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Who doesn't prefer to think of happy chickens roaming merrily through a barnyard getting fed by a singing Snow White? The truth is that factory chickens are kept in very tight quarters and "free range" only means they had access to an open door, not that they ever used it. Also, "vegetarian fed" is not a good thing. Chickens are natural omnivores and when they are forced to eat a vegetarian diet&mash;often processed soy—their eggs contain less nutrition.
Avoid it: If you are truly concerned about buying fresh, organic, natural, or free-range eggs, local farmers are your best bet. Look for them at farmer's markets or find one on LocalHarvest.org. Even if the farm isn't certified organic, many small farmers use the highest standards and are happy to have you come check out their farm.
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Food Label Truths
Are You Falling for These 10 Food Label Lies?