Let Us Show You Real Pasture Raised Eggs

Fri, July 31, 2020 9:43 AM | Anonymous

"Reading a label is not the same as knowing your farmer."

The video “Let us show you real pasture raised eggs” clears up the label confusion common in the grocery store aisle by setting a clear expectation of what pasture-raised means. Pasture raised hens move to fresh pasture often. They live a majority of their lives on pasture and not in a barn that only gives access to pasture. Movement to fresh pasture ensures that the benefits of the pastured poultry farming model come together into an egg that is documented to be more nutrient dense in important vitamins and fats when compared to non-pasture raised eggs.

The key to perceiving the difference between real pasture raised eggs, as it’s been done for the last 30 years, and other egg labels is understanding the difference between the words “on” and “access.”

Pastured poultry live on rooted-in-soil vegetation and actively growing pasture.

The use of the term “access to pasture” in egg marketing is a sign that management behind those eggs may not live up to the decades of historical principles used by the pastured poultry community.

In this video, Ginger Shields of Pastured Life Farm in Florida sums up the problem. “We have to do a fair amount of de-education for our customers because so many of them are misled by grocery store labels. They assume that a free-range chicken would the same [pasture raised] product that we're selling. It's not.”

The legal definition for Free Range poultry regulates “access” to the outdoors, but it’s an open secret in the poultry industry that the doors on a free-range barn may never open. If the barn doors do open, there’s no enforced standard that requires there to be vegetation outside the doors or that the birds step through the door. Likewise, when you see certifications that market 108 square feet of pasture per hen, it’s a warning that you may not be getting what you expect. In these systems, the 108 square feet replaces the core principle of movement to fresh, rooted in-soil vegetation by providing “access” to a large amount of space that the hens cannot properly utilize.

How do you get what you expect?

In “Let us show you real pasture raised eggs,” Grady Phelan from Heritage Valley Farm in Texas, says is succinctly, “Know the first name of your farmer.” APPPA helps consumers know the first name of their farmer by maintaining a searchable directory of pastured poultry farms at https://getrealchicken.com. Get Real Chicken is a project of APPPA.

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