Op Ed: FDA Out To Fry Pastured Eggs

Op Ed: FDA Out To Fry Pastured Eggs post image

The FDA is set to make it much more difficult for farmers to keep laying hens on pasture. They are pushing a guidance document that will make it all but impossible for farmers with 3,000 or more laying hens to keep the birds out on pasture. What next!! If you love and eat pastured eggs you need to read this!

Pastured Eggs are Targeted

There will be yet more burdensome regulations specifically for farmers who allow their hens to have access to pasture. The FDA is claiming to protect the public from eggs. They claim they are trying to prevent the spread of salmonella from wild birds and other animals to hens.

There is absolutely no evidence that pastured chickens pose a food safety threat. To the contrary, all the major incidents of salmonella in eggs have come from confinement factory farms.

Pastured Chickens are Healthier

Hens that spend time outdoors in the sunlight, eating plants and insects, are far healthier than hens kept crammed closely together like prisoners inside a dark building.  They are also less stressed.

Informal testing has also shown that eggs from pastured hens are more nutritious than eggs from hens kept indoors and raised on exclusively on grain.

FDA Wants Farmers to Cover Outdoor Pastures

In their typical asinine reasoning, FDA guidance suggests that farmers must cover their outdoor pastures with either roofing or netting, or use noise cannons to scare away wild birds.  Clearly, roofing a pasture is not only cost-prohibitive, but would prevent sun and rain from reaching the plants and animals in the pasture, defeating the whole purpose of having pastured hens.  And the noise cannons that would scare away wild birds would also scare the laying hens.

Who thought that up?

Despite the lack of evidence, the FDA assumes that exposure to any wild animal creates a health risk, and that farmers should have to somehow keep their hens away from wild birds and other creatures. Pastured chickens are much healthier than factory farmed birds.

Factory chickens are not allowed to express their “chickenness,” as  Joel Salatin would say, owner of the acclaimed Polyface Farm in Virginia. Chickens are omnivores. That means they are part vegetarian as well as part carnivore. They need both groups to round out their diet in order to provide them with optimum nutrition.

If the hens are optimally healthy, the super nutrient-dense eggs will follow. At pasture based farms, the chickens are moved to new pasture each day and they follow the cows and peck through the cow pies for insects. It is a self-sustaining operation and the animals are treated humanely and with dignity.

Factory chickens are not allowed to express their “chickenness,” as  Joel Salatin would say, owner of the acclaimed Polyface Farm in Virginia. Chickens are omnivores. That means they are part vegetarian as well as part carnivore. They need both groups to round out their diet in order to provide them with optimum nutrition.

If the hens are optimally healthy, the super nutrient-dense eggs will follow. At pasture based farms, the chickens are moved to new pasture each day and they follow the cows and peck through the cow pies for insects. It is a self-sustaining operation and the animals are treated humanely and with dignity.

CAFO or (concentrated animal feeding operation)

Compare that to a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) which is essentially a factory to fatten up animals as quickly as possible without regard to their health and well being for the duration of their short lives. CAFO is an acronym orchestrated by the EPA in order to classify these factories as potential polluters. And they are polluters.

Massive amounts of animal waste products run off into the waterways and pollute the surrounding areas. This is how salmonella and other pathogens get into food products. The animal waste product run off affects agricultural lands.

How else to get rid of the animal waste? Well, the model of Polyface Farm shows us how. There animals live the life they were designed to live and their waste fertilizes the land and recharges the topsoil for new pasture. This is what sustainable farming is all about.

Take Action

You can submit comments to FDA through their online system at http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA_FRDOC_0001-4090

TIPS: The Weston Price Foundation recommends that you write your comment ahead of time and save it on your computer, because there is a time limit when using the Federal Register System and you may get timed out if you write your comment from scratch.  (See sample comments below.)

STEPS:

  • If your comment is less than one page, you can copy and paste it into the comment box.  If it is longer, you can simply write “see attached” and UPLOAD a separate document, such as a Word or PDF file, with your comments instead.
  • Uncheck the box that says “I am submitting on behalf of a third party,” so that you do not have to enter an organization name.
  • For category, select “individual consumer” or “private industry”
  • Click “continue”.
  • Check the box that you have read and understood the statement, and be sure to click “submit comment.”  You should be taken to a new screen with a confirmation number

DEADLINE: Comments are due by September 23, 2013

For more information about this Action Alert click here.

I LOVE my pastured eggs and would be heartbroken if we lose them!! Please take a few minutes and help with your comments!

Don’t you love your pastured eggs? Isn’t this the craziest idea you’ve heard yet? Let me know!

Shared at: Whole Food Wednesday, Read Food Wednesday, Allergy Free Wednesday, Healthy 2 Day, Culutred Palate, Thank Your Body Thursday

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