Egg-cellent Labeling

in All Posts

Ever since reading and viewing the Books, Movies, and Blogs That Changed the Way I Think About Food, I’ve come to care not just about what the food I eat does to my body, but where it comes from, too.


One specific food that I really pay attention to the source of the product is the incredible, edible EGG.  I really love to eat eggs – but obviously, eggs come from chickens, and I want my egg-producing chickens to be happy (or, at the very minimum, at least not completely miserable in egg-producing hell).  When I’m buying eggs at the store and ‘voting with my grocery dollars,’ I DO NOT want to buy factory farmed eggs.


In hopes that I’m supporting farmers that treat their chickens right (which, to me, means no beak cutting, freedom to move around, and the space to do chicken activities, like running around and squawking), I’ll pay a premium for ‘good’ eggs at the grocery store.  But labels can be deceptive.   What does “farm fresh” really mean? (Answer: Not much!)


Here’s a breakdown of what egg carton labeling means from the Humane Society:


  • Certified Organic: The birds are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, and are required to have outdoor access, but the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access is undefined. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides, as required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing.


  • Free-Range: While the USDA has defined the meaning of "free-range" for some poultry products, there are no standards in "free-range" egg production. Typically, free-range hens are uncaged inside barns or warehouses and have some degree of outdoor access, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of outdoor access. Since they are not caged, they can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. There is no third-party auditing. 


  • Certified Humane: The birds are uncaged inside barns or warehouses but may be kept indoors at all times. They must be able to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching, and dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density and number of perches and nesting boxes. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed. Compliance is verified through third-party auditing. Certified Humane is a program of Humane Farm Animal Care.


  • Cage-Free: As the term implies, hens laying eggs labeled as "cage-free" are uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors. They can engage in many of their natural behaviors such as walking, nesting and spreading their wings. Beak cutting is permitted. There is no third-party auditing.


  • Free-Roaming: Also known as "free-range," the USDA has defined this claim for some poultry products, but there are no standards in "free-roaming" egg production. This essentially means the hens are cage-free. There is no third-party auditing.


  • Vegetarian-Fed: These birds’ feed does not contain animal byproducts, but this label does not have significant relevance to the animals’ living conditions. 


  • Natural: This label claim has no relevance to animal welfare.


There is also a program called Animal Welfare Approved, which is the highest animal welfare standards of any third-party auditing program. According to the Humane Society, “the birds are cage-free and continuous outdoor perching access is required. They must be able to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching and dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density, perching, space and nesting boxes. Birds must be allowed to molt naturally. Beak cutting is prohibited.”  However, unfortunately, there are currently no participating producers that sell eggs to large supermarkets under the Animal Welfare Approved program.


Other Animal Welfare Approved products are available in supermarkets and restaurants – just look for this label if you are interested!  You can also browse out their website, which lets you search for products and restaurants by location, check them out on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter.


Now – I’m not naïve.  I realize that at the rate our population consumes eggs, it would be difficult – if not impossible – to produce all eggs humanly.  But my bottom line is that I don’t want to pay extra for nicely labeled eggs if the label doesn’t mean anything!  Hopefully, more Animal Welfare Approved products will be available at my grocery store, and until them, I’ll stick with organic, free-range, certified humane, or cage-free eggs at the store.  It’s not a perfect solution (perhaps getting eggs directly from a small local farmer is a better solution), but it works for me and satisfies my vegetarian gray area.


Do you care about labeling on egg cartons?  Are you surprised to learn about the lack of regulation for many of these terms?



  • Carolyn L. May 17, 2011, 9:12 am

    Thanks for this post. I try to be conscientious about the label on my eggs, but all the different “buzz words” most definitely had me wondering if they meant anything at all.

    I’ll check out that website for the best brand to buy. Once I saw a video on factory farming, I was determined not to contribute to it. It’s just so heartbreaking.

    • Baking 'n' Books May 17, 2011, 6:45 pm

      What is the “Best” brand to buy from – out of all there is it’s hard to know!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat May 17, 2011, 9:14 am

    Great topic Caitlin! I used to not care so much, but that was when I wasn’t buying eggs very often. Now that I eat tons of them (I used to be just an egg whites girl), I care a lot more. The good kind also taste better!

  • Lindsey May 17, 2011, 9:14 am

    That is great information! I do like to buy eggs from what I call happy chickens and typically can buy those from people I know that have farms, which makes me happy to support them versus the grocery stores. When I can’t do this I do look at the labeling on the cartons but never knew the difference or regulations around that labeling.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 17, 2011, 9:15 am

    I’ve been looking into eggs a lot lately. I’m doing a review for Eggland’s Best this week. I do think how the chickens are treated is extremely important. I think there are a lot of factors involved in raising chickens. I hope to have a few of my own one day. Thanks for sharing this Caitlin!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat May 17, 2011, 9:16 am

    I learned a lot about eggs at a continuing education event, including the standards for pasteurization. Now I look for pasteurized and free range, organic eggs when possible.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 17, 2011, 9:18 am

    We eat lots of eggs and yes it is crazy how many different labels/terms and such there are — I’m sure there are so many people who have no clue what any of them mean!

  • Rachel @ The Perseverance Diaries May 17, 2011, 9:19 am

    Thank you for posting this! I think it’s so important for people to be aware.

    I don’t eat eggs anymore but when I did, I never paid attention, I would always just buy whatever eggs were the cheapest. I’ve now learned through Food Inc. and many books just how important it is to follow certain guidelines if eating eggs. I don’t even want to think about what kind of junk I consumed buying non-organic eggs. All of the hormones and the feed that the chickens eat were going into those eggs and eventually into my body! yuck.

  • Alayna @ Thyme Bombe May 17, 2011, 9:19 am

    That’s bothersome that this type of certification exists but no one is on board with it. It could be helpful to email companies that are already doing pretty well with humane practices and let them know that you would be willing to pay extra if they were to take it a step further. Whenever possible, I get eggs from local farmers at an outdoor farmer’s market. When I can’t, I buy cage-free, organic, vegetarian eggs. I don’t mind the extra cost, eggs are already a pretty cheap way to get protein, and you get 12 of them!

