i love eggs. it’s true. for years and years i’ve been patting myself on the back for buying eggs at grocery stores (including Trader Joe’s) that carry “free-range” and “cage-free” labels. HAH! i was horrified to recently discover that those poor chickens are hardly treated any better than industrial/factory-egg farms. CHANGE THE CHANNEL now if you don’t want to know more…
image from chelmsfordagway farmers market blog
i had no idea that those chickens can still be raised in such inhumane conditions. silly me, i pictured happy chickens pecking their way around a grassy yard under a billowy blue sky, clucking with delight. um. not exactly. i read some things that really really disturbed me. i won’t go into the gruesome details. but they made me mad. made me sad. made me really sorry i had fallen for a misleading label. organic my arse!
i found out that what you have to search for in your local area are “pastured eggs”.
image from hillcrest farmer’s market site
and it’s pretty simple. once i googled “pastured eggs los angeles” i found lots of good resources. Vital Farms out of Austin, Texas is a certified humane producer of pastured eggs. they sell via Whole Foods. Cornucopia has given them their highest 5 egg rating. i’d rather buy local eggs so i’m still searching. but in the meantime i will feel perfectly okay about eating the Vital Farm eggs.
this weekend i’m headed to a local farmer’s market to take notes. then i’ll do some quick research on the farms i find and see how they stack up. i don’t want to fall for any false advertising again.
image from steve normanton dot com
i also found out that you can go HERE to check and see who is selling certified humane animal products in your local area. i found resources for pastured beef, bacon, cheese, milk, and more. super simple.
as far as pastured meat goes, there is this wonderful resource for those living in California. and i found some promising information via videos & articles HERE at Whole Foods.
happy shopping & eating!
Judy H. says
I had heard this before, but forgot it. Thanks for the important reminder. 🙁
Joan Clarke says
I have to wonder what got you started on this food research quest? What raised your antennae? I’m glad you are finding ways and means to eat more healthy, humanely raised foods.
Where I live (in the Mojave high desert)nothing is locally grown with the exception of one farm, but it’s not something available in all seasons and sadly, no chickens/eggs.
Anna Maria says
When I lived in SF I used to get pastured eggs at the Rainbow coop grocery, my all time favorite place to buy food – there and TJs (for the prices). Get ready though, in case you don’t know that pastured eggs are seasonal. There are several months of the year when they are not available or scarce -apparently hens who are not forced to to lay constantly, take regular breaks!
I was eating a lot of eggs until just recently when I discovered that I am sensitive to eggs, hard wheat and soft wheat, cow’s and sheep’s milk. Big bummer since I’ve been living on eggs, bread, pasta and cheese. …
Oh no… Trader Joe’s is not all that I believed it to be, tis a sad day indeed.
Donna Shaw says
Thank you for your post. While I live on a farm, I do not eat my animals and they are treated with love and kindness. I wish more people would climb on the bandwagon and let people know the plight of animals raised for consumption.
Violet Cadburry says
Does the Easter Bunny use pastured eggs? If not, we need to educate her.
Pastured chicken eggs are excellent nutrition…we’re lucky here in Kansas City to have farmers galore that bring their eggs in to our city market. I’ve also been buying duck eggs. They have orange yolks and make the most incredible ice cream when paired with raw cream and maple sugar. These ducks are completely free, and eat nothing but grass and bugs…and are herded around by two German Shepards!
Mary Ann Moss says
a quick internet search brought up this re: Monsanto purchasing Whole Foods.
Seems as though its a rumor, but not true. even if it was…im using them as a resource for eggs/chicken nothing else. Trader Joes sells eggs labeled as free-range and cage-free that probably arent, but im still shopping there for other things they offer. for me it is all about progress not perfection.
Incredible! All of this has quite recently become important to me! (That sounds awful, doesn’t it? Why didn’t I care before? The awareness just wasn’t there yet.) I’m up to my neck in research and veggies! I’m so grateful to all the environmentally conscious pioneers who have paved the way for me to make healthy choices a little easier for myself, my family, animals and the Earth. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject!
Jane Bumar says
I’m actually egg intolerant (not allergy, but don’t feel well after eating them), however, I’ve been very fortunate that the few eggs that do get consumed in our house are from a friend who keeps chickens in her backyard. The beautiful colors of these eggs! Pale blue, pearlescent, pink – they are shockingly beautiful. And I like that they still have, shall we say, ‘traces of critter essences’ on them when she gives them to me. You know its the real deal when it still has earth (in the case of veggies), and ‘traces of critter essences’ on it. Do you have any friends who have backyard pet chickens? Is it possible (zoning wise) for you to have a few yourself? She says its like an Easter egg hunt every morning, and her kids actually have a little business selling them from their little red wagon around the neighborhood. In the meantime, I hold out hopes for your farmers markets.
Monica Smith says
the writer who reported that Monsanto owns Whole Foods is in error. (Check out the your sources and facts on Nasdak). they are not even a major share holder. Whole Foods does not carry Monsanto genetically engineered corn. I prefer to do art than raise my own food and since there are no farmers markets. Living in California, the world of veggies and goodies is always on your doorstep.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing attention to this. While Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s may not be 100% what they represent, these stores are a good place to start your journey to become more aware of what you’re putting in your bod! Read labels, do your research. And please consider shopping at local farmers markets. While the farmers may not be certified organic, they are local and the produce is fresher. Mary Ann, fyi, the Saturday Farmer’s market at the Gene Autry Museum had no organics or eggs as of a couple of weeks ago. Not worth the trip. Love to hear what other egg sources you find. Sunday Hollywood is supposed to be good but that drive may be too much. I find this website whole9life.com to have some good info about how we should be striving to eat now.
Dawn N. says
thanks for the egg news Mary Ann. I discovered I have also been duped by the corporate liars. no more thanks to you!
connie rose says
Interestingly, I JUST got off the phone with a legal assistant who’s filing a class action suit against Judy’s Family Farm in Petaluma, because their egg packaging says (and visually portrays that) the hens are free-range, cage-free when they’re NOT. I am a witness/plaintiff in the suit because I’ve been buying these eggs for eons. From now on I will buy truly free-range, cage-free organic eggs from Eureka Natural Foods.
Incidentally, in case you don’t know this, Whole Foods is owned by MONSANTO! Don’t shop there anymore. And many of Trader Joe’s foods have recently been found to contain harmful bacteria and/or be unethically represented.
Susie LaFond says
Love that you are sharing your ‘food’ discoveries with us. All good to know. A few days ago there was a bit about a local pork farmer on our local news who was supposed to be raising humanly cared for animals and from what I saw it was NOT humane at all and he said his pigs were happy, they didn’t look so happy to me, granted they were not in pens but they sure didn’t have a lot of room to roam or roll in the mud. The building they were in was not what I would call home sweet home by any means. I was saddened by what I saw as well as out-raged. We are not big egg eaters here but when I do, I get them from a co worker of my DH who raises chickens for his own pleasure on the side. OMG those eggs are soooooooooo amazingly good and they are fantastic when used in baked goods. Fresh eggs makes everything taste better for sure.
I am so fortunate to live in a small city, where with the exception of some fruits and vegetables (and seafood), I can source nearly everything locally. I am even lucky enough to have friends that raise chickens and keep bees. Next spring my husband and I will get our own bees! The farms around here also welcome people to drop by for a visit; I have to say the taste is so much better and it’s nice to know as a consumer I’m doing the right thing.
Tracy Dyar says
“Organic” malpractice is rampant. It’s become a huge scam. You really have to be willing to research if you don’t want to get taken.
Reenie Hanlin says
You can also check out http://www.localharvest.org/.
If you ever come to visit Portland, OR or SW WA, you can come and snuggle our chickens!
We are in Battle Ground, WA, just north of Portland.
I will cook you some eggs 😉
Mary Ann, you won’t believe the difference between those pasture raised eggs and the ones you buy from the store. The yolk will be a beautiful orange and they just taste different. I think it is because they eat grass and bugs on a regular basis. We have chickens and we love our fresh eggs! Good luck with your search- it is not always the easiest way to buy your food, but in the end it is worth it.