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article: cage-free-eggs--unsustainable-

 
John Sizemore
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Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
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Well I guess the agriculture schools can not see the entire picture.
http://ext.wvu.edu/in_the_news/2011/3/29/professors-say-cage-free-eggs--unsustainable-

Just goes to show the idea of monoculutre is entrenched even today.
 
                          
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Location: Bremerton, Washington
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In the professor's defense, all I saw in that article was that the professor declared that free-range eggs bought by the school were not more sustainable than regular eggs.  That may very well be true.  REAL free-range chickens on small farms, that get to eat their fill of grass and bugs and such are very sustainable.  But factory-farmed chickens called "free range" just because they get to look at a square yard of grass for ten minutes a day isn't really a huge step forwards for sustainability.
 
John Sizemore
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Location: West Virginia/ Dominican Republic
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    I cannot disagree with your assessment. I watch many of the home improvement shows and they will declare how sustainable a project is because it is using Bamboo or some other material but they throw perfectly good material in the dumpster because it does not match their taste. 
Or as is discussed in many permaculture discussions that organic is not in its self sustainable.
 
John Polk
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There was no mention of "free range" in the article.  Only "cage free", which is NOT the same as free range.  Cage free simply means that the hens can run around the floor of the chicken house, rather than being in cages in the chicken house.  While the practice is slightly more humane than caging, it is in no way more sustainable.  The money you save by not buying cages is lost by higher labor costs, lost eggs, and losses through pecking order" disputes.
 
                          
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My bad.  You're right.  Cage free, not free range.  Labels can get tricky.  It all SOUNDS so humane, doesn't it?

In the same way, headlines can be more than a little tricky.  I think that article's headline was intentionally misleading, as if to influence the scanning public to believe an agricultural professor fully supported caged battery hens as the most sustainable choice in egg farming.
 
John Polk
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I read where either Australia, or the European Union were going to ban cages in the near future.  The US egg industry is probably gearing up to make sure no such thing happens here.  The US regulations for labeling as "Free Range" are a (bad) joke.  About 80% of the "Free Range" chickens in the US have never left the hen house (but there are a few doors where they could if they wanted to).
 
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