My “wish list” the other day included one hoping consumers learned the difference between “free run” and “free range” eggs. I thought it unfair to leave that dangling. We pay premium prices for free run, free range, and organic. I laughed out loud when the egg question was explained.
In Canada, “free run” chickens are still confined to massive barns, never see the light of day, and are given nesting boxes to lay their eggs. To claim “free range” producers have to let the hens have access to outside the barn once a day. To be clear; we’re not talking flinging open the barn doors onto a grassy meadow – all they have to do is provide an “opening” for a prescribed amount of time.
Organic chicken deserves a serious ponder as well. Any illusions to a “Sunnybrook” farm existence should immediately be tossed in the compost bin. Poultry is certified “organic” as long as it wasn’t feed antibiotics or animal by-products. Commercial producers can still pack thousands of birds into airless barns; still force feed them round the clock. I guarantee, commercial organic chickens have never seen the light of day.
There is absolutely no difference in the nutritional content of eggs. Free run, range, or plain old eggs; it’s all the same. Falling for slick marketing ploys designed to feed on social conscience, only puts egg on your face. Organic chicken, free from antibiotics is not a bad idea; provided you suspend romantic notions of birds blissfully scratching around a grassy field.
Stop and think before you buy. Shop at farmers markets if you want eggs laid by happy chickens. Otherwise, save your money and demand unregulated marketing nonsense stops.There truly is no end to the ingenuity of mankind. Marketing is alive and well; human nature dictates no shortage of those willing to line up for “snake oil”.
Free range egg barn.