This winter, I bought two dozen eggs. I'm generally content to just do without as my hens go through their winter moult, but there were a couple of times when I just needed eggs for something or other, so off I went to try to pick up something that would vaguely resemble the eggs my girls produce.
It's not easy, really. Most of the organic eggs at my grocery store seem to be produced on large, factory farms. It takes a lot of carton-reading to find a batch from a farm that actually lets their hens go outside. The carton that I finally chose actually had something on the label like, "Free range. Pastured. All day. Every day. Seriously. We just let our hens go outside and wander around. No joke."
The eggs were surprisingly expensive–seven bucks for a dozen, maybe?–but I was willing to pay it. I mean, it still worked out to less than a buck an egg, and an egg and a piece of toast qualifies as a meal around here. So the money's no problem–it's just a matter of finding real eggs from real hens to get to really spend their days in the real outdoors.
Here's one solution–the Cornucopia Institute has published an organic egg scorecard. Sure enough, the eggs I'd suspected of being organic-but-probably-industrial actually are. So go check that out, and watch their video, too: