“Although from the outside an industrial egg looks exactly like a pastured egg selling for several times as much, they are for all intents and purposes two completely different foods.”
Michael Pollan, from In Defense of Food
I’ve argued that point numerous times on this blog. Of course, anyone who has ever compared an industrial egg and a farm-fresh egg does not need to be convinced. Nevertheless, please indulge me while I say a few more things about this.
This is a photo I took a few years ago of a freshly cracked egg from the grocery store and a freshly cracked egg from our farm. These shells of these eggs may look the same, but the part we eat is entirely different. Read more about the comparison HERE.
Recently someone asked me why the yolks of our eggs are orange, not yellow like factory eggs. Although I knew it was because our hens have a superior and more natural diet, I couldn’t be more exact than that. I’ve since learned that it is because our hens get beta carotene in their diets from eating grass and other freshly growing green things–something hens in battery cages will never do.
When compared to factory eggs, real eggs not only look better, they taste better and have more health benefits as well.
There is another compelling reason to favor real farm eggs, which is less-often discussed. Industrial eggs are products of systemic and industrialized cruelty to animals. To get the millions of layers they need, the industry artificially inseminates eggs then hatches them in enormous incubators. The day-old chicks are then placed on a conveyor belt and sorted by sex. The male chicks are tossed alive into giant meat grinders (or thrown into large containers to die more slowly). After having their beaks cut off, the females are transported in crates (containing hundreds of chicks) to large brooding areas until they are large enough to begin laying. Then they are placed inside battery cages in long rows, stacked on top of one another. They are fed the cheapest feed that will enable them to produce the most eggs in the shortest time. They never see sunlight, or any living thing other than one another and the unfortunate people who work in these facilities. They never stretch their wings, take a dust bath, scratch in the dirt or see a rooster. After about a year, when their egg production begins to drop, those who have survived this hell will be killed and made into soup.
That too is part of the cost of delivering those cheap, pale yellow runny eggs to our tables.