I want to clarify all the labels you may see on a carton of eggs, so that if you are going to eat eggs, you can make sure your eggs come from happy chickens!! 

Think abut it, how nutritious can an egg be that came from a hen that was raised on GMO corn meal, never saw sunlight, was under severe stress from harsh conditions and hormonal overgrowth, and fed antibiotics which weaken our natural immune system. Make a conscious decision about what you put in your body. 

   Some labeling described below (the better ones) are usualy best found in a health conscious food store such as Whole Foods Market (of which I am a huge fan of) or your local lovely health food store. Unfortunately in my neighborhood where I am currently staying in Queens NY, health food is few and far between. I travel to Whole Foods in Manhattan and Long Island for my yummy healthy groceries. 
RED= I dont like this label
ORANGE= Better than red
GREEN= Happy Eggs

   Most industrial farmed egg laying hens in America, are confined in Battery Cages. Floor space for battery cages are less than the size of a piece of paper. These cages do not provide hens with sufficient space to stand, walk, flap their wings, perch, or make a nest.  It is estimated that over 60% of the world’s eggs are produced in such industrial systems.

    Ooo, we like the sound of that don't we? This means that the birds that lay the    eggs are fed an all organic vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides. Also, they are housed, uncaged inside of barns and warehouses and are required to have outdoor access. Awesome!… But not really. The amount ad duration and quality of outdoor access, is not specified. In most circumstance, this merely means that a large barn or warehouse filled with hundreds of birds, has an opening big enough for one bird to fit through that leads to a 4 x 4 foot fenced in outdoor penn. Sometimes these pens are covered by an awning and the ground can be made of wood or cement. Not exactly very outdoorsy even tho it is technically outdoors. Uncaged birds under this labeling are allowed to be debeaked. This is to prevent "hostile" aka stressed birds, from harming one another.  Debeaking is a painful process for the bird and can often make it difficult for the bird to eat, causing birds to die of starvation where they are left to decompose amongst healthy birds. Also, under this labeling, forced molting through starvation is permitted. 

*any eggs labeled "Certified Organic" are audited by 3rd party. 

Well at least they are free of antibiotics, but we can do better!

   There is no definition of  "free range" for egg laying hens. The conditions for "free range" egg laying hens are usually similar to that of "certified organic", however there are no requirements as to what the birds are fed and the care of these birds is not audited.

   This is the same as "free range". There are no specific standards for eggs labeled "free roaming", and are also not audited

   This means that the birds are uncaged inside barns and warehouses. These birds do not have access to the outdoors, and beak cutting is permitted. There is no auditing for this label.

CERTIFIED HUMANE: -program of humane farm animal care-
   These birds are uncaged inside barns & warehouses but do not necessarily get access to the outdoors. The must be allowed to perform natural behaviors such as nesting, perching, and dust bathing. There are requirements for stocking density and number of perches and nesting boxes. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, but beak cutting is allowed. Compliance for "certified humane" is audited by 3rd party. 

*ANIMAL WELFARE APPROVED: program of the Animal Welfare Institute

   This is the highest animal welfare standards of any 3rd party program. These birds must be cage free with the ability to perform natural behaviors such as nesting perching and dust bathing. Continuous outdoor perching access is required with requirements for stock density and number of perches and nesting boxes. Forced molting through starvation is prohibited, birds must be allowed to molt naturally. Beak cutting is also prohibited. 

this one sounds similar but is very different...
AMERICAN HUMANE CERTIFIED: program of American Humane Assoc.
   This label has a caged system in which the birds are contained in "furnished cages" the size of a piece of paper. Forced molting is prohibited, and beak cutting is permitted. 
   Aswell as a cage free system in which birds are uncaged within barns and warehouses with no access to the outdoors. Forced molting is prohibited, and beak cutting is permitted. 
The caged system is audited by 3rd party, however the cage free system is unaudited. 

***PASTURE RAISEDI really like to see this label
   This is a label that conscious farmers use to distinguish themselves from the label free range or free roaming. Pasture raised, meaning the animals are able to roam freely in natural outdoor green pastures, where they are able to eat nurrishing grasses and plants that their bodies were meant to digest. This yields a healthier more nutritious and tastier product, whether it be eggs or meat of any farm animal. These animals are able to move freely and carry out their natural behaviors. The animals are meant to lead a higher quality life so that they are happy and in turn, you will be happy and healthy too. I am not sure that this label is audited, however, like I said, it is generally used by farms with conscious farming practices. 

(if you want to read more about pasture raised, I really like this article, http://www.gracelinks.org/248/sustainable-livestock-husbandry)

   I love this book; "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer, http://www.eatinganimals.com. I really appreciate the daring detective research he does in order to reveal the truth about factory farming in america.

