|A chicken freely walking around in an (sub)urban farm|
It is Easter. The time that the sun appears, trees start to flower and the first baby animals are born. The sober winter period slowly disappears and gives room to a fresh new world. Humanity starts to smile again.
The shops also show a transition in their assortment. The last cabbages are sold and replaced by more light leafy vegetables like spinach and different kinds of lettuce. And now it is Easter the supermarkets offer all kinds of specialties which you can serve to your guests. As a consumer you can choose from luxurious breads and cutlets, cheeses and jams. But it is Easter so we cannot forget about the eggs.
Since the beginning of this year it is not allowed to hold laying hens in battery cages anymore. A battery cage was a space just a little bit bigger than an A4 sized paper (25*30cm) and was meant to produce as many eggs a possible while using no space at all. Very cheap and efficient for the farmer. Not at all pleasant for the hens and thus for the quality of the eggs.
Despite the attractiveness of the low prices consumers realized it couldn’t continue like this. They started to buy free range or even organic eggs. The supermarkets picked up this new trend and started to offer a bigger diversity of good eggs and banned the battery ones from their shelves.
Unfortunately it is more difficult to find the animal friendly version in processed products which contain eggs. Most biscuits, pasta, ice cream and mayonnaises still contained ‘the bad ones’.
Now the battery cages are not allowed anymore, it becomes more difficult for these producers to get their cheap eggs. Good news for hens and consumers but the producers still knows to find a way around these regulations. Although the European committee is forcing their member states to strictly control the execution of these regulations, there are still farmers which illegally produce in the old fashioned way and could thus deliver to producers which want to use these eggs.
As a consumer we should be more aware. Don’t just buy the mayonnaise you’ve always bought. First check if it is made with free-range or organic eggs. If not, then check the others brands. By boycotting the incorrect products we will force those producers to change their production methods and ingredients (from battery cage to at least free range eggs).
In the end there is nothing better than an egg freshly taken from your own happy hens in your own beautiful garden. So if you have the chance and room to house then consider buying some. Then next year’s Easter will definitely perfect.