Cracking the Code of Egg-cellence: a quick guide to ethical labeling

I've been a pescetarian for a significant portion of my existence - teetering with bouts of veganism and vegetarianism. My indecisiveness boils down to a few personal truths:

- I love animals;
- I love all life (I draw the line at mosquitos);
- It pains me to be the cause of any suffering (except with ex-flames - haha kidding, not kidding);
- Outside of raw sprouted protein powder, I haven't been able to find a plant-based protein source that wasn't loaded with either carbs or fats (both great in moderation).

My inner conflict has manifested into delectable treats for both the vegan and non-vegan alike. In my perfect cookie world, every ingredient would be plant-based - sans sweet cream butter or eggs. But until that day arrives, I'm 100% dedicated to cookie creating badassery...beginning with my shift from Organic to Pasture-raised eggs. 

What's the difference and why does it matter? Consumers deserve transparency - the right to know where our food comes from, whether we're ingesting hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers (literally a mouthful) and whether the animals are humanely treated.

There are so many products out there that are marketed as 'all-natural', 'hormone-free', 'farm-fresh' - all meaningless lingo.  To help mitigate any frustration in deciphering egg carton labels; these infographics break it down nicely (courtesy of Vital Farms).

Not included on the infographic:

Organic - Hens are fed an organic diet; while birds may have 'access to the outdoors', they might never go outside.

All-natural/Vegetarian Fed - Hens are fed an unnatural vegetarian diet (since chickens are omnivores) with no animal by-products; they might never go outside.

Conventional - Hens are crammed into cages with 6 sq inch space to move, with no opportunity to spread their wings nor see the light of day; their beaks are broken off to avoid injury to cage mates; their feed is of poorest quality and they're pumped with hormones and antibiotics.


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