Kroger, a Cincinnati-based supermarket chain, has begun selling America's first carbon-neutral eggs.
The eggs are a step beyond cage-free, free-range and pasture-raised eggs in terms of animal welfare, sustainability and progressive food policies in general. The egg-laying hens in this case conduct their business within a unique, closed-loop production system developed in the Netherlands.
Unique, Closed-Loop Production System:
The pioneering Dutch company Kipster Farms is partnering with Kroger and its U.S. supplier MPS Eggs Farms on the new carbon-neutral program.
The birds are raised in modern, solar panel-equipped henhouses, which are not only free of cages, but also include skylights and multiple garden areas where "the birds have trees, rocks, climbing structures and other things to play on," as MPS Egg Farms Vice President Sam Krouse recently explained to Farm Flavor.
MPS built four of these newly styled henhouses in Indiana, after touring similar facilities in Europe.
Reducing Carbon Footprint:
Rather than eating traditional corn-based feed, Krouse's hens eat repurposed bakery by-products, and their manure is turned into organic fertilizer.
Availability And Quality:
Even though this improves the quality of life for the chickens, it is unclear how it impacts their eggs. As of now, only a few Kroger locations in Ohio and Michigan sell the Simple Truth brand of carbon-neutral eggs.
Over the next year, the company plans to expand their availability.
For added transparency, the packaging even includes a QR code linking customers to a live webcam inside the new egg-production facilities.
Kroger's new carbon-neutral eggs are a new step towards improving animal welfare, sustainability and progressive food policies. The closed-loop production system and the reduction in carbon footprint of the eggs makes them unique.
However, the impact of this new system on the quality of the eggs is still unclear. The eggs are currently available only at select Kroger locations in Ohio and Michigan, with plans to expand to more stores in the coming year.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Would you consider buying carbon-neutral eggs? How important is the welfare of chickens to you when choosing eggs? What are your thoughts on Kroger's live-streaming webcam of the egg-production facilities?
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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