Friday, February 14, 2014

Consumers ripped-off by some egg producers

The gullibility of consumers never ceases to amaze me. Most just accept the marketing blurb provided by producers – even at Farmers' Markets.

Recent hot weather has been used as an excuse by some egg producers to put manufactured colouring additives and meat meal in their poultry rations. (Many others have been doing that for years).

Now more than 95% (and it's probably 99%) of egg producers, even those which claim to be free range, are using additives to enhance yolk colour as hot conditions have dried off the pasture on which the hens are supposed to roam.

They have looked for a solution which is low cost and easy rather than go to the extra effort (and cost) of supplementing existing feed with green leafy vegetables, pumpkins, carrots and lucerne meal or sprouted grains.

Here's a Facebook post by an egg producer which provides an 'excuse' for its decision: “Please note that we have an immediate change in poultry diet based on veterinary and animal nutritionist’s advice due to severe heat stress caused by prolonged 40’C + temperatures.
Our feed ration needs to include soluble meat protein and natural pigmentation (which is the norm in the egg industry). The extreme heat has decimated our green pasture and caused weight loss in flocks and as such we have no alternative but to implement these changes to our farming practices”.

The big difficulty with colouring additives is that although some may be based on natural products, they are manufactured in laboratories or factories (often in China) and concentrated in powder or liquid form. Many of them generate allergic reactions or sensitivities – which lead people to think that they are allergic to eggs.
We can provide details about the allergic properties of the commonly used additives.

The use of meat meal is also an issue as poultry products are frequently used by the feed mills.

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