Something happened along the way that has changed agriculture from farming to food production. It is a subtle shift, but nonetheless profound and impactful. Farmers have always been interested in increased production and efficiencies. Farming is like all other business, you have to have a profit to stay in business or in the language of today “sustainable.”
Let’s take egg production as an example. 94% plus or minus, as quoted in a recent Capital Press article, comes from chickens that live in a 24 inch by 25.5 inch cage that contains 9 chickens. Doesn’t that seem a bit crowded? Somewhere in the past a researcher or farmer or both discovered that chickens can produce eggs in close confinement, never seeing the light of day. It doesn’t really matter if the chickens see the light of day because they are destined for the stew pot at some massive soup manufacturer in 24 months anyway.
But why does the egg producing industry (I have purposely shifted from using term farming) choose small cages? It is simple, it’s more efficient. The closer the birds are in proximity to each other, the easier it is to harvest eggs, feed them, clean up after their messes and ultimately catch them when it is time to butcher. Pretty straight forward and the consumers are letting the egg producers continue on with this production model simply because they are buying the eggs raised that way.
So why should the Egg producers change their manufacturing (farming?) practices?
What is going to cause the industry to change? Profits!!! If the consumers choose to only buy eggs from chickens that are cage free or Organic then the egg producing companies will change their practices. Pretty strait forward, it really is that simple.
Join the good food revolution, vote with your dollars.