   When my good friend Maria lent me this book, I was an on the fence vegetarian. My reasons for being a vegetarian were just becoming clear in my mind. This book confirmed all of my reasoning and tipped me over the edge to the full on vegetarian side, now mostly vegan. My food journey, throughout research and knowledge, gets me closer every day to my goal of healthy conscious living. 

Thank you Bam, for showing me this great chart!
   I am not even going to put a photo of needles, I have a fobia myself. However, my fobia of needles is not why I wouldn't recommend getting a flu shot. 
      The Flu shot does not cover all strains of the flu. It is not guaranteed to protect against the current flu strains, and has more disadvantages than advantages;

   Vaccines contain hazardous chemicals such as mercury, polysorbate 80, aluminum, formaldehyde, and antibiotics, 
   The amount of mercury in a multi-dose flu shot is 250 times higher than what is legaly considered toxic waste. Mercury toxicity may cause depression, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, anger, oral cavity disorders, digestive disorder, anxiety, cardiovascular problems, respiratory issues, thyroid and other glandular imbalances, and actually lower the immune system.
   Polysorbate 80 is used as an emulsifier. This can seriously lower the immune system, and cause anaphylactic shock which can kill. It may cause reproductive problems and cancer.
   The antibiotics added to the vaccine actually lower the immune system as well and promote candida overgrowth. 
   Studies have shown that aluminum leads to Alzheimers Disease. "Some research suggests that people who received the flu vaccine each year for 3 to 5 years had 10 times greater chance of developing Alzheimer's disease than people who did not have any flu shots."

   Instead of getting this shot that has no guarantee of preventing the Flu, make sure to keep up a healthy immune system and stay active. 

   Get plenty of vitamin D! "The Sunshine Vitamin". In the winter months, we get less vitamin D. Also for those of us who do not drink milk or eat fish, we are not taking in regular amounts of vitamin D, so it is important to supplement or use natural sun beds, if you do not live somewhere that has access to the sun. 
(Vitamin D deficiency can cause many health problems. Read more on vitamin D; http://www.webmd.com/diet/vitamin-d-deficiency)

Learn more about the risks of the Flu shot: http://www.naturalnews.com/024624_flu_the_shot.html#ixzz2Hn7EE95Y
   In the cold months, there is less circulation in your nose, which means less white blood cells to fight off infection! This means we may need to supplement to help boost our immune systems. 

   Even tho it is unseasonably warm for January, we still must keep our immune systems strong. Of course you must get plenty of vitamin C. I lilke the Elder Berry. Elderberry is high in vitamin C and antioxidants that protect the cells from damage. It is used to fight the cold and flu, bacteria and viral infections, as well as lower cholesterol. 

   I use Sambucas, Black Elder Berry Extract, (vegetarian formula). It says you can take one teaspoon 4 times a day. I Only have time to do my regimen once in the morning and sometimes once at night. I mix it into half a cup of water, and I even like the taste of it. You can pick up a bottle in any health food store or vitamin shop. 

   While Sambucas/Elder Berry is great for strengthening the immune system to prevent a cold, There are other things we can do at first signs of a cold to rid our bodies of infection 

   At first signs of a cold, you may have external conditions such as stuffy head, runny nose, thin coating on tongue, stiffness in the neck, headaches, etc. Once these are apparent, you should do everything you can immediately to rid yourself of the virus before it penetrates into a deeper, internal infection. The exterior conditions are easier to cure while they are still on the surface of the body. The sooner you notice your symptoms and take action, The more likely it is to recover. 

  • You should increase your vitamin C by taking vitamins or Sambucas/Elderberry right away. 
  • Eat warming foods like cayenne pepper, garlic, and ginger, which will help to sweat it out. The antiviral properties of garlic can actually halt a cold if taken soon enough. Putting a half a clove of garlic between your cheek and your teeth for half an hour 2-3 times a day, (or once is better than not at all) is a good way to absorb its nutrients directly. (move it around to avoid burning delicate mouth tissue).
  • drink herbal teas and diaphoretic teas; elder flower, chamomile, ginger, rose hips. 

My name is Amanda Paige. I am Studying Holistic Nutrition, and I would like to share with you what I learn so that anyone who is interested in living healthy may benefit. As I am just starting out, I would greatly appreciate, if you find anything you like here, if you share a link to my blog with your friends. I hope this page will evolve into a great resource of information and products and services to help maintain a conscious and healthy you! (*_*)

Please feel free to ask me questions or suggest topics for me to post about!