon. Even if a producer adheres to USDA standards for organic, they could be cutting corners. They could still mistreat the animals and offer less-than-desirable living conditions.
To quality as organic, eggs must come from chickens that are fed only organic feed and given antibiotics only when sick. Also no growth hormones are allowed. Furthermore, chickens must live in a cage-free environment and have access to the outdoors.
Regardless of these standards, some factory farms still raise tens of thousands of hens in one building. Yes, the buildings are cage free, but they are filled wall-to-wall with birds. Moreover, access to the outdoors is limited. The “outdoors” is often a screened in porch, tiny in proportion to the number of hens in the building. Below is a video that shows these misleading farming practices.
Finding the Best Organic Eggs
Cornucopia recommends that you start with your farmer’s market if you want to find healthy eggs. When shopping locally, you will be supporting small, family farmers in your local community. For all grocery store shoppers, the Institute created the Organic Egg Scorecard. This online database rates the different egg brands based on organic farming practices and ethics. Hopefully, you will find this tool for finding the best organic eggs as useful as I did.
To read The Cornucopia Institute’s full report, Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture, click here.
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