Eggs sold at grocery stores come from farms? No. 90% eggs come from massive caged facilities. Cage-free means hens get to go outside? No. They are better than the caged ones but still kept in cramped spaces. Organic means hens are humanely treated? No. Its just that they are free of pesticides and fed organic feed. Brown eggs more nutritious than white ones? No. They are both nutritionally the same.
It’s National Egg Day! And 2016 has really been National Egg Year as the new dietary guidelines touted eggs as nutrition worthy. Egg-cellent, right?! Not so fast. Not all eggs are created equal and not all eggs are giving your body the same amount of nutrition.
A lot of that has to do with the health of the chicken – and like us our health is multi-factorial – mental and physical – based on our nutrition, yes, but also on our activity, our stress levels, our access to sunlight and the great outdoors.
So I asked our friends at Pete and Gerry’s to help me sort through some egg-myths here on National Egg Day and along with that am sharing a Q+A from another Ashley Koff Approved (AKA) fave as well as a great infographic “The Claim Game” from our friends at Nutrition Action to help you get Better Egg Nutrition, Simplified.
Most Eggs Sold At The Grocery Store Come From Farms
The egg industry is actually incredibly consolidated with more than 90% of America’s eggs coming from massive facilities housing over one million hens on a single property (more factory than farm unfortunately).
There are better alternatives on the shelf however – all of our eggs come from small family farms, for example. These are real farms, not factories that simply use the farm label.
We believe our hens deserve a safe, comfortable place to live a happy, healthy life and that our family farmers deserve the right to keep their lands and livelihoods without having to resort to unhealthy factory-farm practices.
Cage-Free Means The Hens Get To Go Outside
While a step in the right direction towards more humane hen treatment, cage-free sadly does not ensure outdoor access for hens.
In fact, many former caged producers are simply converting their “farms” (i.e. egg factories) to “cage free” by doing the bare minimum. This means putting upwards of 200,000 hens in a barn with a system of platforms with removable cage sides.
Anyone looking to buy eggs from hens that have any outdoor access should look for the Free Range designation, at a minimum.
Organic = Humane
- Consumers truly concerned with the treatment of hens should also look for the Certified Humane label in addition to Free Range.
- This guarantees that hens have real access to grass, dirt and fresh water and the space to engage in natural behaviors like roosting, dust bathing, scratching and other social interactions.
- Organic eggs have little to do with the treatment of the hens, and only guarantee that the hen was fed organic feed and that the eggs contain no pesticides, no added hormones, no antibiotics and no GMOs.
There’s A Difference Between Brown Eggs And White Eggs
This is actually determined by the color of the feathers of the hen! Brown feathers = brown eggs and white feathers = white eggs. However, there is no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs.