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This is pathetic


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http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/04/13/8 367/

Reason I will never buy chicken/eggs that are not free-range and on a vegetarian diet, no matter how much more expensive they are.

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I'm not gonna read the blog (I'm at work and that's a no-no) -- but chickens aren't naturally vegetarians... they are omnivores (mostly insectivores) if left to their own devices.  Buy free range, but vegetarian ain't natural.

That's a good point that I've failed to consider before, actually.

I'll have to research the nutritional information of eggs laid by hens on vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian diets.

If they are truly free range, they should have access to some grubs and other yummies (for them, not for me - I'm on a strict no-grub-diet).

My understanding of the "vegetarian diet" on eggs was to indicate that they aren't getting fed chicken parts, but it was never entirely clear to me.

Came across an interesting website with interesting information on the nutrition of food from animals on "vegetarian" diets vs. regular diets.

http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

Apparently vegetarian is the way to go for eggs FOR THE PRODUCERS because people are more likely to pay top dollar and because it decreases the incidence of illness in their chickens. For us, the consumer, however, vegetarian is NOT the way to go.

Thanks coack_k for the heads up!

If you can, try to find a farmer's market. One nearby here once a week are in whole foods selling stuff. Some of the stands are selling eggs, don't know how free the chickens are though. Can only go by what they say.

Or try to locate a farm in your area. My husband and I travel 45 mins away to this couple who raises chickens. They are very free-roaming and they get to eat all the bugs they want + seeds. They are even named (they wear an anklet that has their names on it). They also sell chicken meat. Maybe there is someone around nearish to you? You don't need a farm to sell chicken eggs. We found the couple on craigslist!

My professor raises chickens and sells their eggs as well.

Something to look into. :)

ETA: I couldn't read the entire blog cause it made me feel ill. Makes me hate people. :/

We have  8 chickens.  They have the run of our rather large backyard.  They eat EVERYTHING. In addition to the feed we give them, they are constantly on the lookout for worms (delicious!) and bugs.   We also occasionally throw them leftovers. #1 thing they go crazy over? Chicken;) 

Sometimes while you're admiring the free range chickens, watch them for awhile.  They eat chicken poop, their own and others.  Wonder how that is absorbed into the eggs?

Interesting:

"They are even named (they wear an anklet that has their names on it). They also sell chicken meat."

Chickens are also naturally cannibalistic. If they see blood on another chicken they will peck it to death. 

I eat tons of eggs. I've tried all the different "types" and definitions, as well as many eggs from friends and neighbors that raised them. I've also eaten eggs from ducks and geese that friends raised. Duck eggs are wonderful. Goose eggs are kind of rubbery.

If you can't raise them yourself, or get them from a neighbor, "pastured" is the gold standard. That means that they are actually running around outside during the day. "Free range" only means that there is access to the outdoors, and that can be satisfied by having a small door in the end of a giant aircraft sized hangar (20,000 chickens). They don't necessarily ever use the door, but it satisfies the requirement.

BTW The eggs from "vegetarian" chickens usually have very pale yolks, with low amounts of beta carotene. They aren't allowed outdoors where they could eat foods naturally high in beta-carotene (including insects).

Original Post by shane_paladin:

Interesting:

"They are even named (they wear an anklet that has their names on it). They also sell chicken meat."

How so? They not only sell their eggs, but their meat. This isn't unusual. :P

My grandparents used to have a farm and named the animals too. I don't think it's that unusual to name an animal, even if it's going to be food.

Yep - I remember the year my uncle fed us Clarence and Anita.

Original Post by armandounc:

http://ecocentric.blogs.time.com/2012/04/13/8 367/

Reason I will never buy chicken/eggs that are not free-range and on a vegetarian diet, no matter how much more expensive they are.


Well like coach-k said, chickens aren't naturally vegetarians. They thrive on a diet of worms and insects. And I know this is really gross, but they actually love the taste of their own eggs :S (the only reason I found this out is because we raise our own hens each year, and once I saw them going crazy over one of their eggs they found outside, which had gotten cracked open)

Right now, the chickens we just got this year aren't quite old enough to start laying eggs, so at the moment we're buying cage free organic eggs at the store. But honestly, they don't look or taste any different from the cheap regular ones. Those "cage-free" chickens are still all crowded in a big enclosure all day, and as long as they get to go outside for as little as 5 minutes a day, the government can consider them "free-range". REAL free-range eggs are the ones with dark orange yolks, and you'll probably never find those in the supermarket, unfortunately.

But obviously, not everyone can raise their own egg-laying chickens, and getting the cage-free eggs is still better than getting the eggs from those poor old hens who live in such an unsanitary, depressing environment as stated in that article.

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