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Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:19 PM

Opinion, please: Pete and Gerry's Cage Free Eggs

http://www.peteandgerrys.com/cage-free-eggs

Our grocery store recently started selling these eggs. My weakness, my struggle with being vegan is eggs, not cheese. I love eggs. Will not eat them unless our local co-op has them, where I know the chickens are well-treated. Unfortunately, I don't often get by the co-op because of their hours and mine, and this will become much harder to do in winter when their hours are restricted.

I also don't totally object to animal products like cheese and eggs and milk and yogurt and honey if the products are produced by animals that are treated extremely well and with utmost respect. I won't eat the flesh of a dead animal, but I'll definitely consider eggs and milk-derived products and honey.

So. The Pete and Gerry's site looks like it's a good operation. But I know appearances can be very deceiving and websites can blatantly lie. I *want* to believe this is a good alternative option for me, since our grocery store is open 24 hours, but if anyone can verify this company's humane certification, I'd really appreciate it.

I'd also really like to be able to support a good company.

21 replies, 43134 views

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Reply Opinion, please: Pete and Gerry's Cage Free Eggs (Original post)
Flaxbee Nov 2012 OP
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #1
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #10
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #13
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #14
GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #15
Fridays Child Nov 2012 #2
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #6
matt819 Nov 2012 #3
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #7
Autumn Colors Nov 2012 #4
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #8
lunasun Nov 2012 #5
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #9
flvegan Nov 2012 #11
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #12
freshwest Nov 2012 #16
Flaxbee Nov 2012 #17
EthicalVegan Feb 2014 #18
gopiscrap Feb 2014 #20
Curmudgeoness Feb 2014 #19
mucifer Feb 2014 #21

Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:26 PM

1. We use Nellie's. AFAIK, they are what they say they are, and they also use recycled plastic bottles

for their cartons.

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:24 PM

10. I haven't seen Nellie's, but I'll keep a lookout for them.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:46 AM

13. They have a website that you might enjoy checking out. Turns out Pete & Gerry's is a brand of theirs

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Response to GreenPartyVoter (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:38 PM

14. thanks very much, GPV



If they don't to terrible things to the hens' beaks, I think I'm a buyer. From the photos, looks like the hens are in full possession of their body parts.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 12:49 PM

15. They are certified humane, so I don't think they can show healthy happy chickens on the website but

be debeaking them behind the scenes.

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:41 PM

2. From what I understand, generally, to meet the definition of "cage-free," the coops...

...need only to have an opening at one end that leads to a small fenced area. In large cage-free chicken operations, the chickens never even go out to those yards.

What some operations do to market their products to organic and natural foods consumers is what Michael Pollan calls pastoral fiction. My questions would be are the chickens being fed organic, non-animal by-products, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free feed; and are the chickens not so stuffed into the coops that they can't move around.

Also, of course, cage-free is not the same thing as free range.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:06 PM

6. the site explains why they're not 'free range' = climate (New Hampshire)

But they show pictures of what their farm looks like (or they say it's their farm...) and that there is a lot of room in the barns, with porches and open spaces (just not 'free range')

Everything else is good - what they're fed, etc.

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:52 PM

3. As you know

Cage free is something of a euphemism. I look for cage free and humane. If it's got that, I'm fine.

That said, I do try to buy from local farmers, and that's not always convenient. However, a new farmer just opened up shop, so eggs are more readily available, free range turkeys for Thanksgiving, and the usual fall crops.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:07 PM

7. Yup, I know.

The site shows cage, free, Humane Certified (or Certified Humane...) and a lot of space, just not 'free range' for reasons they say are due to climate ...

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 08:59 PM

4. Well, I don't live in New Hampshire

 

so I don't have any direct knowledge about this farm, but I've seen these eggs at New Morning Market in Woodbury, CT. I feel comfortable buying anything this store (in business for about 40 years) carries because the owner vets everything painstakingly before agreeing to sell it there. They are adamantly opposed to GMO anything, cruelty to animals, and I don't think they would carry these eggs if the hens were treated badly.

Not the 100% endorsement you're looking for, but I hope that helps.

New Morning Market: http://www.newmorn.com/general/home.php

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Response to Autumn Colors (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:22 PM

8. Thanks, that is good to know. From what I've seen on their website, it's a good company

and if you trust New Morning Market's vetting process, that's another plus.

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 09:00 PM

5. look for free range that means they are actually allowed to move

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Response to lunasun (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:23 PM

9. They explain why they aren't categorized as 'free range'; the barn premises do look

open with a spacious 'yard', even if not technically free-range. Seems to be a valid reason (climate, weather, etc.)

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Nov 3, 2012, 10:35 PM

11. Please visit the Certified Humane site and check out the housing systems .pdf

CH also allows for "beak trimming" (as opposed to debeaking) which I'm not a fan of.

