Hormone Free Eggs: What Does it all Mean?
There’s lots of buzz about all the different kinds of eggs and which ones are healthiest. How do you make sense of it all? Perhaps you’ve heard of hormone free eggs. You can probably deduce that they’re free of hormones, but there’s a little more to it than that. From natural to organic, those so-called simple labels are actually quite complicated. Let’s go over what constitutes hormone-free eggs.
Hormone Free Eggs – Since the FDA doesn’t allow the use of hormones in their chickens, a label of hormone-free is simply reflecting the basic regulation. Many people are fooled by the term “Hormone Free” or “No Hormones Administered” when they’re in the store purchasing eggs. ALL commercial eggs must be free of hormones – at least all the eggs sold within the United States. The FDA has not approved the use of hormones in egg or poultry production. Period. You may see these on labels by brands that charge more to say that but you’re better off spending your money in other areas that concern you such as organic.
Hormone Free Eggs – Raised without antibiotics…
The use of antibiotics is another area of concern for consumers. You may see labels that say “Raised without antibiotics” but these aren’t commonly used in the production of eggs either, although their use is sometimes required in large flocks when disease breaks out.
While we’re at it, what do the other labels mean? Let’s go over a few. You may see these labels in conjunction with the hormone-free label.
Cage free eggs: These originate from cage free chickens. This is different from free range chickens though. Like cage free chickens, free range chickens are not confined to cages and can roam freely within the barn. Unlike cage free birds, these birds likely have access to the outdoors for some of the day. The government-regulated standards in “free-range” egg production are hazy at best though and can be hard to distinguish.
Omega-3 eggs: These come from hens who eat a vegetarian diet made up of plants, grains, flaxseed and even seaweed. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to the operation of our bodies because we can’t produce it ourselves. They’re excellent for our overall health, particularly in the area of cardiovascular benefits.
Organic eggs: These come from chickens that are fed organic food. They must have access to the outdoors and can’t be confined to battery cages. These chickens are only given organic feed with no additives, growth hormones, animal byproducts or GMOs. When you see a USDA label of “organic,” this means it has been properly inspected and designated as such. In addition, crops used for organic chickens must be free of all synthetic fertilization for three years before becoming certified organic.
Hormone Free Eggs – Got questions about hormone free eggs or any other type of egg for that matter? Get in touch with CMC Food. We’d love to hear from you!