What does “free range” and “cage free” really mean?

November 19, 2009

Like many of you, Jessica and I are conscientous about the types of products we buy at the grocery store. We try to pick the healthiest options which often draws us to products promising to be natural and organic. When it comes to buying dairy and eggs, we look for signs of a happy cow or chicken, rather than a factory farm animal. But, it turns out that labels like “free range” and “cage free” may be misleading, or at least don’t give the complete picture of an animal’s living conditions. Many of these so-called “free range” animals live in very crowded spaces and are handled without care.

Check out this article to read more. After reading this, Jessica and I have both decided to give serious consideration to cutting back on consumption of diary and egg products or buying them exclusively from local farmers. You may want to do the same!

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{ 3 comments }

Anne@ the doctor takes a wife November 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

My husband and I recently watched Food Inc and it’s DRASTICALLY changed the way we think about food… this is totally something we’ve been thinking about and have instantly started making progress towards change for the better!!

Kathy November 22, 2009 at 7:23 pm

I saw Food,Inc in August and it has drastically changed the way I look at and think about food. I now try to buy only organic vegetables and fruit (especially the dirty dozen) and also have limited my meat and poultry consumption. I try to buy organic meat and poultry and dairy as much as possible when I do use those products. I live in an area that doesn’t have any Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s nearby but we do have a wonderful organic farmer’s market (local and fresh) that is open most of the year and a few small organic markets. I do what I can and am consciously viewing my purchases rather than just tossing food in my basket! Food Inc is a incredibly powerful and important film (and shocking) that should be seen by everyone and I hope that people viewing it will take away something that will improve their lives and possibly encourage necessary change in the food industry. We the consumers have the power to show our unhappiness with our whole food system–if we start spending a little more money to have quality organic products and humanely raised animals for our food things will definitely change. It’s all about money!

brandi November 19, 2009 at 1:59 pm

I’ve been reading about that lately, too.

I try to buy eggs from happy chickens and milk from happy cows, but it’s good to know the difference!

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