This week 207 million eggs had to be recalled due to a Salmonella outbreak on a farm in North Carolina operated by Rose Acre Farms, the second largest egg producer in the country. While this recall does not affect Nellie’s, we were saddened by those impacted and amazed by its extent, given that it was from just one farm. You may not know this, but hens, on average, lay just under one egg per day. So to produce that many eggs in 90 days, you need about 2.5 million hens. That is like taking every single person that lives in the city of Chicago, and putting them on a single farm.
That approach to producing eggs is common because it’s efficient and inexpensive. But cheap eggs are very costly in other ways – consider the lives of the hens! About 9 out of 10 eggs sold in the U.S. come from eggs produced by hens that live in cages so small they can’t move around or flap their wings. If you think that’s a difficult environment in which to control disease, you’re right. The primary way they combat disease is by feeding the hens antibiotics in their food or water and accepting a high hen mortality rate.
At Nellie’s Free Range, we don’t pretend that we can control everything. What is different about us, however, is that our farms are human-scale (roughly 1-2% the size of these factory sized farms) and each one is owned and operated by a single family. The farmers care about their birds and they care about their product. And if anything was to happen on one of our farms, the number of eggs affected would be in the thousands, not in the hundreds of millions.
Thank you for supporting our Certified Humane, Free Range Farms. Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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