Know Your Food-Eggs

So, I’m at it again. My relentless need to know where my food comes from. In this case, it comes from chickens. Are they happy chickens?

Eggs are an amazing food. Packed with good things for us, delicious when prepared well, and really pretty to look at, especially when they have an orange yellow yolk – evidence of a good egg from a happy chicken.

Here’s the story about the chickens that make our eggs.

  • Caged chickens live in a sterile, microwave oven size enclosure. The thousands of caged chickens in a chicken house have no room to move, are forced to lay their eggs on a wire floor, and never spread their wings or do what chickens do instinctively – “dust-bathe” to remove excess oil and external parasites from their feathers.
  • Un-caged chickens live in a similar house while sleeping and laying eggs, but after laying their daily egg, they transition to a vertical aviary cage where they can spread their wings and dust-bathe. Un-caged really only means that chickens have an area to move around in.
  • Free chickens, as in free range, are able to run in pastures hunting for bugs and seeds, dust-bathe, flap their wings and maintain some distance from their chicken friends. Free-range chickens are, therefore, healthier and happier.

The obvious choice for where we want the chickens that make our eggs to live is in pastures. Eggs from free-range chickens cost more because farmers need a lot of land for their chickens to roam. In my opinion, they are worth the price because it means the chickens are humanely treated and the result is healthy eggs. So, when you are selecting your eggs, choose free range, free roaming, or pasture raised. They all mean farmers are thinking about the health and happiness of their chickens!