  • Verna May 17, 2011, 9:19 am

    Have you tried looking for a local farm that sells eggs? We try to do this whenever possible.

  • LizW May 17, 2011, 9:20 am

    I have friends with a hobby farm and lots of chickens who roam happily and freely through a pear orchard all day. I ONLY buy my eggs from them.

    I also take about 15 dozen to my work each week to sell to my co-workers. Doing my part for the cause 🙂

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing May 17, 2011, 9:22 am

    This is why I get eggs at the farmer’s market, where I can talk to the farmer that produced my eggs and even visit the farm if I want to. The smaller the farm, the better! I rarely buy them from the grocery store anymore and if I do, they have to be organic. Free-range basically has no meaning because it’s not regulated.

    I encourage everyone to look for local farms that sell eggs! Ask questions, visit their farm or booth at the market, and check out your eggs! Mine come in all colors, brown green pink, speckled! And farm-fresh eggs taste IMMENSELY better than store-bought. You WILL taste the difference! 🙂

  • Kelly May 17, 2011, 9:24 am

    We actually have our own chickens. Four of them. We live in an Urban area in Austin, Texas but we built a coop for them to sleep in over night and we let them wander around our backyard all day. We have a garden and we let them eat the bugs and scraps of ours. We also feed them organic chicken feed. The eggs are AMAZING!!! We can’t even eat store bought eggs now…the taste is so different!

    • Carly May 17, 2011, 11:10 am

      Do you sell them to anyone in town? Because I’d be interested…

      • Kelly May 17, 2011, 1:46 pm

        YAY! An Austinite! We don’t sell them. We have 4 chickens and they lay on average 1 egg a day (somedays less) and between me and my husband we usually go through that daily. But the taste really is substaintally different. If you ever do want to try some I am more than happy to give you a few just so you can taste the difference. My email is if you are ever interested. 🙂

  • Orla May 17, 2011, 9:25 am

    there is a place on my way home from work that I get my eggs from. the biggest risk to the chickens is that I will run them over on my way into the premises as they are wandering all around the place.
    Great post – I think that there is not enough awareness of what the different labels mean. Just because something is labelled free range does not make it a whole lot different from another. I realise that it is very different from factory and battery chickens, but each producer differs in the amount of outside time they give their chickens. Thanks for the information.

  • Val @ Balancing Val May 17, 2011, 9:27 am

    We learned in school that the best eggs to buy are . . .


    Although the organic guidelines must give them access to outdoors, it often means that they put a small door in the coop so that they CAN go outside.

    Sadly, the door is so small that the chickens dont know its there, but technically . . . they do have access.

    Its not a good loop hole . . .

    • Carly May 17, 2011, 11:12 am

      They also spend so much time inside the barn that even if the door is very apparent, they’re usually too afraid to go outside.

  • Lucy @ The Sweet Touch May 17, 2011, 9:36 am

    I agree Caitlin, with all the different “buzz” words out there right now it’s hard to know if they are legit. I tend to agree that if you buy from a farm stand or smaller local grocery store you will be able to “see” the difference. Often, the eggs will be various colors and the yolks are bright yellow – YUM! Ok now I’m hungry for eggs!

  • Dana May 17, 2011, 9:37 am

    I had no idea what any of the labeling meant until I read Eating Animals and was inspired to learn a bit more about labeling and the term ‘cage free’.

    Since the Farmer’s Market just re-opened here in Baltimore, I will be buying my eggs from local farmers and I’m willing to pay more money to buy direct from the farmer.

  • Lauren May 17, 2011, 9:39 am

    I like to get eggs from local farmers when possible because I know where they come from and can ask about their treatment.

  • Jamila6452 May 17, 2011, 9:41 am

    With eggs, I always come back to the fact that they grind up (or just thrown in the trash) alive male chicks. They are totally superfluous to the egg industry, and every hatchery does it, regardless of how “humane” they treat the female chickens. Knowing that, I just can’t eat them.

    My husband and son do, though, and I’ve taken to buying them either from farmers’ markets or the farm where we get our CSA. Still not ideal, in my book, but better than those awful factories.

    • Mel May 19, 2011, 1:30 pm

      This. Can you imagine if they just threw away all male kittens or puppies?

  • Nina May 17, 2011, 9:41 am

    Caitlin thank you so much for this post. What an eye-opener. Even though I am a meat/egg eater, it is so sad what these animals go through. I do try to buy organic, etc. but learning that even that may not be enough for the humane treatment of animals invigorates me to try to shop more at farmer’s markets this summer and try to really find local ways to get quality animal products through vendors who don’t torture their animals. I’m already voting with my dollar, but I’m going to start doing it more powerfully now! Thanks again.

  • Steph @ A Life Without Ice Cream May 17, 2011, 9:45 am

    Fantastic post! I wasn’t familiar with the differences in those labels, I’m going to keep an eye out at my store. I’m sure there would be some differences here in Canada but the idea is the same.

    My post for today (coming out tonight) is about omelets … I’m going to link readers to this post!

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 17, 2011, 9:50 am

    I do care about labeling because I care about how the animals are treated. I’m also someone that is willing to pay a premium for better treated animals. We vote with our dollars. Right on.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit May 17, 2011, 9:54 am

    Great post! People need this info. I stick with locally sourced eggs, and buy organic when they’re available.

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt May 17, 2011, 9:55 am

    I’m a meat-eater, but I definitely care about where my eggs come from. Luckily, my sister-in-law has her own pet chickens, and I usually get my eggs from her. I know that she treats them right. In fact, they all have names. 🙂

  • Candice May 17, 2011, 9:57 am

    I am very, very lucky that I work with a women that has a small farm and raises 30 or so of her own chickens. They live outdoors and are actually protected by a rooster- the natural way chicken are supposed to be taken care of. She brings in dozens of FREE eggs every week! Yes, they sometimes have feathers in with them and yes, they are much smaller than the eggs from the grocery store- but it is a small price to pay for happy, healthy, and truly “farm fresh” eggs.

