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McDonald's and Wendy's Move Toward Cage-Free Eggs

McDonald's and Wendy's Move Toward Cage-Free Eggs

It's still debatable whether America's in the midst of a food revolution, but a growing number of the country's biggest corporations are focused on promoting natural and local ingredients.

Late last week, McDonald's announced it will take part in a study in conjunction with animal welfare groups, academics, and egg suppliers that compares battery cage-dwelling hens to free-range hens. The following day, Wendy's proclaimed that two percent of its egg purchases will now come from cage-free hens. The response from the animal rights community has been mixed. Although the Humane Society called Wendy's decision "a modest but meaningful step in the right direction," it also maintains McDonald's is only conducting the study to delay reforms in its farming practices.

Both Wendy's and McDonald's have been under fire for failing to change their practices after many other competing chains, such as Burger King, Quizno's, Hardee's, and Denny's, have already converted to using eggs from non-caged hens.

I'm happy to hear that both chains are making a concerted effort to look into free-range eggs — although it's disappointing that only five percent of eggs in North America come from free-range hens. Do you find yourself hopeful or skeptical about the chains' efforts to go cage-free?


Join The Conversation
kathrynliz kathrynliz 8 years
and equestrienne- if you google search veggie menu and mcdonalds, the very first result is a Q&A from their own website. veggie burgers aren't a popular choice with their customers.
kathrynliz kathrynliz 8 years
interesting. this is exactly what's supposed to happen- when we let the free market do what the free market is supposed to do. businesses have to respond to the needs of their customers if they want to stay in business. we can tax/regulate/subsidize, but the most powerful force in a free market economy is the consumer. the current state of food production was also driven by the consumer- more, faster, cheaper. now we're changing. massive food production/shipment and packaging cannot stop and change immediately. you have to remember how many people are employed by this industry. i can tell you that i lost a big account when my company changed to cage-free purchasing- affecting everyone from the dishwasher to the ceo. if one of these huge corporations suddenly went 100% in the other direction, everyone would feel the effects. (and probably complain about it.) either way, make your choice as a consumer, and businesses will follow.
equestriennechic equestriennechic 8 years
2%? 5%? Pathetic. They're only doing it to get business. Those places make me sick. As a side note, I don't see why McDonalds doesn't have a veggie burger on the menu.
ellenp1214 ellenp1214 8 years
do i think that these companies care at all about whether their eggs are cage free? of course not. do i think that these companies are desperate to hold onto their customers and will make changes in order to do so? absolutely. americans need to demand better quality food, and these companies will either comply or go out of business. period. i think this is a step in the right direction, although it barely makes a dent in the issues i have with fast food companies!
weffie weffie 8 years
2% is a joke, yes it's better than 0% but 98% of hens living and dying in horrific conditions is not something to be proud of. McDonald's is never going to stop buying the cheapest, poorest-quality ingredients on the market... They can try to improve their corporate image with crap like this all they want, but the bottom line is still the bottom line with them. Nobody could turn profits like that if they cared one iota about where the food came from or how badly it suffered before it ended up in their unhappy meal, let's not kid ourselves. These people put cow fat in french fries for crissakes!
Food Food 8 years
Finn, I agree. The Europeans have done a much better job of focusing on humanely farmed food.
syako syako 8 years
I agree with Modus. More demands from their consumers will mean more changes.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Phil, I agree with you 110%!!
CoconutPie CoconutPie 8 years
McDonald's America should have look at what's done overseas... :innocent: McDonald's is already making considerable efforts in Sweden. :medal:
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Good for them. I say it's better than nothing.
Phil Phil 8 years
HA! All the fast food companies are doing is greenwashing their brand, making the smallest concession for the sake of placating green advocacy groups. As posted on the La Vida Locavore blog about this last Thursday, "I am sorry, but when your entire business revolves around selling factory farmed beef, nothing you can do short of going out of business would be a substantial improvement." As long as fast food companies source their ingredients from unsustainable factory farms and CAFOs, which poison our soil and water and food, which contribute to the outrageous resource suck of commodity transport inherent in centralized agricultural practices which they created and support; as long as fast food companies continue to create the mountains of waste that they do annually with product packaging, they are undeserving of any praise that go to the restaurants that actually making fundamental menu changes that promote sustainability over profit margins. And anyway, isn't McDonalds conducting two years of "study" before they even bother to make such a paltry change?
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