I Want to… Exchange… An Egg

I’ve recently moved, and one of the unexpected perks is that with my new cable package, I now have the SOAP network. You know what that means – 90210 reruns. It’s my favorite show of all time, and I was so, so happy to discover that they are currently airing the early seasons (if you don’t have SOAP network, you can watch them on CBS).

So, what does this have to do with being green, or with the title of the post? Well, just yesterday they were airing one of the best episodes ever, U4EA (it’s up there with Donna Martin Graduates and when Kelly and Brenda wear the same dress to the Spring Dance). Anyway, U4EA brought us this infamous scene, where Steve and Ohhndrea try to exchange an egg in exchange for directions to an “underground” club (oh, early 90s TV, how I love you so).

See for yourself:

Well, like Sanders and Zuckerman here, I’d like to exchange an egg as well. For a better, more humane egg.

If you’re ever bought eggs, you know how many options there are, and how confusing they can be. Cage-free, free range, Omega-3, organic. What’s the difference and what does it all mean?

I personally don’t trust a lot of the labels on the cartons. Free-range and cage-free sound great, but just because a chicken doesn’t live in a cage, doesn’t mean it can actually go outside. Can you imagine being cooped up (pun intended) your whole life? Free-range means they have free range of motion, and have access to the outside. The key word being access – it doesn’t actually mean they do, or have the opportunity to, go outside. It says nothing about the quality of the “outside” they are provided.

Your best bet, in my opinion, is to find eggs you can ask questions about. Go to the Farmers Market (find one near you at Local Harvest) and talk to your local egg farmers. Ask them how they raise their chickens – what they eat, what kind of living space they have.

Another option is to find eggs that are Certified Humane. I’m lucky that Glaum Eggs are really easy to find in this area – I can even order them through my CSA. Here’s a list of other providers of Certified Humane products – see if you can find any near you. However, I’ve recently read some conflicting information about Certified Humane eggs – including the fact that beak-cutting may be allowed. I don’t like this one bit! CH says they do it to prevent cannibalism; vegan blogs say it’s cruel and completely inhumane. I’m not sure what the answer is. I would still bet Certified Humane eggs are much better, ethically-speaking, than your generic “cage-free” or “free-range” eggs, but the question is far from simple. You can also find eggs that are American Humane Certified, an organization I need to do a little more research on as well. I have been buying Glaum and Clover eggs for awhile now, but maybe it’s time to ask more questions, and talk to the farmers who raise the chickens. It’s far from an easy or simple solution, but it’s important.

Also, humane eggs are going to be more expensive than your standard eggs from a regular grocery store. I think it’s worth it – don’t you?

Do you eat eggs? Why or why not? What kind do you buy?



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7 responses to “I Want to… Exchange… An Egg

  1. I grow my own and no beak cutting for me. Chickens peck, it’s called the pecking order. I would say your best bet is to talk with grower and find someone who raises them for the love of it.

  2. caitlinarndt

    I stopped eating eggs when I started moving toward veganism about a year ago, but I was always conflicted about eggs. As much as I tried to read up on what all those labels meant but never knew what to believe. I guess, in a way, I took the easy way out by just quitting all together. I’ve recently been lucky enough to move to a city with great farmer’s markets and I feel a little safer about this kind of stuff when I can talk to people who are more knowledgeable about where the food is coming from than some teenager in smock with a name tag… I still think I would probably hold off on going back to eggs until I am able to raise my own chickens.

    Also, great segue into the egg discussion, I love 90210! (as does my 44 year-old Pakistani roommate, although he is loathe to admit it… 🙂 )

  3. I agree that going to the local market and talking to the source of your eggs is the best bet. We actually get ours from a family at my boyfriend’s school. I love that I am able to do this.

    PS 90210 used to be my favorite show!

    PPS It was GREAT to meet you at the foodbuzz festival- keep in touch!

  4. thedallasceliac

    I do eat eggs – a lot of them, actually – and try to buy organic when I can. I like the idea of buying free range, but it’s somewhat cost-prohibitive for us given how many we eat.

    Great to meet you at the FB Festival!!!

  5. actorsdiet

    ha – i knew exactly what you were talking about when i just saw the title post. total 90210 junkie. old skool only, though.

  6. AWA

    Thanks for your informative post.

    I would like to bring your attention to Animal Welfare Approved, the high-welfare label that the World Society for the Protection of Animals calls “the most stringent” of all of the food labels regarding humane treatment of farm animals.

    The Animal Welfare Approved program audits and certifies family farms that utilize high-welfare methods of farming. Farmers benefit from having a third-party affirmation of their practices and consumers benefit by knowing that the label means what it says.

    What Does the AWA Seal Mean for You?

    Animals are raised outdoors on pasture or range on true family farms with the “most stringent” welfare standards according to the World Society for the Protection of Animals in both 2008 and 2009 reports. The standards have been developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers and farmers and incorporate best practice and recent research. Annual audits by experts in the field cover birth to slaughter.


    and hope you’ll follow us on twitter AWAapproved and fan us on facebook!

    Visit the website for a searchable database of where you can find AWA products across the US.

  7. AWA

    Also, since you were talking about eggs, here is what the New York Times said about Animal Welfare Approved eggs…

    Catherine Price, New York Times

    “For eggs from chickens that live in the sort of utopia conveyed by the images on most egg cartons, look for ‘animal welfare approved.’ Available in limited markets, it is a new label by the Animal Welfare Institute that is given only to independent family farmers. Flocks can have no more than 500 birds, and chickens over 4 weeks old must be able to spend all their time outside on pesticide-free pasture with a variety of vegetation. They must have access to dust baths and cannot have their beaks trimmed (a practice on crowded egg farms) or be fed animal byproducts.”


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