I was passing through the egg aisle in my local supermarket and found myself reading the labels on the cartons of eggs. Lucky for me I have a great source of Free Range eggs that I buy direct, so do not usually buy supermarket eggs.
Anyhow, there on the shelf there is a carton of a dozen eggs with the label ‘cage eggs’, and then, in all its glory, the following words:
“These eggs have no added hormones or antibiotics”.
What do they take us for?
Of course they have no hormones or antibiotics, duh! How exactly would one add hormones or antibiotics to an egg if one wanted to anyway?
It is of course the hen that lays the egg that is being fed the hormones and antibiotics. Why? To make her lay her big, perfectly shaped egg with a big perfectly shaped yolk inside it, at aroundabout the same time everyday. And to encourage her to possibly lay more than one egg a day, and to hopefully increase her production within the short space of time that she is alive. Why? Because these ‘cage eggs’ are from factory farmed hens that are kept in teeny, tiny cages, and it is a business.
If the hens are NOT fed antibiotics and hormones, then why doesn’t the advertising on this particular egg carton say so?
Sadly, this goes on world wide. If you buy eggs laid by ‘caged hens’ you can be guaranteed that each of the 12 hens that laid your dozen did not scratch and dig in the dirt, have a dust bath or even feel the sunshine or fresh air. Cage-farmed hens have a really horrid life, theres no denying it. Apparently, things have improved a teeny, weeny bit since this issue came to light recently, but only in a very small sense, ie, only 1 or 2 birds to a very small cage instead of 5 or 6 birds.
So thats not really considered an improvement, is it?
The only reason that advertising such as ‘these eggs have no added hormones or antibiotics’ is appearing on the cartons of eggs from caged hens, is to try and soothe public opinion, and frankly is deceptive advertising.
If you had heard about this issue a wee bit on the news, and had heard the words ‘hormones’ and ‘antibiotics’ used in a negative sense in regards to Supermarket eggs, then you could easily grab these cartons and be forgiven for thinking you were doing the right thing (I read once that a customer in a Supermarket takes 10 seconds to decide on a product, 10 seconds!…but not to digress) .
Its just horrible that egg production has turned so awful and un-ethical and these poor old hens have such a hideous life.
Luckily there are some hens having a nice life too – with ethical egg farming and free-range situations. You can purchase free-range as easily as you can cage eggs, and the price difference is generally around $3 more for a free-range dozen from the supermarket.
Read the labels though to make sure they are genuine free-range.
If you are interested in free-range eggs, I have included some links from this Blog to interesting articles and websites that explain more in detail.