My opinion? I'm happy you're a vegetarian. I'm thrilled that you're taking a very good look at where your food comes from and are concerned about the animals that would provide you with dairy, eggs and honey. You're so far beyond so many people in how you view what you eat. HSUS has bought into the CH deal, though I don't see a single person serving there that I trust further than I can throw them.

One thing I didn't see, and might have missed, is the bird replacement method. Hens stop laying, so where do they go? And when chicks are hatched to replace the retired hens, what happens to the males?

Lastly, if your commercial grocery store is now selling them, they've spent a LOT of money to get on those shelves. I find an operation like this to be somewhat suspicious in that regard. The profit margin on an egg is very, very small.

Do your research. If you buy from them, it's probably still a little bit better than dropping cash on the usual eggs from battery hens. The most abused animals in the world.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 01:53 AM

12. I had forgotten (blocked, is more like it) the hideousness of debeaking...

Will check that out.

And you also hit on two issues: when the hens stop laying, they're slaughtered. And the place where this company gets their chicks euthanizes male chicks via CO2 (I think that's what it said) almost as soon as it's determined that they're males.

The company explains all of that in their FAQ.

And it makes me feel terrible to the point of deciding against buying eggs, period.

Though part of me wants to support a company that makes an effort to treat its animals well (provided there is no f*cking around with their beaks) so that other companies see that there can be profit in kindness. (The farm apparently is installing alt. energy systems, too). Because I know damn well that it will be a long, long, looong time before the world turns vegetarian / vegan. But it makes me angry that the hens are considered useless once they stop laying.

So, I'm conflicted. I can certainly do without eggs in my life, and I know there are egg substitutes for the few times I actually bake and need eggs. I've lived without eggs on toast for quite a while.

But if my grocery store, which is a biggish mid-Atlantic chain, will carry these as an alternative to the horrible factory farmed ones, I'd like to encourage that.

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Response to Flaxbee (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 05:23 PM

16. This is the website I based my decisions on eggs on:

http://www.certifiedhumane.org/index.php?page=producers-products

I pay $5 a dozen. They are one of my major protein sources as I am reducing beans, etc. I am going back to my sprouts and chia seeds although a great many sources don't work for me.

I'm advised to eat more protein, although I always want less. When I was all raw, nothing but fruits, spring greens, nuts, sprouts and chia seeds I was doing great, never better.

After fracturing a tooth with an almond, I had a setback for over a year and went back to dairy and eggs and all soft foods. I'm working my way back to where I was.



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Response to freshwest (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 06:28 PM

17. thanks, freshwest. I bought Pete & Gerry's about a week ago - they sell them here for $2.50 for 6

My mother, every single day of my life through high school, made me breakfast: either eggs or waffles or pancakes. I'm surprised I have no cholesterol problems! But I have always loved eggs... until I understood the industry.

And I really like avgolemono soup (celery/leeks/eggs) - it's amazing, and vegetarian - but I have avoided eggs for years until our local store started carrying these.

I am happy to be able to support a company that treats its animals with care and respect -- I'll happily spend extra so that maybe, one day, the horrible companies will see that there is indeed profit in kindness.

Sorry to hear about your tooth! Hope you can get back to the diet that makes you feel best.

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 12:34 PM

18. Better check this site out B4 sticking with P & G's

I had the same question. I don't do eggs myself, but I have been feeding them to my dog and am looking for eggs that are cruelty-free. I tried Pete and Gerry's, thinking they seemed to fit the bill, but wanted to verify. Unfortunately, I found the following, which will cause me to continue my search. Scroll about a quarter of the way down:

http://www.upc-online.org/freerange.html

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Response to EthicalVegan (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 08:55 PM

20. Welcome to DU

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Fri Feb 21, 2014, 08:54 PM

19. You could try to find a local backyard-type egg supply.

I have two sources for free-range eggs that I know to be free-range. When I pull in the driveway, I can see the chickens pecking around the garden or the yard. Fine looking chickens as well. Basically, I found these sources when I was on a country road and just saw a sign. They are not cheap, running between $3 to $4 a dozen, but I feel good about supporting a local who does care for their animals.

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Response to Flaxbee (Original post)

Sat Feb 22, 2014, 10:17 AM

21. Black Himalayan Salt has a good eggy flavor

http://www.amazon.com/The-Spice-Himalayan-Crystal-ground/dp/B001O1VDXM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393082033&sr=8-1&keywords=black+himalayan+salt

and Hampton Creek is a company spending millions in research to come up with fake eggs that are vegetable based and don't have lots of chemicals and are cheaper than eggs:

https://hamptoncreekfoods.com/

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