Organic and Free Range Eggs – What’s The Difference?
It is not hot news that the hens on regular farms are treated inhumanely.
Hens are kept in confined spaces and blasted with artificial light to prolong daylight hours in order to increase
egg production. Do you also know that these hens are fed all kinds of hormones and antibiotics in order for
the egg farmers to get as much as they possibly can?
As a result of this a great number of people have moved to buying free range eggs instead. Believing that
it was better conditions and the hen is actually walking around the yard pecking at the grass and enjoying
life and laying eggs naturally. In short people thought they were buying organically produced eggs.
Most people look at the cartons marked “free range eggs”, which are much more expensive than the
others believing that they are healthier; however you will not find on the carton anything that actually
indicates that this is the case and it most certainly will not have the words organic eggs mentioned anywhere.
If you do find a carton of organic eggs as opposed to free range eggs you will notice that they are certainly
more expensive again; but there is quite a difference in the two products that certainly warrants the extra
Free range is most certainly not all you think it is. The USDA allows the use of the free range egg label
for a farm that allows the hen access to the outside for at least 5 minutes per day. It does not mention
that the hen even has to get up from the cage and actually go outside; it just has to have access. There
is no mention of the fact that the hen has to eat healthy food i.e. food that is hormone and anti-biotic
free; certainly not the impression that is given with the term free range eggs.
It is once again clear that the USDA and the FDA are more concerned with protecting the income of the producers
more than they are interested in protecting the interest of the general public, not to mention the inhumane
treatment of the chickens.
This is not just confined to the eggs; we are also fed these chickens as well. The chickens that you get out
the supermarket freezer, unless they are labeled as organic are treated in the same way and carry the same
chemicals as the eggs do. Not everyone approves of this as shown in this headline from 2002.
“US confinement-raised poultry not good enough for the Russians”
Imposing a ban on importing U.S. poultry, Vladmir Fisinin who is the vice president of Moscow times commented: “I
would like to note that American farmers are injecting chickens with antibiotics used to treat people. This
is prohibited in Russia.” he further went on to comment “U.S. poultry producers use such large doses of
these drugs that they accumulate in the tissues of the birds. It is dangerous, especially for children and
older people.” Mr. Fisinin also shared his view that by continually giving antibiotics to chickens it will encourage drug-resistant bacteria to grow and effect the bird population and create further complications.
Here is another headline:
“Antibiotic-resistant bacteria NOT found in free-range chickens”
This is obviously referring to truly free range chickens and not the ones that lay the free range eggs.
When you have a large number of animals living in a confined space it is much easier for disease to spread.
The way that this is handled is by using a large amount of antibiotics to treat the disease. The problem
with this is that the bacteria that the antibiotics are meant to destroy mutate and change so as not to be
effected by the drugs.
When people then get infected with the drug resistant bacteria there is not a lot we can do about it as the
common medication is no longer effective.
A survey conducted on the E. coli bacteria isolated in a confinement poultry operation found that all the
bacteria were resistant to the commonly used treatments, Streptomycin, tetracycline and sulphonamide however
the opposite is true for the bacteria that was in a free range farm. (Ojeniyi, A. A. (1989). “Public
health aspects of bacterial drug resistance in modern battery and town/village poultry” Acta Vet Scand
It is also clear that the pharmaceutical companies are also more than happy for this practice to continue.
Baytril is another pharmaceutical which poultry are being treated with which has similar properties to the anthrax fighting antibiotic – Cipro.
Bayer, the producer and supplier of Baytril have been urged by the FDA, Health professionals and The New England
Journal of Medicine to withdraw the sale of the drug to poultry farmers, however they do not agree with this
move. It seems they are to continue to make millions of dollars rather provide protection for the public.
Their argument is that if it were withdrawn there would have to be a fundamental change to the U.S. poultry
raising practices. But isn’t that what we want and need to happen.
It is illogical and inhumane to raise animals in the conditions that require a huge amount of drugs to fight
diseases that are prolific because of the environment they are raised in.
Bayer insists they need more evidence showing how this practice causes damage to humans before they will refrain. It seems that the
mass of proof that already exists is simply not enough for anyone to act on this.
Today, hens are riddled with disease and dead within 2 years unless they are slaughtered before this time
for food purposes. Hens produce eggs in abundance in the first and only year in production. This is not the
Young hens grow at exceptional rates and have a premature burst of egg laying in the first year. This effectively
wears the chicken out. This happens because they are treated with growth hormones and antibiotics in their
feed from day one.
If this does not kill the hen, then the amassed poison soon destroys the hen’s liver and it develops liver
cancer inside of 2 years. These hens are sent to the slaughterhouse before the onset of cancer as they are
effectively finished their productive life of egg laying; these hens are then bought from the supermarket
and fed to people.
Hens raised naturally, and supplied with natural feed commence laying around for 10-12 months. Hens that are
fed with hormones and antibiotics have almost effectively finished their laying cycle by that time. Organic
hens also live at least twice as long as farmed chickens.
It is sad that we are so dominated by money that this practice can go on and be endorsed. But more than the
treatment of the hens, what are the effects of people eating foods that infected by all these chemicals and
drug-resistant bacteria. It is no surprise; the amount of diseases that are around today.
Unless laws are passed to stop the way poultry is raised, there is one other way to change it. Quite simply
don’t buy it. If they are not making the money they want, then things will have to change. But it takes a
real commitment from everyone to make a stand.
It may cost a little more money, but you need to stop endorsing free range eggs and buy organic. If the free
range eggs and farmed poultry are not selling the producers will have to react; and make the changes themselves.
Not only are organic eggs much tastier and better for you, you can help to change an industry that does not
have the morals to change themselves.
This article was written by Ira from Global Health Supplements. He is in his 80’s, and when he was diagnosed
with heart disease he turned his disease around and took control. Ira discovered an incredible nutritional
program that delivers because it gives your body the nutrients it needs to become… The Great Self Healer!”
More information on this can be found in our free online health magazine.