Caged-hen eggs good for the environment

by Editor
Thursday, January 10, 2008

While some animal rights organisations have been campaigning to ban traditional cage eggs in the U.S. and the EU, a new study suggests they may reduce global warming.

The study conducted by Dr Adrian Williams, senior research fellow at Cranfield University in the UK, found the traditional cage egg production used by most US egg farmers decreases the industry's effects on global warming by 10%, while converting to all free-range egg production would increase the effects on global warming by 10%.

And converting to all organic egg production would increase the effects on global warming by 40%.

Free-range and organic egg farms are more environmentally intense because of their need for more green space, food and energy.

The research examined the energy and food levels for farm production on 10 different agricultural and horticultural commodities such as potatoes, tomatoes, beef, milk, poultry and eggs.

In addition to the varying production findings, the study found that egg production as a whole is less harmful on the environment than other livestock.

Egg production takes less global energy, thus producing less greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The study was funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs in the U.K.