Free-Range Eggs May Contain More Pollutants
Free-range eggs are thought to be the healthiest, most humane variety on the market, but new research out of Taiwan suggests they may actually contain more pollutants than caged eggs. Researchers funded by the National Science Council of Taiwan and the Taiwanese Ministry of Education tested free-range eggs from southern Taiwan and caged eggs from around the country, testing for two common industrial pollutants: polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCCD/Fs). The chemicals have cancer, liver, and nervous problems in animals, among other effects. Levels found in free-range eggs were around two to three times higher than in caged eggs.
Researchers believe that environmental contamination, including soil and feed contamination, around the free-range hens is to blame for the higher levels of toxic chemicals. According to the Los Angeles Times, similar studies have been conducted in Europe, yielding similar results.
Will we ditch free-range eggs for caged? No. But if your eggs come from hens that live near a factory, your extra dollars may be buying you extra chemicals.