July 22, 2014

Are You Happy With The Quality Of Your Store Bought Chicken Eggs?

I have recently come to the conclusion that even the more “high quality” super markets/food chains are not delivering the “best quality” when it comes to store bought chicken eggs (let alone other food items).

Even if you have done your due diligence concerning the quality of the food you consume,  you may be dismayed to find out that you have been duped!  I was.

Let me explain.

I am a HUGE fan of consuming the egg that comes from a healthy pasture-raised chicken.

Do I want that chicken to be humanely treated?  Yes.

Do I want their food source to be of a high quality?  Yes.

Do I want these chickens to get daily sun and exercise?  Yes.

Do I want to be lied to about the health of the egg laying chicken?  NO!

Here comes the rub!  Marketers have completely watered down all of the catch phrases when it comes to our food sources.

When it comes to big business, there is a LOT of money to be made in deceiving the consumer, and the food industry is no different.  Fortunately, it’s not like you are on your own… but it’s close!

If you think about it; “organic,” “natural,” “free-range,” and “cage-free,” do NOT mean what you think they do.  And because of this the animals suffer… and OUR HEALTH SUFFERS!

I will say it again, and again, and again… we cannot be healthy consuming unhealthy things.  An unhealthy chicken lays unhealthy eggs!

Take a look at the graph from The Cornucopia Institute to see exactly what I mean:

So, what does a ONE egg rating mean exactly:  “1-egg” rating (0-1200): “ethically deficient – industrial organics/no meaningful outdoor access and/or none were open enough to participate.”

Private Label Private‐label, or store‐brand, eggs rated with one egg are sold by grocers or distributors who have the obvious desire of wanting to grow their presence in the organic marketplace. Unfortunately, there is an inherent limitation in private‐label organic products: organic consumers tend to want to know where their food is coming from and how it is produced, and private‐label products are anonymous by their very nature. Our research indicates that the vast majority of organic eggs for private label brands are produced on industrial farms that house hundreds of thousands of birds and do not grant the birds meaningful outdoor access.

365 Organic by Whole Foods

1

Austin, TX

nationwide

80

store bought chicken eggs

Central Market by H-E-B Grocery Company

1

San Antonio, TX

0

store bought chicken eggs

Full Circle by Full Circle

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Full Circle by Topco

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Great Value by Walmart

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Green Way by A&P

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Kirkland Signature by Costco

1

Seattle, WA

nationwide

0

store bought chicken eggs

Meijer Organics by Meijer

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Nature’s Place by Delhaize

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Nature’s Promise by Giant, Stop ‘n Shop, Ahold USA

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

O Organic by Safeway

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Price Chopper Naturals by Price Chopper

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Roundy’s Organics by Roundy’s

1

0

store bought chicken eggs

Trader Joe’s by Trader Joe’s

1

nationwide

0

store bought chicken eggs

Wild Harvest by Supervalu/Shaws

1

0 store bought chicken eggs

It is one thing to see Walmart, Costco, and Safeway on this list.  But Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods?  Please.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

Please take a good look at the above article and the “scorecard criteria.”  Excellent stuff!

And, just in case you need a refresher on where the majority of our food is coming from these days, take a look below at what Wiki has to say about “Factory Farming.”

I have spoken on this enormous challenge before, and this is THE reason I really stress for my clients to get to know a local farmer or two in their area and shop from them.  You MUST trust your food source!

Do You Know Where Your Store Bought Chicken Eggs Are Coming From?

store bought chicken eggs

Do your store bought chicken eggs come from healthy chickens like these?

Confinement and overcrowding of animals results in a lack of exercise and natural locomotory behavior, which weakens their bones and muscles. An intensive poultry farm provides the optimum conditions for viral mutation and transmission – thousands of birds crowded together in a closed, warm, and dusty environment is highly conducive to the transmission of a contagious disease. Selecting generations of birds for their faster growth rates and higher meat yields has left birds’ immune systems less able to cope with infections and there is a high degree of genetic uniformity in the population, making the spread of disease more likely. Further intensification of the industry has been suggested by some as the solution to avian flu, on the rationale that keeping birds indoors will prevent contamination. However, this relies on perfect, fail-safe bio-security – and such measures are near impossible to implement. Movement between farms by people, materials, and vehicles poses a threat and breaches in bio-security are possible. Intensive farming may be creating highly virulent avian flu strains. With the frequent flow of goods within and between countries, the potential for disease spread is high. Confinement and overcrowding of animals’ environment presents the risk of contamination of the meat from viruses and bacteria. Feedlot animals reside in crowded conditions and often spend their time standing in their own waste.  A dairy farm with 2,500 cows may produce as much waste as a city of 411,000 people, and unlike a city in which human waste ends up at a sewage treatment plant, livestock waste is not treated. As a result, feedlot animals have the potential of exposure to various viruses and bacteria via the manure and urine in their environment. Furthermore, the animals often have residual manure on their bodies when they go to slaughter.

Confinement at high stocking density requires antibiotics and pesticides to mitigate the spread of disease and pestilence exacerbated by these crowded living conditions.  In addition, antibiotics are used to stimulate livestock growth by killing intestinal bacteria.  According to a February 2011 FDA report, nearly 29 million pounds of antimicrobials were sold in 2009 for both therapeutic and non-therapeutic use for all farm animal species.  The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70% of that amount is for non-therapeutic use.

Animal welfare impacts of factory farming can include:

  • Close confinement systems (cages, crates) or lifetime confinement in indoor sheds
  • Discomfort and injuries caused by inappropriate flooring and housing
  • Restriction or prevention of normal exercise and most of natural foraging or exploratory behavior
  • Restriction or prevention of natural maternal nesting behavior
  • Lack of daylight or fresh air and poor air quality in animal sheds
  • Social stress and injuries caused by overcrowding
  • Health problems caused by extreme selective breeding and management for fast growth and high productivity
  • Reduced lifetime (longevity) of breeding animals (dairy cows, breeding sows)
  • Fast-spreading infections encouraged by crowding and stress in intensive conditions
  • Debeaking (beak trimming or shortening) in the poultry and egg industry to avoid pecking in overcrowded quarters
  • Forced and over feeding (by inserting tubes into the throats of ducks) in the production of foie gras

Look, because our food sources have become so convoluted, we as consumers need to use some real discernment when it comes to purchasing our food.

I will make every effort to keep you “in the know” when it comes to finding and purchasing the highest quality real foods money can buy.

But, as you can see, it’s complicated.  I believe that “store bought chicken eggs” have shown us that.

If you have any friends or family members that might benefit from this post, please “share.”

Also, like always, I would love hear any questions or comments you might have.

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About Kevin McCauley

I am a Lifestyle and Wellness Coach, as well as the owner/operator of a Nutrition And Exercise Curation Blog and an Attaining Optimal Health Membership Site. I am passionate about not only helping people be proactive with their health but also, attaining the finest health possible; minus the drugs and procedures. For more information on working with your very own affordable health and fitness professional: THE GET HEALTHY CLUB

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