Can learning the meaning of a single term actually help change the food system? David Evans and Alexis Koefoed think so.
These poultry farmers explain the real story behind such terms as cage free,free range, and pasture raised so that consumers can make informed decisions when they go to their local supermarket.
OTHER RELATED TERMS
Cage Free Chickens that are not kept in cages. This means chickens are still confined to a barn with limited or no access to outside. The term “barn-roaming” more accurately describes this principle.
Free Range Outside the United States this term refers to a method of farming where the animals are allowed to roam freely rather than being contained in any manner. In the United States, USDA regulations apply only to poultry and indicate solely that the animal has been allowed access to the outside. These regulations do not specify the quality or size of the outside range nor the duration of time the animal must be allowed access to this space.
Pasture Raised Animals that have been raised on pasture with access to shelter. This term is being used by farmers who wish to distinguish themselves from the industrialized “free-range” term.
Broiler House Buildings with little ventilation that serve as concentrated feed lots capable of holding up to ten thousand chickens at a time.
Naturally Raised Livestock which was raised without the use of growth promotants, antibiotics, under this classification animals are allowed to have parasitic medicine, but not given food with animal byproducts to eat.
Battery Cages Industrial agriculture’s confinement system used for egg-laying hens. Floor space for battery cages ranges from 300 cm² per bird and up; the space allocated to battery hens has often been described as less than the size of a piece of paper. A typical cage is about the size of a filing cabinet drawer and holds from 8 to 10 hens. Animal welfare scientists have criticized battery cages because they do not provide hens with sufficient space to stand, walk, flap their wings, perch, or make a nest. It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s eggs are produced in such industrial systems.
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