There's organic, all natural, farm-fresh, cage-free, free range, pasture raised...
But what do all of these words ACTUALLY mean is the question that many wonder.
My aunt, owner of InspiringKitchen, actually interviewed a local farmer near her hometown of Chicago, and deciphered these terms for us.
Range of Motion
Level 1– Caged: Applies to 93% of US eggs – under 8 x 10 inches of space per hen and caged for life.
Level 2 – Cage-Free: Inside barns for life with an average of 1 square foot of space per hen, no outside access.
Level 3– Free Range: More than 2 square feet of free roaming outside pasture space per hen, safe weather permitting.
Level 4 – Pasture Raised: Over 108 square feet per hen or year round outside pasture space to roam free on green grass with plenty of room for foraging, dust bathing, flapping and social interaction.
Certified Humane: expert farming groups inspect and certify that hens are humanely treated.
No Hormones: No eggs ever contain hormones. They are illegal to give to egg laying hens.
Organic: USDA regulated, cage free with outdoor access required and fed an organic diet.
Non-GMO Project Verified: This non-profit organization tests the hens’ feed to make sure it contains no genes altered by scientists.
No Antibiotics: Because antibiotics are hardly ever given to hens, eggs do not contain any antibiotics.
Even me, the health-nut that I am, I thought I knew egg terminology until I read my aunt's blog which really blew my mind.
Since way before I was even born, my mom has religiously bought the styrofoam carton with the "EB" marking on each egg, or better known as Eggland's Best. She always thought EB produced healthier eggs than the traditional store-branded, cheaper counterparts. But now, after reading my aunt's blog, I'm still re-evaluating which eggs we should actually buy.
Are EB's some of the best value and healthiest or is it worth it to aim for the organic label?
What do you think?