There is a rise in the Philippine public’s interest in eating organic food. With the demand comes a slew of confusion as to what is good and what is bad. For example, when it comes to eggs, is free-range or cage-free just as good as organic?
Cage free and free-range freedom?
Free-range and cage-free both refer to the living situation of the chickens that are laying the eggs. “Cage free”, this means that the chickens are given free space to roam around and are not kept cooped up in a small battery cage or pen while laying eggs. This however, doesn’t mean that the hen is totally free. It only means that as long as the hen is not kept in an individual cage with no room to roam, then it can be considered cage-free.
Free-range, on the other hand, also means that a hen is not kept in a tight cage. However, this doesn’t mean that the hen is entirely free.
Sadly, most consumers have this image hens roaming freely without restrictions when, in fact, it can mean that the hens are simply in multi-layer wide cages with other hens, given just enough room to be able to walk around.
Does this mean that free-range hens lay organic eggs? Definitely not. Free-range hens may still be given antibiotics and hormones which are residually present in the eggs they lay.
So why go organic?
Organic eggs, or at least those that are truly organic, means that the hens are not pumped with artificial hormones and are not given antibiotics. This also means that the hens are not fed with chemical or feeds that contain the bad stuff. Real organic eggs are also produced by hens that are given time to roam the field.
Why go organic? By going for organic eggs, you skip the artificial growth hormones and antibiotics that are in eggs. Artificial growth hormones have been linked to early menstruation in girls and hormonal imbalance in boys.
Brown or white shells?
There is also a misconception that brown eggs mean healthier eggs or that the eggs are actually organic. This is far from the truth. The color of the shell merely signifies the type of hen that laid the egg. The color of the shell does not signify if it is organic, only the way the hen is treated, fed, and raised determines the quality of eggs it lays.
So the next time you need to buy eggs, keep in mind that going organic doesn’t just mean spending more money, it means choosing not to consume eggs that have hormone and antibiotic residue. After all, your health and well-being is worth it.