I just watched “the Secret Life of Eggs” on the Food Network. It was all about, well, eggs of course. They toured a cage-free egg facility and it made me wonder again why all egg producers can’t do things like this? Why is it so hard to raise chickens humanely? The farm on this show had a huge barn without cages inside. It seemed to move like clock-work too. They showed how the eggs drop down onto a conveyer belt and move right along to the washing and processing center. The process seemed quick and efficient and cruelty free. Were there a lot of chickens in the barn? Sure. Were they able to spread their wings and walk around? Yes. Could they see the sunlight and get fresh air? Yes. The egg producers who confine chickens to battery cages would surely say the cage method is the cheapest and of course for them it all comes down to money. Problem is the cost issue simply isn’t that much different. These farms are located in cities where land is cheap, so bigger structures can be built without a huge cost. Oprah did a show last year where she showed a farm that let it’s animals run free versus a farm that cruelly confined it’s animals. Sure enough the farm that was inhumane said “oh we can’t afford not to confine the animals”. The humane farm said they have no problem making ends meet. Oh snap! Luckily some big businesses are getting on board with cage-free eggs. Burger King started using cage-free eggs a couple years ago and reportedly so do places like Quiznos and Denny’s. Eggs are one of the staples at Denny’s so if they can buy cage-free anyone can. Now The Humane Society is asking McDonald’s to switch to cage-free. They are voting on it this year. The best news came last November when California voters overwhelmingly voted to make it illegal to confine hens in battery cages (along with pigs in gestation crates and calves in veal crates). I can’t wait for other states to follow California’s lead. Until they do I urge everyone to buy cage-free or better yet free-range or free farmed eggs. I will say though even cage-free chickens aren’t raised in ideal settings, but it is obviously better than the alternative. Your absolute best bet is actually to buy eggs at a green market where you may be surprised to find humane eggs at great prices.