  • Kelly May 17, 2011, 9:59 am

    Eggs are an item where I put my foot down and refuse to buy what is cheapest. I buy the Publix Greenwise Cage-free organic eggs. If anyone has info or links to the quality of this particular brand I would definitely appreciate it! I know they are 3 or 4 times the amount of the regular Publix brand but at least I feel more comfortable purchasing them. Great post Caitlin!

  • Gina @ RunningtotheKitchen May 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    Thank you for writing this! I have literally stood at the refrigerated section of the grocery store staring at all these labels for 10+ minutes before. Dairy is one thing that I try my hardest to always buy organic and there are so many confusing labels on eggs, particularly that it can be confusing to do so. As this info points out though, even with the “highest” organic label certain conditions can still exist that aren’t exactly ideal and that is upsetting. I do have local farms that I can buy eggs from around me but to pay $6+ for 12 eggs is a lot of money. It’s always an internal battle to “do the right thing”.

    • Charise May 17, 2011, 2:08 pm

      Yowza! $6 is a LOT! My local chicken farmers at the farmers’ market all charge $3 (or around that), so it isn’t any more expensive than buying the cage-free/organic grocery store eggs. $6 would make me think twice when we go through a dozen a week and are trying to rein in the grocery budget.

      • Gina @ RunningtotheKitchen May 17, 2011, 2:15 pm

        for $3 I’d have no problem! Yeah, $6 is a lot right!? We go through about that many eggs too. It’s tough.

  • alli May 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    i’ve been buying eggs from locals found on craigslist. they are typically priced at $2.50 a dozen. sometimes more, sometimes less depending on the seller. i like knowing where my eggs came from and that the chickens are well taken care of 🙂

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    I definitely care about where my eggs come from. I wish that we could rely on labels but unfortunately we can’t. It really stinks. I tend to buy organic, humane and free-range eggs. Thanks for this post. Very informative!

  • Natasha May 17, 2011, 10:04 am

    Great information! Yes, I do pay attention to the labels and pay premium prices to get the best ones I can find. I’m in Canada and here we do have Humane society graded eggs available at the Natural food stores. When I can’t find those I do the same as you and try to by the best chicken friendly eggs.

  • Freya May 17, 2011, 10:05 am

    I hate that labels mean so little – I’m vegan so don’t eat eggs anyway, but my family does and seeing as I do the shopping, I ONLY buy eggs that are produced locally (literally, 20mins away) – they live outdoors/barn at night, fed organic grain etc – so they really are free range and natural.

  • LivingLife May 17, 2011, 10:10 am

    I so rarely buy eggs from the grocery store that the labels are overwhelming. Our priority is actually “Pasture-raised” which of course is not in grocery stores but we can find them at farmers markets or a local grocery with eggs from local farmers. From what we have read, these eggs have increased omega-3’s and in general result in just happier chickens since they are out doing their chicken thing since they spend all day out on the grass/fields 🙂

  • Cindy Robinson May 17, 2011, 10:11 am

    Thanks for shedding some light on the very confusing labeling. I buy from the grocery store, and don’t usually think twice about it. However, I this makes me want to put extra effort to not buy them, and seek out more humane sources in my area.

  • Ashley @ the fit academic May 17, 2011, 10:13 am

    Honestly, I never eat eggs. I use egg beaters for baked recipes (like cookies or bread) that requires eggs. I KNOW how good they are for me and I’ve tried to get “into” them, but they just disgust me! I used to have a near-full-blown phobia of them! When baking I’d make someone else crack the egg(s) and mix until I could no longer see it. I’ve come a long way since then, but I still can’t bring myself to eat them by themselves for breakfast, for example.

  • Ellie @ The Mommyist May 17, 2011, 10:16 am

    Because of the lack of regulation regarding the claims on egg packages I buy eggs from friends with a small farm whenever I can. They also taste so much better. There is no comparison really. In the winter, when their chickens don’t lay many egg, I buy the humane ones from the grocery store. They don’t taste as good so I don’t eat nearly as many but all winter would be way too long for me to go without eggs.

  • Penny May 17, 2011, 10:22 am

    Im a vegetarian too. This is absolutely great info. I also like my eggs, however, I eliminate the egg-buying dilemma by raising my own chickens. Those girls are treated like queens. 🙂 they have provided bucket loads of eggs for my family, but they have recently stopped laying because of old age. Bless their little hearts. So, in order to keep eggs in the fridge, I buy from other local egg sellers, or if I’m in a pinch, i buy the most humane eggs I can from the store. But I hate buying any eggs from the store at all. Soon I hope to add in some younger chickens with my old girls so I will be getting my own eggs again.

  • Ker May 17, 2011, 10:22 am

    I’m blessed with a friend at work who has chickens and a great surplus of eggs. He brings me free, freshly laid eggs several times a month. I feel good knowing that they come from a happy place, that the eggs won’t go to waste, and farm fresh eggs are just so damn good.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 17, 2011, 10:23 am

    I don’t eat eggs because of what they do to the birds. If I could find affordable eggs at a local farm, I’d be all for it!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 17, 2011, 10:25 am

    Yes, very. Ever since I learned what really goes on inc chicken coops I try to buy the most humane eggs I can find. I don’t eat them anymore, but when I did I would try to eat local eggs. And the difference–the yolk is such a deep yellow!–is really striking.

  • Stephanie May 17, 2011, 10:26 am

    I do care about labeling. When I first became a vegetarian, I thought that organic eggs meant that they were treated differently. Not always the case. I buy dairy from companies I know have better policies than required (i.e. Organic Valley and Earthfare). It’s pricier but I think it’s worth it.

    But lately, I’ve been getting my eggs from a coworker who has chickens in her backyard. They have a large coop that is truly free range and the woman treats these babies like her pets. They have names, all have their beaks, they’re fed an organic, vegetarian diet and she only keeps them locked in the smaller (still huge when compared to manufactured!) coop when she’s not there. She only charges $1 a dozen because she’s not trying to make a ton of money; they’re just really healthy, happy chickens so they produce ALOT more eggs than she can use! 🙂

  • Molly May 17, 2011, 10:27 am

    Fail: I just pick the cheapest cartoon of eggs which are usually just the generic Roberts Dairy brand.

