I’ve recently done some research about eggs. I’ve mentioned before that I absolutely love brunch and creating scrumptious breakfasts and eggs are a huge part of that for me. I think it’s important that people know the differences between eggs that we can buy.
Here’s the low-down on the many options of eggs out there:
Commercial Eggs: These eggs are from caged hens, who may have had their beaks removed. The hens are fed feed that can contain animal byproducts and the food may have been produced with pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals. The hens are also fed antibiotics on a routine basis.
Vegetarian Eggs: Eggs from hens that are fed an all vegetarian diet. This speaks nothing about their cages or whether they are able to roam free.
Organic Eggs: Eggs produced by hens that are raised without the use of hormones and given food produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. In order for a product to be certified organic, it must meet the organic standards of the country (USDA in the States and AAFC in Canada). Organic hens are not kept in cages and they are able to have access to the outdoors.
Cage-Free: Eggs laid by hens that are not kept in cages. Cage free hens are usually kept indoors in a hen house or other large facility. They are allowed to roam freely and have free access to food and water. Their feed may contain chemicals or animal byproducts, they may be given antibiotics and hormones.
Free-Range: Free-range hens are raised outdoors without the use of cages. The hens are allowed to forage for insects and other food in addition to any feed given to them. Again, their living quarters does not speak for what feed they are given, the chemicals in the feed or the antibiotics or hormones they may be given.
Note: Vegetarian or antibiotic free eggs are not made to abide by the same rigid rules as organic eggs are. The USDA in the States and the AAFC in Canada regulate what it takes to be organic and so if it does not say organic on the label don’t assume that vegetarian, natural or antibiotic free is just as good.
It is important that we look into the food that we are eating, especially those of us who are living in places that aren’t so rural. It is equally important to read the labels and research the companies that we are buying from. In Toronto, I purchase my eggs from Rowe Farms. Their produce and their farming philosophies speak for themselves (no, I am not endorsed by them. I just love their eggs).
In anything, especially the health of you and your loved ones, it is really important to be informed about what it is that you’re consuming, from skin products to house-ware items down to the eggs you have with breakfast (or brunch in my case). The more informed we are, the better choices we are able to make for our health, the environment and our future.
Love and light beautiful ones!