Costco Egg Farm “Filthy”

Costco Egg Farm  “Filthy” Says Reporter

Imagine my horror!

I just finished reading an article in the Humane Society newsletter that I felt compelled to share. The article was titled “Chickens Pay High Cost of Costco’s Cheap Eggs.” Costco gets their eggs from Hallandale Farms in Pennsylvania which they apparently own. This picturesque and pristine piece of farmland pictured on the egg carton cover has a “house of horrors” inside. Instead of the beautiful old fashioned farmhouse that is depicted, what was found was a two story tall cinder block buildings with a gruesome scene behind it’s walls. Costco’s egg farm was found to be filthy and stank of death.

The Humane Society’s investigator claims he “stood with dropped jaw” when beyond those walls found some 120.000 birds (per barn) that were confined in very dimly lit quarters. It was very hot and dusty and infested with flies. It was a quarter mile stretch of stench and disease the likes of which he had not seen before. He was quoted to say that this facility the size of a football field stank of “ammonia, manure and death.” Turns out that this same farm was investigated in 2010 and  was the cause of one of the biggest salmonella outbreaks we have seen in a very long time.  It is said to be the source of a 2010 outbreak that led to the nation’s largest recall.

Costco had previously promised to turn all quarters into a “cage free operation” but the condition of the farm was worse than when examined previously in 2010.  He found in some instances 6-7 chickens PER CAGE with cut and swollen feet. Others were dead, mummified and trampled in the swill. I was saddened and shocked to hear this especially for the chickens but for those of you who trust Costco and shop there to help with the budget when trying to purchase quality whole foods. Take a look at the undercover footage shot by the Humane Society and shared with NBC Nightline News.



Right now before you forget,  head on over to this page and tell Costco to keep it’s pledge to go cage free.

Costco: It’s Time to Go Cage-Free – The Humane Society of the United States

I am going to assume that you will boycott these eggs and I implore you do some checking on where your eggs come from and I will give you a brief overview of what some of the terminology really means so you don’t get fooled by all of it.

Free Range:  Allowed to roam freely and forage.  High in Omega 3 from GRASS.

Cage Free: Not the same as free range. Small enclosed area but, birds can flap. No access to “foraging” on grass. Omega 3 from flax (linseed) is generally added to the diet for “marketing purposes” but it does not add quality to the egg, as some are led to believe. I would concur that purchasing “high omega” eggs is not worth the money and can lead to health issues in those who eat them. Oils in the flax see get rancid if the flax is GROUND however; whole flaxseed goes through the chicken “unchanged”.  They do not pick up the nutrients nor do they help to convert the ALA into EPA and DHA>

What this means is that this is a marketing strategy to get you to believe that you should pay a higher price for these eggs.

If you were eating these eggs because obtaining omega 3 is important to you, let me enlighten you on this important fact. Vegan or vegetarian folks pay close attention here. ALA (alpha linoleic acid) is the form of fatty acid in flax seed which (we have been led to believe) your body can convert to usable EPA and DHA. Sadly, this is not necessarily the case and studies have shown that the conversion is “unreliable and restricted” according to these studies.

Read here from Pub Med:

Certified Organic and Free Range: No cages. Organic, vegetarian feed and foraging is encouraged as well. The downside is that de-beaking is possible however to stop the birds from hurting each other or the eggs. Cages prevent this from happening Most beaks are not totally removed, but just “clipped” though some who raise chickens totally remove them. Another negative is that although the birds cannot be fed any GMO containing feed, just because something is GMO free does not mean that it was not sprayed with pesticides. But some protection is better than none.

Non- GMO only certifies that there are no genetically engineered ingredients and makes no claims about whether or not the feed was treated with pesticides and herbicides. This holds true for our food as well.Unless you visit the farm and can see the conditions that the hens are living in and talk to the owners who can show you what type of feed that the hens are eating you will have to do a lot of research to get the cleanest egg.

Here is the best and cleanest eggs you will want to find:

Certified USDA organic, free range, certified humane grade AA eggs. We are fortunate that BJ’s Wholesale club carries “Pete and Gerry’s eggs.: Allowed to roam freely and forage. High in Omega 3 from GRASS. Ask your supermarket if they can carry them. Your only other option is to find a local farm. Salmonella is always a concern with eggs. If you feel most comfortable, soak your egg shells with two drops of an antibacterial essential oil like (essential oil of lemon) and a quart of water with some ice. Salmonella exposure is from the SHELL and not the egg itself. These tips should be eggs-actly what you need for your clean lifestyle. (sorry, could not resist)

If you find a resource locally please post it on my blog or my  Facebook page page with the hashtag #cleaneggs_________________ (your state) or email me at and I will add this to my resource page for your area.

Eggs are one of the best sources of sulphur, methionine, choline, and healthy fats and are great nutrition at a reasonalble price per serving. If we all can save in other areas like making our own cleaning and body care products  we can afford to pay an extra $1 or $1.50 for a quality eggs and support those farmers doing the right thing.






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