In the words of the World Animal Protection organization, it’s time to give a cluck about chickens.
At Freshly, we’re big believers in using cage-free eggs and cage-free chicken in all our meals. Why? Because we think cage-free isn’t just a better way to treat hens, it’s a better way to treat your healthy body, too. We think the happier the hens, the happier their eggs, and the happier you are.
Cage-free eggs are exactly what they sound like: they’re eggs that come from hens that are not kept in small wire cages and allowed to spread their wings, perch, and nest – just as hens were meant to do. These hens are given a bit more freedom than caged hens, who are often confined to restricted areas the size of an iPad their entire lives, without the ability to use their wings, stretch, or flutter around. As a result, they get bruised, lose feathers, have no true exercise, and become, well, extremely stressed out. (Kind of like when you’re stuck in a tiny office all day…but worse.) These living conditions don’t just impact the happiness and health of the hens, they can affect the eggs that the hens produce and, as a result, your health, too.
CAGE-FREE, HEALTHY, AND HAPPY.
Studies show that caged hens are more susceptible to injury and disease, likely because they are so stressed. According to research from the European Food Safety Authority, farms that keep hens in battery cages produced eggs with about 25 times more the odds of Salmonella infection compared to farms that didn’t use cages. That research was based on about 5000 egg farms in 20 different countries. And salmonella is one of the most common causes of food-related sickness, hospitalizations, and illnesses in humans in North America, according to the CDC. So while cage-free eggs might cost a few cents more, they do make a difference. Of course, it’s difficult to say that all cage-free hens live perfect lives. Some argue that hens should be given even more freedom on farms (including a lot more time spent outside), and we don’t disagree. But choosing to become more aware of how life in a battery cage can impact a chicken’s welfare – and choosing to go cage-free – is at least one step up to ensuring the hens do live a more humane existence.