Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eggs: Cage Free vs. Free Range vs. Organic

If you're looking for organic eggs, the egg cooler in the grocery store can be intimidating and confusing. There are cage-free eggs, free-range eggs, organic eggs...What's the difference?

Fitness magazine gives a very succinct explanation:

Free-range means the chickens are raised with some access to the outdoors, and cage-free means they live in an open room so they can stretch their wings. Neither label is well regulated for eggs, so I look for USDA-certified organic. These are guaranteed free-range and are often cage-free, plus the birds get organic feed, so the farmer doesn't use hormones, antibiotics, or grain grown with toxic chemicals.

Wikipedia explains:

Significant differences cover feed, medication, and animal welfare. Organic hens are fed organic feed - which is the main factor in improving taste, nutrition and health benefits of the eggs; it is prohibited to feed animal byproducts or GMO crops - which is not discontinued in free range environments; no antibiotics allowed except in emergencies (in opposite to free range, which implies usually the same levels of antibiotics as factory farming); guaranteed animal welfare standards in organic farms, which also improves the quality of both the eggs and the meat - low stress levels lead to superior quality of animal products...

Now that I know the differences, I'm definitely going to seek the organic and free-range eggs. All beings should have sunlight, don't you think? And, all beings should eat natural food, yes?


Blogger Tsquare said...

man i read your blog twice. I think I'm still confused! So free range chicken can still be fed antibiotics and hormones? ok I'd like a eat an egg that's from a chicken that runs around all day and eat natural foods. that'd be organic AND free range?

4:44 PM

Blogger bemelodious said...

Yes, free range chickens can still be fed antibiotics and hormones. So what you should look for are both free range AND organic. Organic guarantees that they are fed all natural grains with no hormones or antibiotics. And, free range ensures they are not caged and get to roam around outside.

10:31 PM

Blogger Tsquare said...

thanks homie. Yea I think Trader Joe's sometimes trick me bc some of their products aren't organic. Trickster....

9:38 PM

Blogger Shin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:41 AM

Blogger Shin said...

Free range does not mean chicken were outside; they just had access to the outdoors. Correct me if I'm wrong but the most natural eggs would be organic and grass feed/pastured, no?

11:42 AM


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