Sweet Eats: Eggs | “Pasture Raised” vs “Cage Free”

If you care about where your food, specifically for this piece: your eggs, comes from, keep reading; and if you don’t care….keep reading, because you should!

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If you’ve ever watched one of those Netflix documentaries that give you nightmares about the food industry and make you question your whole existence then you too are just like me. After watching Food Inc and GMO,OMG, I took a stand and actively decided to try and eat as close to 100% organic and GMO-free as I could. I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian (sorry you passionate vegans out there), but I do care about what goes into my body.

I thought I had an intolerance to eggs a while back, but that turned out to be temporary (thank God!), and once I was back on the egg train I was gung-ho on eating CAGE-FREE eggs. I thought I was taking a stand by making sure the eggs I consumed were hatched by hens who were not stuffed into a jail where they had no room to even blink….boy was I wrong!

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As you can see in the diagram above (provided to me by the lovely folks at Vital Farms), “Cage-Free” hens barely get any room to breathe….they get room to blink (unlike the caged ones), but they have no room to think. They have no outdoor space, no chance to breathe fresh air; all they are doing is being squished “out of their cage” in a dark factory on top of their neighbor (some who may have died days before). Imagine, it’s like being on a crammed T during a Red Sox game where you can barely even breathe because your face is either squished against the T door or someone’s ass…not ideal, right?

Even “Free Range” hens don’t have that much outdoor space to roam around. It’s like a poor little dog who is chained to a tree and wants so badly to run out into freedom to play with a ball that is 3ft away, but each time he tries to move more than 2 ft outward, the chain yanks him back, tugging on his neck.

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IMG_1331I was so happy that I came across Vital Farms and Carol’s Organic Eggs who are both committed to raising hens who have up to a minimum 108 square feet of free land (that’s PER HEN!…that’s a lot of land) to roam and all of the fresh air to breathe that their little hearts desire. They are not cooped up in a cage, or squished against their neighbors bum, instead they get to roam free and enjoy being mother hens. I also love the fact that these hens are fed salad and feed that is free of herbicides and pesticides (this way of foraging makes for rich and delicious eggs which are naturally better for you).

These companies are also certified humane (not all pasture raised are organic AND certified humane), meaning, they are closely monitored to ensure they are treating their hens with respect and kindness and following all of the rules to be considered “certified humane”, especially during the the process of “Beak-Tipping” which was defined to me by a lovely woman at Vital Farms as:

“We instead do a small infrared beak treatment called beak-tipping” and this is only to reduce the sharpness of their beak hooks. If we didn’t do this, they could do some serious harm to each other. The treatment is painless when we do it (the nerve endings do not grow in until after a week or so) and does not affect the hen long term. It actually allows them to enjoy a much less stressful life. “

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So if you’re not a vegetarian or a vegan, but you still care about what you put into your body and how the animals are treated before hand, then try buying certified humane, organic and GMO-free, pasture raised eggs and let me know what you think!

xoxo

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