Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cage-Free Organic vs. Pasture-Raised Organic Eggs

From today's Organic Consumers Association e-newsletter -

note: videos are not graphic.

The USDA's National Organic Program has animal welfare standards that require egg-laying hens to have access to the outdoors and be able to exhibit their natural behaviors. Unfortunately, because the law isn't being evenly enforced, there are a wide range of conditions for egg-laying hens among certified organic operations.

Some certified organic eggs come from farms that provide plenty of rich green pasture for the hens to forage in for greens, insects and worms.

But the biggest industrial egg producers, who dominate grocery store sales of organic eggs, keep their hens in giant sheds, feeding them a simple corn-soy ration spiked with a synthetic supplement called methionine that keeps the hens appearing healthy even though they aren't getting the sunlight and forage they need.


  1. Does anyone know of a list of pasture raised eggs so I'm assured of buying eggs that come from a healthy/friendly source.

  2. Hello! I'm so sorry that it took me a while to follow up on your comment, Anonymous. I made some inquiries but did not hear back. I just found this resource, which looks reputable.

  3. Just saw this ...

  4. seems like we are trying to slice hairs.
    compliance vs fake compliance is a real issue, but pastures for chickens to forage?
    I raise chicken on a small family farm. they have never been caged. They all have names and at night i lock up the coop. In the morning i let them out. That is to keep them safe from raccoons. they run the garden, the love bugs, and on rare occasion they may eat a leaf. especially if it looks like a bug. they don't forage for grass. my ducks do, my geese do, chickens could not care less. my chickens are happy and have a good life, and produce great eggs.
    the arguement is silly
    Johnny's Garden


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