For 305 million chickens their lives last for two years and are a living nightmare. After enduring mutilations, they live in tiny wire cages that measure 18-20 inches and hold up to 10 hens. The birds live so close together that they urinate and defecate on each other and the scent of ammonia hangs in the air. (1)
The light is constantly manipulated in order to maximize egg production. Male chicks are worthless to the industry and they often suffer a gruesome death. (1)
305 million chickens live for two years in industrial farms, enduring mutilations, poor living environment and poor quality diets
For organic egg farms, the chickens get hundreds of acres of pasture to roam, they scratch the ground and forage for bugs and seeds and peck at the grass. It’s no wonder that consumers prefer organic eggs.(1)
Packaged Facts data estimates that over 90 percent of U.S. households use eggs.(2) What if the majority or all of the households were willing to buy organic eggs? The factory farm egg industry would collapse. Turns out, you may be wise to buy organic eggs from a reputable local farm versus a major grocery chain.
At some large facilities, tens of thousands of birds are packed into a large warehouse and rarely get outdoors. These facilities continue to label their eggs “organic” due to the lax USDA enforcement.(3)
Large facilities are claiming their eggs to be “organic” despite chickens being packed into a large warehouse with little to no access to the outdoors!
Consumers expect that the USDA regulations should be protecting them from fraud, but this is not what is happening. (3)
A new consumer’s guide is being release due to the existence of fraud within the egg industry. This book contains a consumer scorecard and ranks hundreds of egg farms throughout the country, describing the conditions for the animals.(3)
Mark Kastel, the cofounder of Cornucopia group who released this report, is hoping that this helps consumers do their homework and allows them to put their money towards supporting ethical treatment of animals.(3)
The USDA has private certifying companies that are hired by the farms to assure that organic standards are being met. Unfortunately, the private companies have a financial incentive to approve operations at the farms that hire them. (3)
USDA ignores complaints reporting these farms are in good standing with organic certification companies, who are also getting a share of the fraudulent profits!
One of the major organic standards is whether the hens are allowed outdoors. Last year, five major egg producers, Herbrucks, Krehers, Delta Egg Farm, Chino Valley and Bushman Farms all reported that their eggs were organic. Pictures of these farms show that no birds were allowed outside, but the building have covered, screened in concrete areas that some of the farms argue as meeting the requirement for being outdoors!(3)
Following a compliant, the USDA responded stating that an investigation was not warranted because the farms were in good standing with certification companies.(3)
USDA officials defend their efforts to enforce organic standards reporting that they have reviewed or investigated 390 complaints alleging violations of organic regulations during the 2015 budget year.(3)
The bottom line for consumers is that there are numerous farms that fit under the “organic” label but are really industrial farms. On the other side, there are small organic farms where their birds roam large pastures. (3)
Either check out Cornucopia’s consumer guide or research the factories who produce the eggs you buy. Ultimately consumers should know an organic egg by the taste and color of the yolks. If your egg yolks don’t have a deep orange color, they are most likely not living the quality of life that organic egg producing chickens should be living. (3)