Eggs may more or less look the same, but there’s a world of difference to how your eggs arrived onto the grocery shelf you’re pulling it out of.
When we think of eggs, often there’s an idyllic image of happy hens roaming around a farm, laying eggs in their nests and farmers harvest the eggs, place them in an egg carton and off to the grocery store they go. While eggs essentially are harvested, placed into an egg carton and sent to the grocery store, the idyllic farm and being laid in nests unfortunately are not necessarily always true.
Egg production comes in many forms depending on how the farmer treats their hens. For instance, unlike organic eggs, conventionally grown eggs have hens that are placed in cramped battery cages and fed growth hormones and exposed to artificial light in order to lay more eggs at a faster pace, without rest.
Free-range eggs on the other hand come from free range hens who are given access to open space. Unfortunately, due to the highly unregularized use of the term ‘open space’ and ‘free range’ this can mean just a few square meters of space or an entire farm to roam around.
Why you should know where your eggs come from
It’s important to consider the source of eggs beyond the terms on the packaging by knowing your farmer. True free-range eggs mean that the hen has access to plenty of space and sunshine for the majority part of the day, where they are fed good quality food, aren’t fed artificial feed and lay eggs at their own natural biological pace.
If finding the term ‘free-range’ on your eggs packaging is important to you, don’t blindly pay the premium of a ‘free range’ label. It would benefit you as a consumer to know where your eggs come from. Are they held by a trusted and reputable retailer? Do they come from a farm that upholds the integrity of the term ‘free range’?
Ideally free range means everything that we envision; happy healthy hens that get to forage for food in a clean farm paired with high quality feed, but many eggs aren’t produced this way, adhering to the ‘free range’ way at the bare minimum, with either only a few hours access to open space or simply just placed in the same cramped but without battery cages to divide them from other hens.
The key takeaway is to not instantly assume all eggs with a free range label are the same. Know where your eggs come from by sourcing them directly from a trusted farmer, or get them from a retailer who are open and transparent about sharing where they source their eggs. This way you can ensure that you’re getting high quality eggs from happy and healthy hens as opposed to your typical commercial and conventionally grown eggs masked behind the unregularized-free range label.
All-natural eggs are available at select Healthy Options stores.
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Healthy Options Eggs
Healthy Options eggs are grown locally from happy hens who forage and are fed with an all-natural diet.