There was a time when a shopper seeking pastured eggs needed to drive across town to a farmers market or -- heaven forbid -- drive out of town to visit an actual farm. No longer. Eggs from hens raised on pasture are increasingly available at major supermarkets across the country.
It is understandable that producers may need to keep birds indoors under certain circumstances, but when this happens, the claim should not appear on the product -- and consumers should not be paying more for a benefit to animals that does not exist.
While certain words and phrases such as "Low Sodium" or "Certified USDA Organic" are regulated and certified by government agencies, most are not -- and it's up to the consumer to read between the lines in order to find something healthy to eat.
No one can deny that it's better to be less cruel in the ways we confine and kill animals (if we are going to kill and eat them anyway), but if we're interested in long-term change, we can't look at killing with kindness or gratitude as a solution in itself.
I have now been eating my own meat birds for two seasons, and I was excited to do the slow-motion magic trick of turning a live chicken into a perfect roasting bird just like you'd see at the grocery store.