  • Kelly May 17, 2011, 10:29 am

    I educated myself about eggs about a year ago and have been sticking to organic free-range eggs ever since. I really want to eventually find a farm from where I can purchase eggs directly — probably the farm where I get my CSA veggies. We should do a taste test between grocery store eggs and my friend Sandy’s eggs to see if happier chickens produce better tasting eggs. She literally cuddles her chickens and they run around in her yard all day until she tucks them in at night. She could definitely get the highest certification for humane treatment. 🙂

  • Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner May 17, 2011, 10:34 am

    One of my co-workers at the hospital gets eggs from her farm and brings them into work to sell them. Great idea!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews May 17, 2011, 10:35 am

    I love eggs for breakfast! Good choice.

  • Karen May 17, 2011, 10:38 am

    I was horrified at the conditions animals live in on farms when I watched “Food Inc.” Truly appalling. Not at all the happy, perfect Fisher Price type farms we learn about in childhood.

    I hate the money and the bottom line has become more important than health in our society.

    Thanks for this excellent info!

  • Laura May 17, 2011, 10:45 am

    I try to get eggs that are Certified Humane. I would definitely prefer to purchase pasture-raised from a local farmer, but these days I don’t have time to make it out to farmers’ markets on Saturdays, and I don’t know anyone with chickens. Certified Humane seems to be the best compromise for now.

  • Lori May 17, 2011, 10:47 am

    Raise your own chickens! It’s the only way to truly know for sure what they’re fed and how they’re treated. It’s also so much fun, and they’re very interesting to just sit and watch! Obviously you have to have the space for that though.

    I was at a family gathering over the weekend — we took deviled eggs made with eggs from our chickens and other people took deviled eggs made with eggs from the grocery store. Ours were bright yellow, vibrant and beautiful while the others were barely yellow at all! The difference amazed me!

  • Laurel May 17, 2011, 10:48 am

    I fail too and just buy what is most available– I go organic with veggies because that labelling tends to mean something and I’ve had trouble deciphering egg labels. Thanks for this info, Caitlin!

  • Johanna B May 17, 2011, 10:52 am

    I agree about buying eggs from happy chickens. I’ve started buying my eggs from one of my nursing students who lives on a family farm and raises chickens the old fashioned way. The yolks are almost orange they’re so dark.

  • Mary May 17, 2011, 10:54 am

    I am lucky to have a friend who owns chickens and I can get my eggs from him. I know exactly where my chickens roam, and that they are well cared for and fed good food. In an ideal world everyone would be this lucky. Shocking that all those labels on eggs really mean very little in reality.

  • Rachel (Olalliberrh) May 17, 2011, 10:55 am

    All of these different labels are such a pain, it makes it really confusing for consumers. I’m with a lot of your readers and get local eggs from the farmer’s market when possible.

    I do wonder about the ‘vegetarian-fed’ label though, I thought chickens’ natural diet included a lot of insects and bugs? Is there a benefit (to the chickens) to eating a vegetarian diet?

    • Caitlin May 17, 2011, 5:13 pm

      This issue has always confused me too! I’ll investigate.

    • Julie @SavvyEats May 18, 2011, 9:33 am

      That’s the issue I have with the ‘vegetarian’ label as well. While its great that their feed doesn’t contain any animal byproducts, it makes it sound like they don’t have enough access to the outdoors to eat their natural diet of bugs…

  • Laine May 17, 2011, 10:56 am

    I haven’t bought grocery store eggs in a long long time. I am very lucky to have a farm near by that sells eggs, my sister has chickens so I stock up when I go to see here and my veggie delivery will also bring pastured eggs. In the winter when they lay fewer eggs, I eat fewer eggs. When eggs and asparagus come back, I know it’s spring!

  • M May 17, 2011, 10:58 am

    Does anyone else get a bit grossed out that eggs would grow into sweet little chicks /animals?
    There is something that freaks me out about this,and I am wondering how vegetarians who choose tobe veg partly for animals rights/to avoid killing animals feel about this? I am not a full blown veg or anything but always wondered how eggs could be considered part of a vegetarian’s diet?
    I am asking this out of curiosity and confusion,not in a mean way.
    Thanks Caitlin!A very interesting topic !!

    • Laine May 17, 2011, 11:14 am

      The eggs I buy (and that most people buy) are not fertilized, there is no rooster so they would not actually grow into sweet little chicks. They would just rot.

    • Carly May 17, 2011, 11:20 am

      Eggs only produce chickens if they’re fertilized. If there’s no rooster doing the deed then the eggs won’t have an embryo in them. (A maybe gross but maybe helpful comparison would be to think of them as the same as women’s monthly visitor where an egg is discarded but without a sperm, no baby would have been born)

    • Amanda May 17, 2011, 11:33 am

      The eggs can only develop into a chick if there is a rooster in with the hens. Without a rooster, a hen will still lay an egg nearly every day and it will never hatch because it was not fertilized. These would merely be wasted.

    • Caitlin May 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

      heheh it is kind of gross….

      • M May 17, 2011, 9:54 pm

        Thank you everyone for this explanation-
        I feel kinda stunned for not knowing this?!

        And it is a little icky,but thanks again for
        filling me in!!

  • Hannah Hawley May 17, 2011, 10:59 am

    I recommend getting eggs from a farmers market or from a local farm too!
    One thing that always bothers me is the vegetarian diet for chickens. They are supposed to eat bugs and worms and other proteins. It is part of their nature and their diet.
    I never knew the differences on some of the terms that are used. Thank you for sharing!

  • chelsea May 17, 2011, 11:00 am

    Great post! Since moving to Montana I buy my eggs at the local Co-op and they are local eggs that are from organically free range raised chickens! It’s amazing at how much better they are.

  • Michelle (your girlfriend for fitness) May 17, 2011, 11:02 am

    I do care about labeling and try my hardest to make the best decision when buying eggs because I love them so! I like that the market I shop usually has local eggs in stock that are organic and cage-free… I was actually disappointed yesterday that they were out of stock, so I just make the next best decision with a larger brand that is also organic and cage free.

    I am absolutely NOT shocked about labeling regulations. Our country has a long way to go, it is so hard to trust anything you read on labels and I hope this continues to change over time.

