With dozens of egg brands to choose from, we’ve made an easy reference guide, so you can make buying decisions that align with your family’s values.

Living Conditions

These categories represent the different levels of living conditions and space for the chicken. The FDA has yet to define these terms, so manufacturers rely on 3rd party certification from either Humane Farm Animal Care Association (HFAC) or American Association Supporting the Humane Treatment of Animals (AHA).

(Photo: White-shell eggs in a white bowl.)

Conventional

These are standard eggs found in the dairy aisle produced by chickens living in small enclosures. The living space and diet of the chicken is not regulated.

(Photo: Chickens in a cage-free chicken coop.)

Cage Free

These eggs are produced by hens that are not kept in cages, but live in an enclosed communal living building or area that includes nesting areas and perches. Per AHA and HFAC regulations, space is defined as 1.5 sq. ft. per hen.

(Photo: Free-range chickens outside in a chicken yard.)

Free Range

Free range eggs are produced by chickens that do not live in confined enclosures and have access to the outdoors. Their diet consists of grains and bugs and insects they forage for while outside. Per AHA regulations, space is defined as 22 sq. ft. per hen for outdoor space; HFAC regulations define space as 2 sq. ft. per hen for outdoor space.

(Photo: Chickens roaming in a farm pasture.)

Pasture Raised

Pasture raised eggs are laid by chickens who are free to roam on maintained pastures. These hens’ diets consist of primarily grass and insects. The USDA does not recognize any definitions or enforce any guidelines for pasture raised eggs, and these farms are not required to use AHA or HFAC audits.

 

Additional Attributes

These additional egg attributes may be featured on egg brand labels in addition to the above definitions.

(Photo: Brown-shell eggs in a pasteurization machine.)

Pasteurized

To help reduce the risk of food-borne illness, these eggs are treated once they are laid with a gentle water bath. To destroy pathogens on the shelf without cooking the egg, the water temperature is raised to just below the coagulation point.

(Photo: Hands holding chicken feed.)

Omega-3 Enriched

Hens are fed a special diet rich in omega-3s (usually consisting of flax seed) to produce eggs that have a higher omega-3 content.

(Photo: Two chickens eating vegetarian grain from a trough.)

Vegetarian Fed

Vegetarian fed eggs are laid by hens that are fed a vegetarian diet free of any animal bi-products.

USDA Organic (logo)

Certified Organic

Organic labeled eggs must comply with the regulations set by the USDA regarding the hen’s standard of living and diet. Per USDA requirements, space equals 1.2 sq. ft. per hen along with access to outdoor areas. Organic feed is required, and there is no use of pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics.

(Photo: Brown-shell eggs sitting in an egg pallet.)

Brown Eggs

Often wonder why some eggs are brown? Brown eggs are laid by hens with red (brown) feathers. The color of the shell is not a determining factor to the nutritional value of the egg itself.

Buy Local, Support Local (logo)

Local

Dierbergs Markets proudly support other local companies and offer our customers egg varieties from Missouri and Illinois farms. We’re excited to offer both Jackson Egg Company (Jackson, MO) and Ben Roberts Eggs (Syracuse, MO).