Freer Range?

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Enough people have become uncomfortable with the excesses of industrialization, and willing to pay a substantial premium for their eggs, that smaller-scale, “free-range” and “organically fed” laying flocks have made a comeback in the United States and Europe. Swiss law now requires that all hens in that country have free access to the outdoors. The term “free-range” can be misleading; it sometimes means only that the chickens live in a slightly larger cage than usual, or have brief access to the outdoors. Still, with people eating fewer eggs in the home, spending so little on those eggs, and paying more attention to what they eat, the odds are good that this modest deindustrialization of the egg will continue.