AVOID! Free-Range & Cage-Free Eggs

Sadly, free-range and cage-free chickens are routinely fed GMO-grains with Monsanto’s toxic glyphosate. To find non-GMO eggs, we must first ask what the hens eat. Healthy Solution: To avoid eggs with GMO-glyphosate, buy them certified organic, buy from a local farm you know, or raise them yourself.

Exposing the Fraud of Grocery Store Organic EggsBy Guest Writer, Dr. Joseph Mercola

When raised the way nature intended, both chickens and their eggs are healthy sources of high-quality nutrients that many are deficient in — especially high-quality protein and healthy fat. 

Eggs contain complete proteins, meaning they provide the eight essential amino acids, essential to the building, maintenance and repair of your skin, internal organs, muscles, and more. 

They also contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for good eyesight, and choline, which is needed for the normal development of memory, as well as betaine, tryptophan and tyrosine, all of which are important for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. 

Cholesterol is also important for health, and contrary to popular belief, the cholesterol in eggs will not adversely affect your cholesterol levels.1

However, to reap all the benefits chicken and eggs have to offer, it’s important to realize that not all chickens and eggs are the same. It all depends on how they were raised. I strongly advise sticking with free-range organic varieties. 

Not only is the nutritional profile of eggs and chickens raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) inferior to their pastured, free-ranging counterparts, they’re also far more likely to be contaminated with salmonella. 

Organic Egg Scorecard Cuts Through Confusion and Misleading Labels

While there’s no way to guarantee 100 percent safety all the time, the benefits of free-range poultry are becoming more well-recognized, and reduced disease risk is definitely part of that benefits package.

As reported by The Guardian,2 sale of cage-free and organic eggs is on the rise, and five U.S. states now ban caged hens. Unfortunately, loopholes abound, allowing CAFO-raised chickens and eggs to masquerade as “free-range” and “organic.”

Both consumers and corporate customers, such as McDonald’s, Nestle, and General Mills, are now demanding egg producers convert to cage-free methods. It’s worth noting that “cage-free” still does not mean the chickens were raised under ideal conditions.

They’re not raised in cages, but they may still not have access to the outdoors. So there are still significant differences even between “cage-free” and “free range” (or “pastured”) eggs. With so many loopholes and lack of transparency, it can be very confusing to sort through it all.

The Cornucopia Institute addressed these issues in a recent egg report. According to Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, there’s a factory farm takeover of the egg industry underway, with large CAFOs now controlling 80 percent of the organic egg market.

Yet less than 9 percent of hens raised in the U.S. are raised without cages.3The organic label simply means the hens have been raised on organic feed. It is not an indication that they’ve been humanely or sustainably raised.

“For this report, we have visited or surveilled, via aerial photography/satellite imagery, a large percentage of certified egg production in the United States, and surveyed all name-brand and private-label industry marketers,” the Cornucopia Institute writes.

And, according to Mark A. Kastel, The Cornucopia Institute’s co-director and senior farm policy analyst: “It’s obvious that a high percentage of the organic eggs on the market are illegal and should, at best, be labeled ‘produced with organic feed,’ rather than bearing the USDA-certified organic logo.” 

The Cornucopia Institute’s report and scorecard, which took six years to produce, ranks 136 egg producers according to 28 organic criteria. According to the Cornucopia Institute:

“‘Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture,4 will empower consumers and wholesale buyers who want to invest their food dollars to protect hard-working family farmers that are in danger of being forced off the land by a landslide of eggs from factory farms … 

[As] consumers have become concerned about the humane treatment of animals, and are also seeking out eggs that are superior in flavor and nutrition, a number of national marketers have found success in distributing ‘pasture’-produced eggs. 

‘There is a fair bit of overreach and the exploitation of this term is well covered in our report,’ Kastel explained. ‘The organic egg scorecard enables concerned consumers to select authentic brands delivering the very best quality eggs regardless of the hyperbole on the label’ …”

Should you find the organic egg brand you’ve been buying is a sham and feel betrayed, take action by putting the pressure on USDA Secretary Vilsack to replace the current management at The National Organic Program. You can do so by signing the Cornucopia Institute’s proxy letter.