Wednesday, February 04, 2004
During a recent trip to a local supermarket a new product caught my eye. Packaged in clear plastic trays and nestled among the other paper and foam containers was something labeled "Vegetarian Eggs". Priced at $3.24 a dozen these were no mere eggs, rather the label announced proudly that these eggs were laid by hens to which "No animal by-product will ever be fed", therefore by some logic that seems suspicious at best and more likely purposefully obscure these hens are "vegetarian" and subsequently produce "Vegetarian Eggs". Now, I am not a scientist, and I do not claim to possess a deep understanding of chicken dietary preferences but, chickens don't eat meat!
The company is Egg Innovations and you can view this anomaly live, on the web as we speak. Vegetarian eggs would be what... eggs that are OK to consume if you're vegetarian and don't eat animal products, no. Eggs that are free of animal product (not produced by animals), no. Perhaps eggs that ovo-vegetarians can eat, no, they eat eggs weather they are vegetarian or not, the eggs that is not the vegetarians. Look, I don't want to waste my time or yours gentle reader by pursing this silly topic much beyond the point that it seems obvious; all this company is trying to do is cash in on the side market of vegetarians who might be attracted to a product that is already organic compliant. The truth is vegetarians are amongst the very best informed consumers. Vegetarians read and reread labels and take responsibility for their consumer choices and isn't it about time that food suppliers pay attention to that single fact; when a product says vegetarian we would like it to be vegetarian and not some convoluted play on words meant to obfuscate and mislead...or is that counting our chickens before they're hatched.
Please feel free to copy this editorial letter and send it to stores in your area that carry these products.
Editor, The Green Cutting Board Press, 2/4/04