Mommy, Where Do Eggs Come From?

From Flickr Creative Commons by woodlywonderworks

Consumers who wish to consume only “cage-free” eggs find themselves in a bit of a dilemma. Actually, a giant 400-pound gorilla of a fundamental dilemma:

It’s impossible to tell – either through taste or by visual observation – whether an egg was brought forth from a free-range mother or a caged one.

So does that mean you have to rely on the word of the egg vendor? (This is where you would expect us to come up with an alternative, right? Not this time.) The answer is yes.

The truth is that the government lacks jurisdiction to verify claims made by egg producers. Major animal welfare laws don’t cover laying hens. The sad fact is that your sunny side ups may have come from a happy, contented bird or a horribly abused one.

Organizations like Animal Welfare Approved attempt to certify eggs from well-treated hens, but it’s all really a crap-shoot. The bottom line is: How much do you trust the people who sell you your eggs?


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9 Responses to Mommy, Where Do Eggs Come From?

  1. Sue lofgren says:

    I’m lucky to know where my eggs come from……a friend who raises her Chickens Free Range!

  2. KARCHEDON says:

    Mi abuelo tiene gallinas propias que están libres por el campo.

    Comen maiz, trigo y cebada.

    El resutado son : huevos increiblemente amarillos y con una clara espesa increiblemente transparente. Cuando se cocinan la clara es de un color blanco puro.

    El sabor es increiblemente bueno, sobre todo si lo comparamos con los huevos de la tienda.

    Saludos desde España.

  3. KARCHEDON says:

    My grandfather has own chickens that are free in the countryside.

    They eat corn, wheat and barley.

    The result set are incredibly yellow eggs with a thick white and incredibly transparent. When cooked white is a pure white.

    The taste is incredibly good, especially when compared with eggs from the store.

    Greetings from Spain.

    pd: Sorry about the previous comment.

  4. Jojjo says:


    Here in Sweden we have something thats called KRAV ( and they mark produkts (like eggs, milk, meat ..) that meets their demads.
    The KRAV-label stands for:

    Sound, natural environment
    Solid care for animals
    Good health
    Social responsibility


  5. Felipe says:

    Yeah, you’re right. I aaulctly just put that in because it sounds funny and helps drive home the point.

  6. Nobody says:

    Recheck your research. Where this has been scientifically evaluated, people *can* tell the difference between caged and cage free (free range) eggs. It is the organic eggs that have been proven to be indistinguishable from non-organic eggs. So organic eggs are pointless, but cage free (free range) eggs make all the difference in taste (and appearance of yolks).

  7. ChefSmartyPants says:

    I certainly CAN tell the difference. Store bought (caged chicken) eggs’ yolks are pale & the shells are very fragile.

    I grew up with free range chicken in our backyard, and I now buy from a farmer I trust. His eggs are like the ones I grew up with: very orange yolk, which takes a little effort to break & shells that are stronger than the ones bought in the grocery store.

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