The Truth Behind Egg Labeling
Eggs are possibly one of the most nutritious foods. High in protein, iron, vitamin B12, vitamins and minerals, eggs are also a powerhouse of disease-fighting nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.
However, not all eggs are created equally, the labels on the carton don’t necessarily give us a clue. Labels like ‘free range’ or ‘cage free’ allow you, the consumer, to believe the eggs come from a farm where chickens live happy and healthy lives, doing just what chickens do. Unfortunately this is not always the case and if you want a healthy egg that comes from a chicken living a happy and healthy life, it’s time to begin scrutinizing the labels on egg cartons.
Consumers are showing an increasing ethical concern and awareness for the lives of the animals that are bred and raised for food. These concerns are playing an important role in purchasing decisions. Below is a table showing what certain packaging terms mean:
Barn laid and RSPCA Approved Indoor
Certified free range and RSPCA Approved Outdoor
When it comes to free range, unfortunately, there is no legal definition in Australia, other than in Queensland, that clearly defines what free range actually means. 'While 1,500 birds per hectare is the recommended maximum, this is not enforceable and large scale producers are keeping their hens at much higher densities to cash in on the growing market for free range products.'www.makeitpossible.com
Queensland is the only state that has legislated a maximum of 1,500 hens per hectare. There is therefore a big difference in standards between each egg farm. The logos below indicate that the eggs have come from hens raised on a legitimate free range farm.
When it comes to Certified Organic the indication here is that the eggs come from hens that are raised on farms that comply with and exceed the standards that have been set. However, to truly rely on the labelling without the certification logo, does not guarantee that the egg farm is legally certified organic. The logos below indicate that the eggs have come from hens raised on a certified organic farm.
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