Skip to main content

On the Coast Magazine

Sponsored Content

Producing a Good Egg, Sustainably

09/07/2015 03:37AM ● Published by Family Features

While the recent increase in the price of eggs has captured consumers’ attention, the process of producing those eggs and how it affects the price, however, is likely not as familiar.

Egg farmers and retailers have worked together to study several factors involved in egg production, with an emphasis on ensuring food safety and affordability. The Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply – which includes leading experts in animal welfare, academic institutions, non-government organizations, egg suppliers, restaurants and food retailers – has released the results of its research study.

“Consumer interest in how hens are housed has been growing. However, good science-based information about the sustainability of various hen housing systems and egg production has not been available on a commercial scale,” said Darrin Karcher, Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University and CSES Project Director.

Hen Housing Makes a Difference
To support broader understanding, leading scientists at Michigan State University, University of California, Davis and elsewhere studied flocks of hens in three different types of housing:

  • Conventional cage: Nearly 95 percent of eggs are produced in these systems, where six to nine laying hens share space.
  • Enriched colony: This type of housing provides more space per bird than conventional cages and also offers perches, nesting areas and scratch pads.
  • Cage-free: Hens can roam through defined sections of an enclosed barn and can exhibit additional natural behaviors, such as dust bathing and attempted flight.

The Survey Says
Over the course of three years, researchers measured and compared five different sustainability factors in each housing system: animal health and well-being, food safety and quality, the environment, worker health and safety, and food affordability.

Researchers found a variety of positive and negative aspects with each system. Of interest to many consumers, eggs produced in conventional cage housing had the lowest cost of production, in part because that system had the lowest hen mortality rate and required the least amount of labor to maintain.

“With these science-based research results, we have a better understanding of hen housing sustainability. Consumers can use this information to make informed purchasing decisions that best align not only with their values about how hens should be housed, but also their grocery budgets,” Karcher said.

Find more information about sustainable egg production, videos, interactive infographics and the CSES research results at sustainableeggcoalition.org.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

abortion at 16 weeks open uterus scraping surgery

Sponsored by Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply

Subscribe to On the Coast Magazine's Free Newsletter for regular updates!
Food+Entertainment Family Features Family Features Food
  • Receipts & Rewards

    09/23/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Get rewarded for shopping! Spend $350 or more at the following stores and receive a complimentary...


  • Receipts & Rewards

    09/24/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Get rewarded for shopping! Spend $350 or more at the following stores and receive a complimentary...


  • Jamah Terry

    09/24/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Sunday nights means the soothing tones of Jamah Terry's Soul music will come drifting from the sp...


  • Al's Beach Club Industry Night

    09/24/2017
    10:00PM — 11:55PM

    Sunday late night means Al's Beach Club & Burger Bar opens its doors wide for Industry Night with...


  • Children in Crisis, Inc. Florida has a HUGE need for gift cards AND Food For Thought Outreach Inc...


  • Receipts & Rewards

    09/26/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Get rewarded for shopping! Spend $350 or more at the following stores and receive a complimentary...


  • Blake Brock

    09/26/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    A true variety musician, Blake Brock plays everything from blues and rock to Americana, folk, and...


  • Al's Beach Club Game Night

    09/26/2017
    10:00PM — 11:55PM

    Every Tuesday is Game Night at Al's Beach Club & Burger Bar featuring giant beer pong, limbo, hul...


  • Children in Crisis, Inc. Florida has a HUGE need for gift cards AND Food For Thought Outreach Inc...


  • Receipts & Rewards

    09/27/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Get rewarded for shopping! Spend $350 or more at the following stores and receive a complimentary...


  • Three Bean Soup

    09/27/2017
    05:00PM — 09:00PM

    Father-daughter group Three Bean Soup puts on a kid-friendly interactive show each Wednesday even...


  • $1 Skate!

    09/27/2017
    05:30PM — 08:30PM

    Every Wednesday at Fort Sk8 Family Fun Center is $1 night! Come roll with your friends for only $...


Facebook
This Month's Issue:

 


 


Want more? Like us on FaceBook to keep updated with local events, activities, stories and more! On the Coast Magazine