Unless you are on a vegetarian diet, you definitely must have heard of something to do with cage free foods. Now when we are talking about cage-free, the only food that should come into your mind is eggs. Of course, I will get into the details and explain why. While we’re at it, have you been to the supermarket lately to buy eggs? If yes, then you might be familiar with the complicated terms and descriptions such as cage-free, free-range, organic and so on. The truth is a number of people have absolutely no idea of what cage free foods are or even what differentiates them from all the other foods. Well, that’s why I am here today; I will elaborate things for you.
What does cage free mean?
The term cage-free has been a hot topic of discussion lately. Everyone is talking about it and its benefits. Cage-free is a term that is regulated by the USDA and it’s used to refer to eggs which come from hens that are not caged. It’s just as simple as that. The hens are allowed to roam freely in a building or enclosed area with continuous access to food and clean water throughout the entire production cycle. This is potentially a better lifestyle for the hens considering the fact that the traditional production system kept them in battery cages about 8 by 11 inches in size.
Why cage-free eggs?
One would wonder why so much hype about cage-free foods? Are there any benefits that come with letting the chicken roam free within an enclosed area? With that said, there are a few reasons why some big companies are now going the cage-free way. Here is why;
Food safety purposes
According to the European food safety authority, cage-free environments decrease the risk of diseases such as salmonella enteritidis. Cage-free systems are thought to be cleaner since it’s easier to clean or disinfect, have fewer rodents and disease vectors and the hens are less stressed hence unlikely to easily contract disease. Also, copious amounts of insecticides are not used in cage-free farms, therefore reducing the levels of chemical residue.
Healthy and high quality eggs are produced
We look for quality in everything and that includes eggs. Research and numerous studies done conclude cage-free eggs have a healthier nutritional profile with more vitamin E, vitamin A and omega 3s.
The animal welfare activists believe cage-free systems offer a way better environment for the hens than the traditional caged system. For instance, things like comfort and interest are provided to the animals since they can move around freely.
Some large companies have already taken the initiative
A number of the major retailers, food companies and restaurant chains have already announced that they will be transitioning 100%of their supply chain to cage-free eggs. Brands that decided to transition to cage-free show their customers that food quality and safety is key to them. Companies that have announced they are going for 100% cage-free eggs include Starbucks, MacDonald’s, Nestle, Kraft-Heinz, Compass Group, Unilever and Campbell’s among many others.