I love eggs. Sometimes I will randomly express my affection for this dairy delight. One thing I do not love ab out eggs is all the choices at the super market. Seems not all that long ago there were brown eggs, and white eggs in a couple sizes.

Fast forward to present and you see cartons covered with terms like "cage-free," "organic," "natural"... What does it all mean?

Glad you asked....

Cage-free
Means hens live in an enclosure full-time with space for nesting and perching and are free to move about during the laying cycle. The space can be crowded, and the hens do not have access to the outdoors.

Free range
Represents hens that live cage-free and have continuous access to the outdoors. There are no standards for the type of outdoor space or the amount of time spent outside.

Pasture-raised
These hens have access to the outdoors. eating a natural diet of bugs and plants in addition to feed, and have access to an enclosure. Look for an additional humane certification to ensure the farm has been verified by a third party. The USDA does not regulate how this term is used.

Organic
Simply means the hens' feed is certified organic.

Humane
These hens are raised according to animal-welfare standards and third-party verifications. Without a cage-free, free-range, or pasture raised certification, the hens may be living in slightly larger cages.

Hormone-free
U.S. federal law mandates hens be raised without supplemental hormones. So eggs are "hormone-free" whether or not it says so on the label.

Natural
"Natural" means minimally processed with no artificial ingredients. While this doesn't apply to whole eggs, you may want to look for it on liquid egg products.

Enriched with omega-3
These hens are fed a diet enhanced with omega-3 fatty acids from a source like flax seeds to boost the omega-3 count from the standard 30 mg to between 100 and 600 mg.

Well, now you know. Not that it helps any. I think I'll just stick to the eggs my daughter brings us from her hens but it's is nice to know that there is an egg out there that matches most political affiliations, health concerns, and welfare requirements in multi colors and sizes.

I think I may just have bacon instead.


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