We all love eggs, no matter which way it was cooked, hard-boiled, poached, fried or even baked in avocado. But choosing which one to buy at the grocery store has become more confusing.
Your decision is not only a choice between white or brown and large or extra large. Now you can choose among cage-free or pasture-raised and eggs raised with vegetarian or organic feed.
We have decoded the confusing egg labels below. So before you raise your hands to grab those egg cartons, make sure to check below.
DECODING THE EGG LABEL
As certified by Demeter USA, farms who are using this label must follow organic standards, protect biodiversity and build soil health.
This is a HFAC label, which requires that hens have space to move around and be cared for by trained handlers.
This is the only USDA-regulated label. This requires that hens be feed without GMOs, antibiotics or animal products and get outdoor access.
This means uncaged birds, which have no outdoor access.
This is not the same thing as pasture raised, this means that outdoor access must be provided for a minimum of 6 hours daily, with 2 square feet of space per bird.
Hens are given grass to feed and other food mostly found in the pasture, except for grains.
Eggs are processed minimally and are free of artificial ingredients.
A hens’ diet is fortified with flaxseed, that can help increase the beneficial, brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids in their eggs by more than 100%.
This means that eggs come from free-range chickens that were not given growth hormones and antibiotics.
This Humane Farm Animal Care or HFAC certification means birds must be outdoors on rotated and vegetation-covered pasture, for at least 6 hours daily, with 108 square feet of space per chicken.
United Egg Producers Certified
If you can leave these eggs on the shelf. This means that birds are housed cage-free indoors or caged, their beaks are sheared, and feed includes antibiotics and GMOs.