  • erin May 17, 2011, 11:03 am

    i’m not sure if this has been mentioned yet, as i didn’t read all the comments but i recently came across this:

    it’s depressing. we buy only organic but that doesn’t seem to mean much. i hope to find a better option at the farmer’s market. i guess, like with everything else, you need to do your own research!

    • Caitlin May 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

      Great link, thanks for passing this one along.

  • Carly May 17, 2011, 11:07 am

    I hate how manipulated all the regulations and labels are, not just for eggs but meat as well. I’ve adopted a “happy” meat and egg policy and only buy my eggs and meat at my local farmers market where I can ask specific questions to the people raising (and killing, in the case of meat) my food. My philosophy is that if your food was raised in the way it has evolved to live, it’s better for your body and conscience.

  • Trisha May 17, 2011, 11:08 am

    So while I know this is completely off topic I know that you talked about this in a previous post, and I just wanted to pass along the fact that the Botox mom has temporarily lost custody of her daughter:

    • Caitlin May 17, 2011, 5:17 pm

      Thank baby jesus.

  • Amanda May 17, 2011, 11:10 am

    This is a topic that matters a lot to me. I actually raise my own chickens, so I know exactly how they are treated. I get ~22 eggs a day and sell the excess at work for $2 a dozen. I also supply my family and my fiancé’s family with eggs. This isn’t a money making venture. I don’t make any profit on the eggs when you consider what is put into them (food, electricity in the winter, fencing and housing supplies). Regardless of that I am motivated to continue raising them because I am helping my own family, my parents, my fiancé’s parents, grandparents, siblings and friends, as well as, people that I work with to avoid factory farmed eggs. To me, that makes it worth it the cost. Oh, and the amazing taste helps too!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair May 17, 2011, 11:20 am

    I like to get my eggs at the Farmers Market in the summer. They are expensive – anywhere from $4 – $6 for a dozen eggs. But it’s worth it to me. Plus we don’t eat a TON of eggs so only go through one carton every two weeks or so! During the winter months when our Farmers Market isn’t opened I’m forced to buy them at the grocery store. I do try to get the cage-free, organic ones but I admit that I sometimes just buy basic eggs. I’m wondering if our regulations are different in Canada like they are for milk? Might have to look into that.

    Thanks for a super informative post, Caitlin!

  • Samantha May 17, 2011, 11:26 am

    I use the Cornucopia website when I want to check out the producers of dairy and other products. They have egg, dairy, and soy scorecards as well as lots of other information. Here is the egg scorcard:

    • Ellen May 17, 2011, 12:31 pm

      I was going to share this link as well. It’s a great resource!

      I bet there’s some great farmer near you just dying to have your egg business, Caitlin 🙂

  • Dianne May 17, 2011, 11:28 am

    That’s definitely the hardest one to tell. Although I’m a vegan myself, I shop for animal products for the boyfriend sometimes and end up spending what seems like hours looking at all the labels in the store, which are pretty much all bs. I think the farmer’s market is the way to go if you really want to know about your animals’ welfare, because they can tell you in person! Also, “vegetarian-fed” means that they’re feeding their chickens corn and soy by-products, instead of letting them forage for seeds and bugs as they are meant to :-/

  • May 17, 2011, 11:28 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I am vegetarian and have really been struggling with buying the “correct” egg and dairy products and know have some guidance. Hope your enjoying your vacation, looks like so much fun : )

  • Amy May 17, 2011, 11:35 am

    We belong to an organic produce delivery program (kind of like a CSA), and I now exclusively buy local, organic, free-range, certified humane eggs through them. They taste so much better, and I feel so much better. I also eat a lot of eggs, and making the transition away from cheap grocery store eggs was sort of a”last frontier” for me when I overhauled my diet to focus on largely whole, plant-based foods. I don’t know why it took me so long!

  • Sarah for Real May 17, 2011, 11:41 am

    Great post! On thing I’d like to add about chickens is that they are not vegetarian creatures by nature. Real free roaming chickens supplement their diet with grubs and bugs which makes them and their eggs much healthier! Technically it’s impossible for a chicken to be both free range and vegetarian.

    What that “vegetarian” label on the carton means is that the farmer-provided feed does not include ground up bits of other dead animals.

    It’s a minor clarification, but you know me… I always have at least two cents to add 😉

  • Holley @ Lunges and Lashes May 17, 2011, 11:46 am

    i think it is super frustrating when you get tricked into thinking you are buying one thing when you are not. especially when they are charging more. pays to do your research, i just wish packaging wasn’t so misleading!

  • Lauren May 17, 2011, 11:47 am

    Awesome post! I care a LOT about the labels on my eggs as you do. For about a year I was buying eggs that said “free running” on the carton because that just sounded more humane to me, but when I learned that there is no regulation on that term, I stopped buying those eggs. Instead I get my eggs from local farmers at the farmers market. I feel much better about where we are getting our eggs and I feel it’s well worth the extra price. I’m in law school right now and I hope to work in the USDA or FDA one day to be able to change some of these things, because honestly I think it’s terrible that companies can put all these claims on their product to take advantage of people’s humanity and good intentions when the claims mean absolutely nothing!

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) May 17, 2011, 11:52 am

    I used to buy the “certified humane” eggs but found that cracking them was SO annoying because it was never a clean break and shell would always get in the dish. I got so sick of it that I went back to regular eggs.

  • Vanessa @ Swift as Shadows May 17, 2011, 11:56 am

    ThankyouThankyouThankyou for this post! I’ve been a little confused about the whole egg thing, and you helped clear it up. =)

  • Jen @ Light Enough to Travel May 17, 2011, 11:56 am

    Small local farmers are the way to go if you want humanely treated happy chickens to be producing your eggs. Find someone who has a few backyard chickens who’s willing to sell their eggs. Often you can get yours more cheaply from them than you can at the ‘premium’ price at the grocery store. It’s not the easiest solution, but man, do they ever taste better.
    At the moment, I get my eggs from my mom. I wrote a short post about it here:

    In BC Canada, we have SPCA-certified products, but they’re not always easy to find.

