Health Hotline Magazine | April 2023



Due to the limited requirements set by the USDA for eggs to be labeled as free range, we saw the need to establish our own standards for egg-laying hens that clearly defines things like “continuous access to the outdoors” and also covers humane standards of care and requires ecologically thoughtful practices. In 2016, we introduced our egg-ranking system to help you navigate the claims and ensure that you are buying eggs that come from happy, healthy hens and match the standards that you expect. Our minimum standard includes: • Continuous access to the outdoors means the hens must go outside, during both the laying cycle and when the hens are not laying • Outside must be a range -- grass and trees with room to peck and hunt for bugs • The outside space must have room for all hens to be outside at the same time • Sufficient space inside and out to support natural behaviors and provide for the health of the hens. Most retailers are currently struggling to meet a cage-free standard, as evidenced by their failure to meet their self-imposed deadlines for this transition, let alone meet our standard of free range. Go Above & Beyond the USDA Requirements OUR ee-R e EGG STANDARDS

This does not mean that the hens are required to go outdoors, it only means that there has to be a small, hen-sized flap somewhere in their indoor area of confinement for the hens to access the outdoors. And outdoors doesn’t mean out on the range, it can simply mean a screened-in enclosure with a concrete floor. There does not need to be space for all the hens to be “outdoors” at the same time, and the hens could be caged when not laying eggs. Finally, just like with cage free, there are no ecologically thoughtful practices or humane standards of care within this definition.

To learn more about Natural Grocers Egg Standards, scan the QR code or visit:

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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. *These statements have not been valuated by the Food an Drug Administration. This product is not i tend d to iagnose, tr a , cure o prevent a y disea .

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