La­bel Lingo

Albuquerque Journal - Parade - - Community Table -

Egg car­tons are cov­ered with claims. Some are reg­u­lated by the gov­ern­ment; oth­ers are not. Here's what the la­bels mean:

CAGE-FREE Chick­ens must have room to roam (not nec­es­sar­ily out­doors) and have un­lim­ited ac­cess to food and wa­ter.

FREE-RANGE Birds are cage­free with con­tin­u­ous out­door ac­cess dur­ing their lay­ing cy­cle.

NO ADDED HOR­MONES This la­bel is mean­ing­less, since all eggs in the U.S. must be hor­mone-free.

NO ADDED AN­TIBI­OTICS No hens re­ceive an­tibi­otics un­less they’re sick, and their eggs are di­verted from the hu­man food sup­ply.

VEG­E­TAR­IAN-FED This may be im­por­tant to veg­e­tar­i­ans who eat eggs, since chick­ens are om­ni­vores that nat­u­rally nib­ble grubs, worms and such.

OR­GANIC USDA-cer­ti­fied or­ganic eggs must come from cage-free, free-range hens fed an or­ganic diet pro­duced with­out con­ven­tional pes­ti­cides or fer­til­iz­ers.

OMEGA-3 EN­RICHED Hens’ diet in­cludes seeds, fish oil and/or al­gae to en­sure they lay eggs three to five times richer in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than con­ven­tional eggs.

PASTEURIZED Eggs are heated to de­stroy pathogens—a smart choice when a recipe calls for un­cooked eggs. PAS­TURE-RAISED This is an un­reg­u­lated term but in­di­cates hens are free to graze in a pas­ture.

Visit Pa­ for tips to poach eggs per­fectly ev­ery time.

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