Gill Stannard

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The good egg?

The Federal Government is going to investigate the “free range” egg industry. It appears that we sell more eggs labelled as “free range”, than the country can produce.

But even if the eggs you choose are the real McCoy, take a look at the current industry standards for the standard supermarket free range egg. Read carefully. The code talks of chickens having “access” to an outside area, but technically a bird can be “free range” but never leave the shed, never see daylight or ever stretch its wings. They are still housed with 1000’s of other “free range” chooks with anywhere between 6-10 birds per square meter. It’s far from the image on the box of the happy hen scratching in the garden, isn’t it?

With the recent addition of organic eggs on the supermarket shelves, I'm guessing it won't be long til they have an investigation of their own. The solution? Other than having chickens in your backyard, get to know your supplier* and see if the image lives up to the reality.

* check out your local health food store, market and organic grocery.

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