UnScrambling Egg Labeling Claims
Hello from our farm,
If you’ve been to the egg counter in your local grocer lately you have seen all the different egg carton claims. Maybe you wondered what they mean?
Today I want to briefly help you make sense of these claims by describing what the actual production definition is.
First, what is driving all these claims in the first place? Well, the demand for pasture raised eggs is skyrocketing and affecting commercial egg producers. So, like many other products, commercial producers start working through their lobbyist to come up with claims that sound good, but still allows them to commercially raise the eggs as quickly and cheap as possible.
PROBLEM – commercial producers do not take into consideration the natural instincts of the hen. The most popular claims are….
Free Range: according to the USDA only means the chicken is “allowed” access to the outside. They are still crammed inside buildings with a small door(s) that opens to a few feet of outside space. The sad truth is the hen does not know the door(s) exist because the chicken would have to know how to open the door(s). Many producers use deceptive pictures of hens foraging outside on their cartons.
Cage Free: simply means the hens are not in boxed cages. However, they are still confined inside very small and closed off buildings. They get no sunlight or access to the outdoors. They spend their day standing in their own filth.
Vegetarian Fed: well, the problem is chickens (like humans) are natural carnivores. It eats flesh to include bugs, insects, mice, etc. Hens are not vegetarians. This hen is raised on industrialized feed (probably GMO) and is never allowed outside.
So, to summarize: these hens are raised in confinement style barns that cannot be moved. Each barn typically houses up to 30,000 hens that are fed GMO feed. And, there is no guarantee the hen enjoys fresh air and sunshine.
It’s also important to remember that when the hen eats an unnatural diet it changes the hormones and structure of the animal and protein. Thus, you are not getting what you paid for! This applies to all food.
Pasture Raised: is a term used by regenerative farms and means hens are raised outside on pasture. This is what you see when you read about hens in their natural habit.
At Nature’s Gourmet Farm we first take into consideration the hen’s natural instinct to be outside and forage for insects, grasses, and anything else they come across as well as to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Our hens are pasture raised with access to shelter that is moved more than 180 times per year. Each floorless shelter holds up to 1,000 hens that are supplemented with non-GMO Project Verified feed. Hens and shelter are contained inside a portable electric net fence to protect them from most predators.
We want to thank you for your support as we strive to bring your family convenient access to pasture raised beef, pork, chicken, and eggs humanly raised in the animals natural environment while regenerating the land.