To Egg or Not to Egg. That is the Question.
Eggs have been getting a lot of bad publicity lately in documentaries such as ‘What the Health”. There is a lot of questionable behavior around how hens are actually treated and their living conditions. Look for the Humane Farm Animal Care seal. It is the most widely recognized and most respected seal in the egg industry.
Whether you choose to eat eggs or not, it’s a personal choice. If you do decide to eat them in your daily diet, know your facts. To put it simply, all eggs are not created equal. Here is the 411.
Egg Label Facts:
Natural: Natural means absolutely nothing. There are no regulations for this label in farm practices.
No Added hormones: This kind label is irrelevant. Federal regulations have never allowed farms to be about to use hormones or steroids in poultry. It’s more important to look for no antibiotics used.
Non-GMO: The hens are fed a diet that is GMO free. This doesn’t mean the food they are eating is organic. Also, this label does not let consumers know whether the hens are treated humanely. They could be treated terribly.
Vegetarian Feed: The feed they are fed doesn’t have animal byproducts in it, such as ground up chicken or other unknown ingredients.
Organic: The organic labeling term is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA states that organic eggs come from hens that have liberal access to the outdoors. ‘Outdoor access’ means nothing. There are no actual space requirements for the term organic.
Cage-Free: This label is also regulated by the USDA. The hens must have 1.5 square feet each so they can move freely. They have unlimited access to food and fresh water. There must be litter for dust bathing and perches for them to relax on. Also ammonia levels are regulated and cannot go over 10ppm. This all sounds great, right? However, this labeling does not mean the hens get to go outside at all.
Free-Range: This label is regulated by the USDA. There are no regulations on the outdoor space and the shocking part is anyone can put free-range on their label.
Pasture-Raised: This is not regulated by the USDA. However, farms can be Certified Humane by Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) or Animal Welfare Approved. To receive the label of Certified Humane, each hen must have 108-square-feet to roam freely. Vital Farms is the only farm, as of today, that has the Pasture-Raised label by Certified Humane.
Humane: This is also not regulated by the USDA. If eggs are labeled humane, it means that each hen has at least two square feet of outdoor space to roam around in.
Best Eggs Out There?
Vital Farms is Kali’s egg choice. Vital Farms works with a ton of small farms throughout the country. They are the only company to receive Pasture-Raised designation from Certified Humane. If I were a hen, I would want to be at Vital Farms. These hens are roaming around outside in the sunshine chilling out. They get fed organic, non-GMO feed and they get to relax indoors at night to sleep. Sounds like a pretty good life, right?
Written By: Jonna Piira, CEO of Kali
Member of the Kali Girl Tribe.