What does the label on my egg carton mean?

Here are some common labels:

  • Omega-3 Enriched: Ingredients like flaxseed and fish oils are added to hen’s diets to increase omega-3 content.
  • Organic: Hens are not in cages and are raised according to the USDA’s National Organic Program guidelines
  • Free-range: Hens are raised with access to the outdoors.
  • Cage-free: Hens are allowed to roam in open areas.

But don’t be confused by the jargon. While an enriched egg may have additional nutrients like omega-3 fatty acid, these eggs still have the same calories, protein and total fat of conventional eggs. When it comes to production method, research suggests the diet of the hens is more important than where they live. Each production system has pros and cons. In order to maintain the egg production needed for the national and global demand, and keep egg prices low, layer houses with conventional cage systems are needed in the egg production process.

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