Remember to read the code printed on the shell
In Italy 13 billion are consumed every year eggs, but do we know where they come from and how they are produced? There is a way to know and the information helps a smart purchase. Since July 2005, the shell stamping of every single egg - even those sold in bulk directly from the producer to the consumer - with a alphanumeric code 11 characters that summarizes the information on the origin and type of production.
Knowing how to read this code and pay a little attention to it when shopping helps to avoid poor quality products that come from lager farms where the laying hens they survive in tiny cages in unimaginable conditions.
An example of an alphanumeric code stamped on the shell is the following: 3 IT 001 BO 000. The first number is particularly important because it identifies the type of farming in which the hen that produced the egg is found, according to the following classification:
0 = organic farming (the hens, reared according to the provisions of organic farming, scratch around outdoors for a few hours a day and lay their eggs in nests or on the ground. 1 hen per 10 square meters of open land with vegetation).
1 = outdoor farming (the hens can scratch around in an outdoor environment for a few hours of the day: their eggs are laid in nests or laid on the ground and subsequently collected by the farmer. 1 hen per 2.5 square meters of open land with vegetation)
2 = free-range farming (Laying hens move freely but in a closed environment, usually a shed. Also in this case the eggs are laid in the nests or are collected by the breeders on the litter, where they were laid. 7 hens per 1 square meter with ground covered with straw or sand, etc.).
3 = cage or battery rearing (the hens are in a cage, where they deposit the eggs on a conveyor belt that takes them directly to the packaging, thus avoiding contact with the litter. 25 hens per 1 square meter with perches offering at least 15 cm per hen).
L'battery farming (code 3) cause both physical and mental problems to the hens which cannot have those attitudes typical of their species, given the scarcity of space. Animals are also subjected to various other stresses which make the situation worse. For the respect of the life of the hens, as well as for the quality of the eggs Category 3 eggs should not be purchased. Category 2 should also be avoided because indoor farming involves unnatural conditions for the hens, which inevitably affect the product.
The other characters of the alphanumeric code give us information about: the country of production (IT = Italy), the Istat code location of the manufacturer (001 in our example), the abbreviation of the province of location of the producer (BO = Bologna), on identification code of the individual farm (000 in our example).