Yesterday I picked up another couple dozen eggs from my neighbor. Her hens do not live in battery cages inside a dark building but rather in an outdoor chicken coop. I hope one day to have my own hens.
I came across a couple of articles regarding eggs recently that I thought some of you might be interested in reading. The first is an announcement from American Humane Certified that they will now approve producers who use “enriched colony housing” for their hens. Prior to this announcement, they only approved cage-free operations.
The second article falls under the “first they tell you something is good for you, then they tell you it’s bad” category:
Here’s some disconcerting news for health-conscious eaters who favor eggs from free-range hens: A Taiwanese study found that the eggs contain much higher levels of industrial pollutants than eggs laid by caged hens.
The researchers believe the free range eggs have more contaminants because they are found in the environments where free range hens roam. Studies have found the chemicals in “feedstuffs, soil, plants, worms and insects,” they wrote. Their own measurements of dirt from free range farms persuaded them that soil contamination is at least partly to blame.
The problem probably isn’t limited to Taiwan. Scientists have also found the same trend in the European Union, and one study found that about 10% of free range eggs exceeded the safety limit set by regulators there.
Oh darn. In polluting our planet, we’re poisoning our way up the food chain. If we don’t get a handle on things, I’m afraid the only eggs deemed fit for human consumption will come from hens who live like the Julianne Moore character in the movie Safe.