The Takeout reports that "a class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges that Roundy’s, a subsidiary of Kroger, has been misleading consumers by labeling its eggs as 'farm fresh.' The plaintiffs in the filing argue that the use of this phrase indicates to consumers that the hens producing the eggs are 'living a natural life on a farm.' However, Kroger’s hens are kept in a battery cage system in which they allegedly receive minimal access to the outdoors."
According to the story, "The lawsuit notes that battery cage systems such as those used by Roundy’s suppliers confine hens to an area of about 18 by 20 inches, with up to 11 birds per cage, making it so that they cannot spread their wings; the hens often lead very short lives. The filing also cites information from food safety, consumer protection, and public health organizations which oppose the caging of egg-laying chickens, due to concerns that this method creates an increased risk of salmonella and other diseases."
- KC's View:
I suppose that opposite argument will be that the battery cage systems actually are on farms, and therefore the "farm fresh" description is technically accurate.
That said, the cages do sound kind of awful. But let's face it - when we scramble our eggs and make omelets or frittatas, most of us prefer not to think about the living conditions endured by the chickens that laid them. (I'm making a great Bruncheon Eggs recipe for Mrs. Content Guy's book club this Sunday, and I can guarantee you I'm going to do my level best to forget this story by then.)
I must admit, though, that I admire the folks who file these kinds of lawsuits. I know they're a pain in the neck for retailers and producers, but they look to hold us all to a higher standard. There's a place in the world for people like that.