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Make Sure Your Eggs Are Cage-Free

Seems there's a movement among schools, restaurants and food service companies to reduce or eliminate the use of eggs produced by caged hens, according to this interesting piece in USA Today, one of my favorite newspapers in the world. It's the result of a campaign by the Humane Society of America and various colleges to eliminate the use of conventional eggs, grown in battery cages (a stack of cages that can be as high as two stories).

Ideally, it would be best to obtain your eggs directly from the farmer. In my experience, even $6 per dozen organic, cage-free eggs purchased in many stores don't compare to those obtained directly from the farmer.

How can you tell?

This one is easy: Just look at the yolks. You are getting really healthy eggs, if the yolks are bright orange yellow. If they are pale yellow, better keep looking.

Another thing most people don't understand about eggs is that you don't need to refrigerate them. They are not routinely refrigerated in Europe or South America. Refrigeration does allow them to last longer but they can easily last several weeks to a month or more unrefrigerated. If they are already refrigerated when you purchase them it really doesn't matter.

Still, it's best to purchase directly from the farmer unrefrigerated and store them on top of your refrigerator, not in it. Along those same line, you'll also want to review my latest recommendations for eating raw eggs.

USA Today April 11, 2006

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