organic super expensive eggs

May 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Those lovely free-range, organic super expensive eggs you’re buying…are they worth it?

‘Free run’ for all intents and purposes, means that hens are raised inside a barn without access to the outdoors but are free to roam around (and sometimes they even have a nesting area and a ‘dust bathing’ area (these are good things for hens ;) . Typically, free run hens have 2-3 times more space to move around in than caged hens – which sounds good…but a caged hen has space the size of a piece of paper to move around in. That considered, 2-3 times more space is not much. Regardless, the evidence suggests that cage free hens are less likely to harbour the dangerous bacterium Salmonella that can be associated with eggs. It’s also worth noting that 97% of eggs produced in Canada are raised in cages.

Now, what about organic or ‘free-range’ you might be asking. Certified organic eggs and eggs that have certified claims of being raised ‘free-range’ have access to the outdoors. Sometimes the outdoor access need only be for 1/3 of the hen’s life in order to qualify as free-range. But beware! In a facility with 100,000 hens, you may have an outdoor run of only 50 square feet – hardly enough room for 100,000 hens to ‘roam’ around in freely.

So what do I recommend? Eggs are a relatively cheap source of protein. That said, most people can pay the couple extra bucks to buy eggs certified as ‘free-range’ or organic – it’s your best chance of ensuring your eggs are raised in the most humane and safe manner possible. If you’re as cheap as I am, then I suggest buying your eggs from Safeway. They have made a corporate commitment to buying eggs that are not caged – they may not be organic or free-range, but at least they are not caged. (