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Behind the Egg Labels: What Do They Really Mean?

By Lacy Razor 

Tags: chickens, eggs,

As we worked to teach our foster children simple living skills and boost their level of awareness, we found ourselves stumbling upon frightening tidbits of information that sent us first shivering, weeping, and thumb-sucking in the corners but then angrily protesting like marchers in a PETA parade (except we are clothed and omnivorous).

The following video contains disturbing footage and facts.  It may not be suitable for all audiences.  Please keep that in mind before watching.

Modern egg production practices seemed very Brave New World to me ... only less humane. At least in

Brave New World the lower castes were periodically hosed with soma-gas to get high and thus forget how horrible their lives really were. No such luck for the factory-farmed egg laying hens.

But how do we keep from supporting these industries?  Labels?

Healthy chicken

Labels are so comforting, you know?  I feel instantly validated when I’m pushing a cart full of products plastered with labels declaring my support of free-range and organic animal products.  Labels are my friend, and I am guilty of trusting them.  Oh, and I should feel guilty because behind those labels lies a sad truth.

The only way to ensure that you are not actively supporting horrifying industrialized farming is to look for a local supplier.  Search for “pasture-raised” chicken eggs.  If you find eggs sold locally, ask to see the chickens and facility – they should welcome you with open arms.  Here’s the scoop:

Eggs in an egg carton

Labels to look for when searching for eggs from pasture-raised or "Free Farmed" poultry:

Chickens on Razor Family Farms

A recent article in Mother Earth News revealed the benefits of eating pasture-raised chicken eggs.  The numbers are staggering.  This is not the label on an overpriced GNC supplement — these are nutrition facts comparing eggs from pasture-roaming, bug-eating, dust-bathing, happy chickens to eggs from factory-farmed chickens.  Get ready:

This is HUGE.  HUGE, I tell you!  If this is not the “ah-ha” moment where you thunk yourself in the head and go… “I have a yard, perhaps I should keep my own chickens” or “I should find me some pasture-raised chicken eggs” then I don’t know what else to say except to reach through the computer screen and thunk you on the head myself.  Don’t think I wouldn’t do it, too.  :)

Or if we lived closer to one another, I would force you to take a dozen eggs home to simply taste the difference.  It’s truly remarkable.  The eggs our chickens produce are phenomenal.  The flavor, texture, and color of the yolks… *sigh* I want to write a love poem just thinking about it.

Of course, as a GRIT reader, you have joined a rare and wonderful network of people who genuinely care about animals and land.  A quick scan through the reader blogs on this site and it is blaringly obvious that GRIT readers and staff wish to be good stewards of the earth.  We are the caretakers of creation... not simply farmers, hobbyists, gardeners, growers, or enthusiasts.