The Easter celebration is drawing closer and along come all the inexplicable traditions : decorating your house with an army of fluffly chicks and fat hens, aunties and grand-mothers competing for who will buy the biggest chocolate egg and of course the usual DIY workshop to die boiled eggs in funny colours. FUN

If you’re keen on perpetuating the ritual, here are a few tips on how to do it in a more environmentally friendly way.  Keep in mind that some of the information that follow are relevant to everyday life and can be applied at any time and for any occasion. Here’s CHAPTER I :

CHAPTER I – The Eggs

Concerning the eggs I can only advise you to buy quality eggs. You need to be very cautious about how the eggs have been produced. There are three types of eggs in most countries:

  • Eggs from caged hens

What the name doesn’t say is that caged hens are often brought up in the most horrible conditions. The cages are rarely big enough to allow them to move, let alone spread their wings. Cages are piled up on top of each other and they contain several hens. You must avoid this type of eggs. The only way to put a halt on this type of egg production is to decrease the demand for them.

Thankfully and as a response to increased public awareness the European Commission has passed a legilsation ‘the Laying Egg Directive’ to ban keeping hens in battery cages by 2012.

  • Eggs from barns

Barns are big building were hens are kept more confortably. There is space for them to move around and litter on the ground. There usually are perches for roosting and boxes for them to lay their eggs. I personnally think that although it’s slightly better, barns are not yet the most ethical solution.

  • Eggs from free range hens

Now these are happy hens producing healthy eggs! Free range is a bit similar to the barn system but it provides more space for the hens and it has got an outside area that they can access freely.

for UK providers of free range eggs, please visit : www.freerangeeggs.co.uk/

So remember when you are at the supermarket to carefully read the information on the egg box. Anything that  doesn’t say BARN or FREE-RANGE could be caged hens. Make sure the box says either of the two.

In Great Britain you can alsolook out for two more symbols on the box : the Freedom Food Logo means that the product is resepctful of the RSPCA  (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) high welfare standards.

In France, eggs are labelled with numbers stmaped in red on the shell of the eggs. It is more reliable and less misleading than the information on the box. 0= organic, 1= free range, 2= barns and 3= cages.

All over the world : always check for an organic logo that certifies the product

coming soon, CHAPTER II – The colorants . . .

source: the RSPCA, PETA and credits for the picture form AnimalTales.co.nz and www.l214.org

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