Morrisons launches 'planet-friendly' eggs from hens fed insects instead of soya | Totally Vegan Buzz

Morrisons launches ‘planet-friendly’ eggs from hens fed insects instead of soya

1 in 5 Brits think chicken eggs are vegan
Image: Dragana Gordic/ Shutterstock.com

The supermarket claims to be the first to launch carbon-neutral eggs as part of its eight-year drive to net zero. But are these planet-friendly eggs actually ethical?

Morrisons has launched a new line of so-called ‘planet friendly’ eggs, which come from hens fed on insects and food waste.

According to the supermarket chain, it is the first to launch carbon-neutral eggs as part of its eight-year drive to net zero.

The line will bear the British Lion Egg green stamp that indicates its lower environmental impact to customers.

The company aims to be directly supplied by net-zero emission farms by 2030.

Carbon-neutral eggs

The egg-laying hens are fed a soya-free diet, which helps to cut the emissions associated with deforestation, growing the crop in places like Brazil and transporting the feed. Instead, the birds are fed food waste from Morrisons’ bakery, fruit and vegetable sites as well as insects using an insect “mini farm” container from UK start-up Better Origin, installed on site.

According to the supermarket, insects have always featured in a chicken’s diet and have no negative impact on the quality, shelf life or taste of the eggs.

It is also added that the farm supplying the planet-friendly eggs has a large wind turbine, solar panels and a programme to offset remaining emissions, with 20% of its land planted with trees.

Sophie Throup is the head of agriculture at Morrisons. She said: “This is our first carbon-neutral product and there will be many more to come. It’s all part of our drive to be directly supplied only by ‘zero emission’ British farms by 2030.

“We know our customers consider the environmental impact of the food they eat and want affordable zero emission produce.

“Eggs are a regular weekly purchase for most households and so we’re thrilled that, after 18 months of hard work with our farmers, these eggs are finally hitting our shelves.”

The free-range eggs cost 30p each or £1.50 for a pack of six.

Are free range eggs really ethical?

According to a 2020 YouGov report,  more than half (53%) of Britons are most likely to link the term ‘free-range’ to higher animal welfare standards.

However, the data further revealed that most Brits don’t know how widespread practices like beak trimming, separation of calves from their mothers, and use of carbon dioxide in slaughter are.

For example, almost three quarters of participants (74%) said they were not sure how often pigs and poultry were stunned with carbon dioxide in slaughter. Meanwhile, 62% were unsure how often beak trimming occurs.

Beak trimming is a process to remove the sharp tip of a hen’s beak using an infra-red beam. It is carried out without anaesthetics and when the birds are chicks as young as one day old. According to the industry, it is done to protect the birds from pecking at each other.

In an op-ed for the Guardian headlined: ‘Free range is a con. There’s no such thing as an ethical egg’, author Chas Newkey-Burden explained that “free range sheds can contain up to nine birds per square metre – that’s like 14 adults living in a one-room flat. Some multi-tier sheds (still “free range”) contain 16,000 hens.”

Newkey-Burden added that while the birds can theoretically go outdoors, “they can also be too crammed in and too traumatised to find the few exit holes”.

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