Vegetarian Eggs: What You Need to Know
Vegetarian Eggs – Perhaps you were browsing the egg aisle and came across vegetarian eggs. Are you confused with all the labels out there, from organic to cage free to free range? Well, you’re not alone. Vegetarian eggs basically come from hens who are given a vegetarian diet. You may pay more for these eggs at the market but many consumers feel the price increase is worth the peace of mind.
The demand for vegetarian eggs was brought about by concerns regarding chickens ingesting animal byproducts, including the remains of other chickens. With cannibalism linked with Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) in several species, not just chickens, this prompted the fear that this could be passed on to the humans who ate them. Concerns about transmittable diseases aside: the very thought of cannibalism makes many people shudder.
Vegetarian Eggs – Not a cut-and-dried process…
The raising of vegetarian chickens is not typically a cut-and-dried process. There are many regulations that come into play, and not all rules are followed to a T. However, there are some basic guidelines. When you use a label of vegetarian eggs from free range chickens, this means they were not fed any animal byproducts on the farm; however the very premise of free range chickens is that they are allowed to roam around outside and peck at their leisure, usually preferring insects and worms despite being fed a vegetarian diet by their farmers.
This doesn’t mean battery caged hens can’t produce vegetarian eggs. They certainly can, and are fed solely a vegetarian diet by farmers. However, many people look beyond the feed and are instead more concerned with the inhumane treatment of hens within small battery cages with no room to move about.
Vegetarians typically seek out eggs as a staple in their diet because eggs at your local grocer do not contain a developing embryo and are general considered to be safe for consumption for those eating vegetarian diets. However, this practice depends on what kind of vegetarian you are. Those on semi-vegetarian and pescetarian diets can eat eggs, along with select animal meat or fish. Lacto-ovo vegetarians eat eggs and dairy products, but steer clear of all meats, poultry and fish. Ovo-vegetarians consume eggs but no dairy, while lacto-vegetarians eat dairy products, but refrain from eating eggs. If you’re a vegan, you eat no animal byproducts whatsoever.
Vegetarian Eggs – Trust CMC Food to meet and exceed all your vegetarian egg needs. Since 1984, we have been providing consumers like you with fresh shell eggs and egg products throughout the Northeast as a family owned and operated retail and wholesale egg provider. We sell everything from cage free and organic to omega 3 and all-natural eggs. Our local and national branded products include Nature’s Design, Eggland’s Best, 4 Grain, and The Farmer’s Hen available in cage free, organic, vegetarian, all natural and low cholesterol varieties.