Authentic Old-Time Type of Cage Free Eggs
Cage Free eggs – Just really what does that represent today? Do CAFO’s produce cage free eggs? As customers search for small-scale farmed goods, money hungry corporations seek to prey on the uninformed. Are customers really getting the quality of product they are expecting? Are you getting CAFO cage free eggs? Factory farm eggs? Alderfer eggs present an authentic old-time option from small sustainable agriculture. Look for the Alderfer eggs from happy hens.
There are many misconceptions regarding the production of cage free eggs. Cage free eggs may be coming from a small scale, family farm with 5,000 hens. But these eggs might have been produced in a large aviary-style CAFO with 1 million hens or more. To some, the difference is very disappointing.
In the Olden Days
Over half of the American farmers in 1930 reported having fewer than 50 chickens per farm. Housing these few hens was not an issue. Often the hens slept in the stables and sheds up near the roof on perches they found. During the day they roamed freely outside, foraging on the grasses, bugs and wasted grains from the other livestock feeding areas.
And just a few years earlier, many of the city folks enjoyed having their own backyard flocks. But regulations increased, pushing hens and roosters out of the neighborhoods. Now some cities are again granting the privileges of chicken watching and egg production within their city limits. What a great idea for children to grow up with the daily song of happy chickens! Then too, there is the side benefits of those fresh eggs from you own few hens.
Looking for Quality Production
But for those who cannot have their own hens, what is the best cage free egg choice? I suppose that depends mainly on your interests and priorities. For some it is the lowest price point on the grocer’s shelf, disregarding sustainability and fair market values.
Others look at the color of the yolk to determine their favorite brand. Packaging types attract or repulse some buyers. And yet, still more folks are looking for the story behind the producer of their eggs.
CAFOs can produce the cheapest eggs, no doubt. And since the mega markets are looking at price as the number one issue in dealing with a vendor, the CAFOs end up with the supply to them. Yet the smaller independent locally owned markets may find it difficult to sell the authentic cage fee eggs at a fair trade price.
And the gigantic operations might even add xanthophyll to the feed to color the yolks for a look like the truly better quality eggs. Any egg will fit into a glamourous package but what about the glamour of the egg itself? The story of the egg is the most important.
If you follow the history of egg production in American, you will trail the hens from roosting in trees and around the barnyard and on through various types of open ventilated buildings for the layer facilities. By the 1960s and 70s they were confined in totally controlled environment poultry houses with small cages for the hens, with no outside lighting or natural air inflow movement. Such operations have developed into huge factory farms with millions of hens on one farm.
Mega CAFOs Offer Cage Free Too
Much negative press publicity has surfaced over animal cruelty and poor animal welfare in these CAFOs. And as money often corrupts men and organizations, so their practices depart from true sustain ability to greed to get all they can get from every facet of the business. Not only do the animals suffer but also the laborers, the community and the environment. Power and domination ruin the welfare of many.
And so, now most recently, these super mega operations have chosen to move away from using cages. Instead they are now converting to the aviary-style systems where several stacked layers of surfaces actually hold more hens per building square foot than the cages that produced much public outcry. This state of the art production is cleaner and does allow the birds movability that cages did not.
But it does still threaten the family farm using the traditional cage free egg production. And as we consider mega operations, the rich tend to suppress the poor. The large holding firms cannot do all the work themselves and so they look for laborers. They hire laborers. They then often view these laborers as another disposable possession of the operation. Personal relationships are less valued than money. Consequently, the laborers likewise understand their worth as less than it should be. And so the work is done with less than the best integrity.
Sustainable Family Farms Promotes Working Together
Small scale family farms promote working together in equality. All involved are of equal importance. And that care even extends to neighboring farms and the community. Working for the enrichment of others; that is the key normally lost in the CAFO mega structures.
Small scale family farming promotes the best animal care and welfare. Less crowded, smaller concentration, and more natural ventilation, lighting, and housing all promote health. And healthier animals produce healthier food.
And so in conclusion, the term cage free is not what it used to mean. For the consumers looking at the sustainability of small farms and their products of integrity, they will need more that the cage free label. And so you might want to learn more about the brand of eggs you are buying.
Swiss Villa Recommends Small Scale Goods from Local, Sustainable Family Farms
Swiss Villa strongly recommends that you consider supporting goods from small, sustainable family farms and businesses. We are pleased to work closely with Alderfer’s Poultry Farm since they work with this type of small, sustainable family farms. They do not contract with any farms using the aviary style houses, but rather have chosen to stick with the smaller, traditional style housing. Thus Alderfer eggs fit into our focus.
Shopping independent, locally-owned health food stores in the mid-Atlantic region. There you likely will find the Alderfer eggs. While numerous other brands have come into the market with even more aggressive lower prices, Alderfer’s have held consistently with a sustainable business format to enable them to pay the farmer a fair price for the quality goods they produce. This has produced a very good reputation for Alderfer’s among small family farm communities here in Pennsylvania.
Tell Others about Alderfer Eggs
Last of all, if you are familiar with the Alderfer eggs, I would like to invite you to write a review on these eggs. Simply go to our egg list and choose the ones you have had and share your thoughts for others to see. Thank you for your support in helping sustainable family farms, working to promote healthful relationships and building strong communities of care and interdependence.
Choose eggs from the traditional cage free small farms over the aviary CAFO produced eggs! Thank you.