  • Khushboo May 17, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Wow I eat eggs daily and I’m now ashamed that I have never paid attention to labelling on the carton!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In May 17, 2011, 12:02 pm

    I had no idea that those labels still allowed beak cutting! Great informative post.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 17, 2011, 12:06 pm

    Thanks for the informative post Caitlin! We learned about the different egg labels in my Nutrition class this year and I was pretty shocked that some of the terms don’t mean what I thought they did. I hate how deceiving they can be!!

  • Clare May 17, 2011, 12:06 pm

    14.1.12 Any person involved in the killing or slaughter process, including unloading and handling of the chickens, must demonstrate the knowledge and skill to perform those tasks humanely and efficiently.

    14.1.13 Prior to stunning and slaughter chickens must be restrained in a manner that spares them any avoidable pain, suffering, agitation or injury.

    14.1.14 Shackling of live birds is not permitted without prior written consent.

    Note: Permission by the Animal Welfare Approved program must be renewed annually and will not be granted once a facility within the maximum travel distance that does not use shackles is approved.

    14.1.15 Stunning must be followed immediately by killing (bleeding).

    14.1.16 When one person is responsible for both operations, they must be carried out consecutively on one chicken before moving on to the next.

    14.1.17 Killing birds without prior stunning is prohibited.

    14.1.18 Stunning must render the birds immediately insentient to pain.

    14.1.19 Cones may be used to restrain birds prior to stunning.

    14.1.20 Birds must not leave the cone until dead.

    It is the goal of the Animal Welfare Approved program to obtain stunning for poultry that does not involve shackling and hoisting of birds. Currently, the plants that use better methods are so rare in the U.S. that it is not possible for all Animal Welfare Approved farmers to access a plant that does not shackle and hoist. We are moving toward securing the least stressful methods of slaughter for all birds in the Animal Welfare Approved program as quickly as possible.

    These are guidelines from the AWA. Unfortunately, the AWA supports the killing of animals and if you are supporting them you are supporting that. Also, male chicks in the egg industry are still thrown live into meat grinders, and that is before any of this happens. I loved eggs too and milk, but came to realization that I would never kill a chicken for her food, I would never take artificially impregnate cows, take their babys away, and kill them or put them in the dairy industry. When Mama can’t get preggo anymore, at about 5, she is killed. When mama hen can’t lay eggs, she is transporting, contained, frightened, coned,stunned, and bled to death. Theat’s the ugly truth. Sorry to be such a downer, but even on the front page of their website it shows meat. I certainly would not support A Child Welfare Approved organization that advertised with dead babies.

  • JavaChick May 17, 2011, 12:09 pm

    There are not a lot of options where I live, but I look for organic or free-range. I had no idea about the beak cutting though – that’s terrible. I wish I lived somewhere I could buy direct from a farm which is what my parents used to do (they actually have their own chickens now and I know those birds are happy, too bad I live so far away).

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) May 17, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I am growing more and more conscious of where my food comes from. I am a vegetarian like you, but I don’t eat eggs too often. However, when I do, I would normally buy the cheap stuff at the store. That being said, now that I am trying to research where my food comes from, I will think twice the next time I go to the store. I want to make sure what I am putting into my body is good and that I feel good about eating it.

  • Marissa C May 17, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I try to buy “cage free” etc. but figured it didn’t mean much.

    The best eggs are the ones my mom used to buy from a neighbor in the country who raised chickens. OMG–most beautiful, rich, tasty yolks ever! I need to find someone to get eggs from…

  • Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers May 17, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Great post. I try to buy cage-free and organic whenever possible.

  • Olivia May 17, 2011, 12:31 pm

    I’m completely on the same page with you, I buy cage-free, organic (and sometimes local at the farmers market!) eggs every single time I buy them. It’s almost 4 times more expensive, but to me, it’s important that the chickens are able to roam free (and actually do) and have as happy of a life as possible for them. I was wondering what type of bread that fried egg in your picture is? It looks like its got sunflower seeds, and really really fantastic!

  • Dana May 17, 2011, 12:51 pm

    I thought this was a great post, Caitlin! Thanks!

  • Tami May 17, 2011, 1:04 pm

    Lotsmof comments

    Our chickens should be arriving next week so we’ll have fresh eggs by sept and I can’t wait and my kids are very very excited

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy May 17, 2011, 1:04 pm

    A local farmer is def. the way to go.

    • Sara @ OurDogBuffy May 17, 2011, 1:16 pm

      Also, keep in mind, if animals truly ran around outside all the time, they’d be eaten by predator animals. That’s not good either. And I read somewhere that their beaks are cut because otherwise they’d peck each other to death. (If it is a large chicken house). Just something I read! It freaks me out too (cutting beaks. Ouch!)

      • Clare May 18, 2011, 1:05 am

        But these animals would not be existing in the wild in this way. They are bred, sometimes forcibly, in large numbers. They are a manufactured species bred for consumption and egg laying. Most little dogs would not do so hot out there either, but that does not usually make anyone feel better when their dog dies or is killed. And we certainly don’t feel justified in eating them. Animals of no famillial relationship, thrown together in painful, crowded, uncomfortable places do not act as normal chicken flocks would.

  • Angela May 17, 2011, 1:47 pm

    This is a wonderful post. Thank you for bringing up this topic. I have five lovely hens of my own that are friendly and intelligent creatures. I can’t imagine how factory farms keep and treat their chickens so horribly. Personally, I choose not to eat eggs, but I’m glad that the rest of my family can eat the eggs of my hens and not support farms that do not humanely raise their animals. I am so glad that you are showing people how they can be informed about where their food comes from and doing what you can to support more humane conditions with your dollars. It is great that you recognize and are aware of your “grey area” and I really respect you for your honesty. Thank you! I hope you find a local farmer with hens, not only so you can get eggs from happy hens, but so you can spend some time with these awesome animals more regularly. Greeting my chickens every morning definitely makes me happy 🙂

  • Charlie May 17, 2011, 1:48 pm

    An independent grocery store I go to sells eggs from a local farmer. They are labelled as free-range with vegetarian diet free of pesticides and antibiotics. Totally worth the extra money. And it’s not like they are a lot more expensive!

