By Mary Lou Shaw
Labels can be meaningless. What does it mean to say an egg is “healthy” or “nutritious”? The Food and Drug Administration hasn’t defined these terms, so no matter how a chicken is being raised, a corporation can entice us with these terms.
Chickens aren’t the only animals that give us healthier food when they have access to the outdoors, pasture and sunshine. The meat of cattle and hogs are also superior in taste and nutrition when they have been raised naturally, outdoors. Even the milk from cows that graze on pasture is more nutritious than the standard grain-fed cow.
Food grown locally in smaller numbers is healthier for us in other ways. Raising animals in smaller numbers outdoors prevents contamination of streams and water used to irrigate crops. We therefore avoid the other health risks of lettuce and spinach contaminated with the E. Coli bacteria that has mutated to a lethal form in corn-fed feedlots. My great-nephew spent last summer on kidney dialysis from this bacteria. The cost was huge in heartache, health, time and money.