February 8, 2011
SAGE Dining Services Hatches New Cage-Free Egg Policy
The Humane Society of the United States applauded Baltimore, Md.-based SAGE Dining Services for joining the national movement away from eggs from caged hens. SAGE Dining Services, which provides dining services to more than 165 private schools and colleges, announced that it has switched all of the whole eggs in its supply chain to cage-free. As of December 2010, all whole eggs that SAGE Dining Services serves are cage-free.
“By switching to cage-free eggs, SAGE Dining Services is demonstrating that it takes animal welfare, food safety, and sustainability seriously,” said Kristie Middleton, corporate outreach manager of The HSUS' factory farming campaign. “The Humane Society of the United States commends SAGE's switch to cage-free eggs.”
“SAGE is proud to work with our customers in the transition to cage-free eggs,” said Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez, president of SAGE Dining Services. “Sustainable practices sometimes need a bit of explanation, but it's a conversation well worth having.”
Across the country, a national movement away from using eggs from hens confined in cages has taken root: Kraft, Sara Lee, Barilla Pasta, and Otis Spunkmeyer are switching millions of eggs in their products to cage-free; Hellmann's mayonnaise has started converting all of the 350 million eggs it uses to cage-free; Burger King, Subway, Sonic, Wendy's, Arby’s, Denny's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Quiznos, Cracker Barrel and Golden Corral are just some of the restaurant chains that use cage-free eggs; and Wal-Mart's and Costco's private brand eggs are exclusively cage-free.
Michigan and California have passed laws to outlaw cage confinement of hens, and similar legislation is pending elsewhere. California enacted a law that requires all whole eggs sold statewide to be cage-free by 2015.
- U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
- Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens. Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and, like caged hens, may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests—all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into cages.
- Factory farming is a major social issue: A study by food industry consultancy, Technomic, ranked animal welfare as the third-most important social issue to restaurant patrons; an American Farm Bureau-funded report found that 89 percent of Americans believe that food companies that require their suppliers to treat farm animals better are doing the right thing.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at humanesociety.org.