  • Rika May 17, 2011, 2:05 pm

    I’ve always bought “organic free-range” eggs from costco.. but ever since I took an Animal’s Rights class, I was cynical and skeptical! I was scared out of my mind that I was torturing the chickens by eating eggs! so I looked into buying my eggs at my local farmer’s market and have been satisfied ever since. They were able to answer all my questions and the yolk is so vibrant and fresh looking!

  • Eliz May 17, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I just wanted to throw out another comment about how awesome raising backyard chickens is! I walk about 10 steps to get my eggs each morning and they are so delicious!

    I’ve got three ladies that free-range in our yard most of the day. They are super easy to take care of! And they are super cute! 🙂

  • Ashley May 17, 2011, 2:09 pm

    I stopped eating grocery store eggs last year, and I don’t think I would ever go back. I buy my eggs from a local roadside stand where I can actually talk to the farmer and hear him tell me about his chickens. While his eggs are not certified organic (it’s so expensive to get that labeling), I know how humanely he treats his birds, I can see them pecking around in the distance! Totally worth 3$ to get this eggs (that taste better too!). If you are lucky enough to live in an area with farms (yay midwest!) try local eggs!

  • Liz May 17, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I pay upwards of 8 dollars for a carton of eggs from a local, organic, pasture raised hen farm that doesn’t do beak cutting. It’s incredible when you think you can get a dozen eggs for 79 cents at Safeway…clearly that’s not the true cost. Thanks for bringing awareness to this issue!

  • Laura Turner May 17, 2011, 2:58 pm

    It is amazing how little attention we pay to egg carton labeling. I know I didn’t until I began to try to eat & live greener. My family and I just joined a local CSA just so we could have more control of what we put into our bodies until our own gardens are ready for harvesting. If I’m going to be paying $5 for eggs in the store, they better be the healthiest eggs ever laid! Otherwise, take me to the farm!

  • Debbie @ Live from La Quinta May 17, 2011, 2:59 pm

    Since there is really no way to be sure that the chickens that produced the eggs are treated humanely (other than raising them myself, which isn’t going to happen), I decided that eating eggs, or any dairy products was way outside my gray area.

  • Susan May 17, 2011, 2:59 pm

    I pay $6 for a dozen eggs through my CSA. The chickens are well cared for and treated like family. It’s a bit more expensive, but I don’t mind supporting local farmers who care about and take pride in what they’re doing. And I’m fortunate that I can afford to support them. I admit that it’s tempting to buy produce/dairy at other places when it’s cheaper, but I think of the impact I’m having when I do buy local. I think we all try to do what we can and hopefully not beat ourselves up too much over what we can’t.

  • Angie @ Musings of a Violet Monkey May 17, 2011, 3:10 pm

    I definitely “vote with my dollars” when it comes to eggs. I haven’t purchased a factory-farmed egg in over a year. Here in Charlotte, I get them at the Matthews Farmers Market for $4.50/doz. I have talked to the farmers and have been told exactly how the chickens are raised. I am more than happy to support them – and to eat local (and get a safer product for me), in the process.


  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 17, 2011, 3:13 pm

    Great topic! I try and vote with my money as well 🙂

  • hippierunner May 17, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Why not get some hens for your backyard? My neighbors have some in our backyard and they’re easy to care for. 🙂

  • Cate May 17, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Very informative post Caitlin! I was just thinking about this the other day when trying to decide what eggs to buy. Hopefully more regulations will come as more and more people become informed and “vote” with their dollars.

  • Emily May 17, 2011, 3:43 pm

    This has been an issue for me for a long time now! Especially since I eat eggs two or three times a week and rely on it for some of my protein and B12.

    In the UK the system is different – we basically have caged hens, free range and barn hens. The free range being the best of these but still pretty dodgy – high density of chickens allowed, the access to outdoors not particularly great etc.

    In the last couple of years a new company has appeared in all the major supermarkets: with their ‘Happy Eggs’. Which seem to be better than the others, and because of pretty good advertising standards here are probably what they say they are.

    However, since my housemates have the same welfare concerns as me we recently took the plunge and bought five baby chickens – black australorps. They are now 3 and a half weeks old and we think we have two boys and three girls :). They are going in a big thing my housemate is building at the bottom of the garden.

    I’m very happy about it because then I will know for sure that the hens my eggs come from are well looked after!

    • Amanda May 17, 2011, 4:29 pm

      Watch out for your roosters once they are old enough to realize they are “men.” We had one rooster and 24 hens and he umm…(how do I say this nicely), was overly active 😉 Our poor little hens were barebacked!

  • Megan@Dirty Dishes Daily May 17, 2011, 3:54 pm

    When I was younger, we had a few hens that would lay eggs and we would use those for our breakfast. It’s really important for me to maintain that type of purity. I hope to have my own hens some day. It’s a weird dream but I like it.

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 17, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I am beginning to think about transitioning into a vegan diet, but my love for eggs has me searching for a source in which I feel comfortable acquiring them. I think the best thing to do would be to find a local farmer, honestly! it’s the only way to be sure that I am completely comfortable with my eggs. Or raise my own chickens 😉

  • faith May 17, 2011, 4:09 pm

    I love, love, love eggs and these days only buy PASTURED, local eggs. The element of animal welfare is important to me but honestly even more important is the HUGE nutritional benefit of eating pastured eggs; a third less cholesterol, a fourth less saturated fat, two times more omega-3’s, and three times more vitamin E-turns out you really are what you eat! The nutritional benefits make them worth the $ and I also like that pastured local eggs are a greener choice. Plus, they taste amazing, so much better than non-pastured eggs.

  • TheHungeredOne@MovingandMunching May 17, 2011, 4:20 pm

    My family and I solved this problem by purchasing our own chickens and building them a coop. Many cities allow chickens to be kept in the backyard as long as you adhere to the rules regarding them (such as a max number or coop regulations). They are easy to take care of. They want out in the morning and go in the coop by themselves at night. Sure they make a bit of a mess, but they lay every single day and we always have fresh eggs. 🙂

    I knew about these labels and their essentially worthless meanings before. It always makes me chuckle when I see “natural” on products and know it means absolutely nothing.

