Are we cruel to our food?

Mandy Oaklander

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eggs.

So you don’t eat foie gras, shark-fin soup, or even meat? You still might not be eating cruelty-free. The innocent little egg sometimes comes from hens who live in cages so small they can’t even spread their wings. It’s not surprising that the eggs from these hens, claustrophobic and living in their own waste, are up to 21 times more likely to harbor salmonella, according to a 2008 study from Belgium.

What’s being done: Thankfully, things might be looking up for chickens. Congress is considering a new bill–H.R. 3798, or the Egg Products Inspection Act Amendments of 2012–that would give hens twice the amount of living space, prohibit excessive ammonia in the henhouses, and require labeling on egg cartons to list how the egg-layers lived. More than 8 million chickens are slaughtered each year in the U.S., according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, so this could be big for the little cluckers. (Check out more on happier hens here.)

What to eat instead: Organic is a must for anything chicken-related, since poultry feed can have all kinds of bad stuff in it, from antidepressants to arsenic. Cage-free is nice, too, since those eggs don’t come from chickens that are trapped in battery cages all the time. But the best option? Seek out eggs with the “certified humane raised and handled label,” which means that your eggs underwent a voluntary, thorough inspection by an independent animal-welfare group. Or buy from a farmer you trust. Check out LocalHarvest to find truly sustainable farmers near you.

source: http://health.yahoo.net/articles/nutrition/photos/8-cruelest-foods-you-eat#5

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