I like eggs a couple of times a week. The debate on whether eggs are good or bad for you has been going on for decades. The latest recommendation is for four to five per week. Trying to navigate the types of eggs you have the option to buy can be confusing. An article in the June 2015 issue of Nutrition Action newsletter may help clears this up. Some egg claims are certified by independent organizations. For others, you have to trust the hen’s owners. Still others mean nothing. CERTIFIED CLAIMS include: 1). USDA Organic: Hens must be uncaged and have access to outdoors (how much isn’t specified). Hens must be fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet that is free of antibiotics and pesticides. Beak cutting is allowed. Hens cannot have been given antibiotics after they were two days old. 2). Certified Humane: Hens must be uncaged. They may or may not have access to the outdoors. Beak cutting is allowed. 3). United Egg Producers Certified: Meets minimum voluntary industry standards, which, according to the Humane Society, “permits factory farmers to intensively confine hens in barren, wire ‘battery cages’ so small the birds can barely move (the space is about the size of a sheet of paper, 8×11”). 4). Animal Welfare Approved: Hens are raised by family farmers in flocks of no more than 500 birds that have “continuous access to an outside area for foraging and ranging.” The animals are fed no animal byproducts. UNCERTIFIED CLAIMS include: 1). Cage-Free: Hens live outside of cages but usually have no access to the outdoors. 2). Free-Range or Free-Roaming: Hens are cage-free and have some outdoor access. How much? It depends on the owners discretion. 3). Pasture-Raised or Pastured: Hens spend at least some time outside foraging for plants and bugs. 4). Raised without Antibiotics: Hens were never fed antibiotics. If a hen requires antibiotics to treat illness, its eggs can’t carry the claim. MEANINGLESS CLAIMS include: 1). Hormone-Free: It’s illegal for egg producers to feed hormones to their hens. 2). Natural: It can mean anything…..
I hope this info helps with your egg-buying.
Stay well, John R blilie, M.S.