  • Karen May 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    I started buying free range eggs (the only ‘humane’ label offered at the stores I shop at), but then stopped and just went back to Costco’s big thing of 30 eggs in a carton. I stopped because various people were telling me I should be skeptical and that there isn’t much to slapping a label on a product just to charge a premium price.

    Thanks for clarifying exactly what those labels mean – I’ll definitely just keep buying the regular Costco eggs until I can find eggs with the Animal Welfare Approved label you mention. I don’t think it’s worth the extra money if the chickens aren’t treated that much better.

  • Lisa May 17, 2011, 4:29 pm

    We eat TONS of eggs! We get the organic ones at Costco but sometime in the next year we will have our OWN CHICKENS! I can’t wait! It’s gonna be great having fresh eggs to go with our veggie garden.

  • Ann @ Day by Day May 17, 2011, 4:50 pm

    This is so interesting. I’ve actually been meaning to research this topic myself, since I do pay a lot more for the eggs at Whole Foods that have labels such as the ones you listed. I knew I wanted to be buying eggs that came from chickens that were treated humanely, but I wasn’t sure which labels were authentic. All the beak-cutting makes me so sad though…

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION May 17, 2011, 4:51 pm

    This is a fabulous post, as I had no idea that beak cutting was allowed for organic eggs. That’s awful. You’d think at least ONE label would mean something, you know?

    I’m lucky, in that there are a ton of little farms around the area that sell eggs. I literally watch the chickens walk around the yard and know exactly where my eggs are coming from. Obviously, that’s not realistic for everybody though, and I hope more of these animal welfare approved labels will show up in grocery stores!

    Great post! 😀

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) May 17, 2011, 6:35 pm

    I am honestly horrified at the thought that these people beak cut their chickens. Sure, most chickens are meant to lay eggs and others shipped off to the dinner table, but I would prefer them to have a happy free life up until then.

    I try to buy local from the the farmers market. Surfside Chickens in Watsonville Ca area offers pastured chickens.
    They “have mobile, open-air housing that we rotate either weekly (laying hens) or daily (broilers) around the pasture. Constant access to fresh pasture promotes good nutrition for the birds, and the resting (chicken-less) period promotes good hygiene and regrowth of the pasture. The chickens are always free to roam during the day, and their pens/trailers are only closed after sunset”

    The eggs are amazing.

    I look forward to the day where I can have a piece of land where I can have several chickens to lay fresh eggs for me 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now May 17, 2011, 6:54 pm

    Thanks so much for the clarification. I knew natural didn’t mean much, but I wasn’t aware there were so many loopholes with other labeling. The food biz is a tricky one.

  • Amy (Miss Teacher) May 17, 2011, 7:15 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m a vegetarian and I try as much as possible to buy cage-free eggs. Until reading this, though, I had NO IDEA that beak cutting was permitted with cage-free chickens! Sometimes when I read about this kind of thing I start to feel completely overwhelmed…like I’m never doing enough as a vegetarian! Yikes…

  • Kristin @ FoodFash May 17, 2011, 7:51 pm

    Perhaps grocery stores should sort eggs by incredibly inhumane and disgustingly fed, moderately inhumane and better fed, and possibly inhumane and organically fed… Eggs are one of those things that I know I should have given up when I gave up meat and dairy, but I just can’t!

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner May 17, 2011, 9:02 pm

    This is something I have been thinking about quite a bit lately. I am really not a big egg eater normally. I usually just don’t particularly care for them. However, I am 19 weeks pregnant and eggs are one thing I am craving like crazy! I want them 24/7. As a vegetarian, I have always felt that eggs are not much different from animal flesh, so I tried to avoid eating them as much as possible besides in baked goods. But with fierce cravings, I feel as if my body and baby are telling me I need that extra protein in my diet. However, I am only buying organic eggs as I feel they are treated a little more humane than factory farmed eggs. I don’t care if I have to pay more, it is something I strongly believe in.

  • Bethany May 17, 2011, 11:34 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this Caitlin (Katie)! Until there is more regulation on labeling of food products and disclosure by the producers, we as consumers need to do the research ourselves. American Welfare Approved is definitely a step in the right direction as far as where to start looking and get involved. I know these products may be slightly more expensive, but we as the consumer dictate what the industry does, and the higher the demand for humanely raised products, hopefully farms become more mainstream rather than the minority and the price goes down. I also hope you will agree that if we have domesticated these animals for our own daily use, we should have a responsbility to ensure that they are treated humanely with a quality of life during their time on this earth, regardless of what their final purpose will be.

  • Bronwyn May 18, 2011, 4:02 am

    Thanks so much for posting this. I always buy free-range eggs at the supermarket but I have to admit I wondered if all free range eggs were made equal. Just had a look into the situation in New Zealand and its very similar to the USA, but there is one egg producer I’ve found here which is certified organic and inspected by the Royal NZ SPCA and they don’t allow beak clipping either – so now I will be buying their (a little more expensive!) eggs!

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs May 18, 2011, 8:35 am

    Bahh! I pay a bit more for the cage free or organic eggs, but I know about 15 minutes up the highway (Sanford, I forget you’re from Orlando so you’re familiar!) there are a few egg farmers that I could buy from. I appreciate your break down, I had no idea some of these claims meant so little 🙁

  • marian May 18, 2011, 12:05 pm

    there are a lot of great vendors at the atherton market in charlotte who sell eggs from local farms! yummy, local, and humane!

  • Krista May 18, 2011, 1:30 pm

    I refuse to buy eggs at the grocery store. Fortunately, I have 2 wonderful friends that live on farms where their chickens roam free and are fed organic feed. My son often plays with the chickens at the one farm and he always “thanks” them for his eggs!

  • erin May 18, 2011, 3:32 pm

    The thing i find the most hilarious about eggs is that all the “free range” and “organic” eggs in the stores are always brown. The thing is the color of the egg means nothing. Seriously nothing other than the color of the chicken. Brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white ones. Still I think people assume brown = organic, natural and unbleached or something.

    When I was a kid growing up in MA there were always commercial saying “Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh” because the brown chickens are RI red’s.

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