Red, yellow, blue and green – Easter eggs from the supermarket glow in rich colors. But be careful: Most of the time, these are eggs that you definitely don’t want to buy.
The selection of colored eggs in the supermarkets is huge in Easter. And the temptation to take a pack of the shiny and iridescent eggs with you is great. For animal rights activists, the colorful Easter eggs from the supermarket are an absolute no-go: the colored eggs disguise their origin and often come from cages. Many consumers do not want to support cage keeping – but they do without knowing it when they buy colored eggs for Easter.
Raw eggs must be labeled across the EU. The labeling requirement is strict; information on the origin, keeping and freshness of the eggs must be printed. 0 stands for organic production, 1 for free range, 2 for free range and 3 for cage. The following abbreviation denotes the country of origin. Finally comes the identification number of the manufacturing company. You can find more details in our buying guide: Eggs.
Colored Easter eggs = cruelty to animals
It is different with colored eggs. They are considered a "processed egg product". Only the manufacturer and the expiry date must be printed on the package.
The cheap eggs mostly come from cages. As raw eggs they would be marked with a "3" in the trade. These eggs cannot be found in stores. Simply because consumers do not want to support cage keeping. However, the eggs of 3 are laid diligently: In Germany around 2.8 million laying hens, crammed together with several other species, suffer in tiny cages, according to current figures from the animal protection organization Vier Pfoten. The eggs from the cage are used for pasta, cakes, mayonnaise – and Easter eggs.
Better labeling required
"The discrepancy between the labeling of fresh and colored eggs is striking," criticizes Annabel Oelmann, board member of the Bremen consumer advice center. "Legislators should also prescribe labeling of the form of keeping for colored eggs," she said.
Colorful eggs with a KAT seal do not come from cages
If you want to be sure that the eggs in the Easter basket are at least kept from the floor and guaranteed not from cages, you should pay attention to the "KAT" logo. "This guarantees that the egg comes from alternative husbandry – i.e. organic, free-range or floor husbandry – and is not an egg from cage or small group husbandry," explains Dietmar Tepe, Managing Director of KAT (Association for Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry Forms).
Dangerous colors in colored eggs
Colored eggs can contain dangerous dyes. Substances such as quinoline yellow (E104) or the azo dyes tartrazine (E102), yellow orange S (E110), azorubin (E122) and cochineal red A (E124 A) are controversial (source: Consumer Center Hesse). Azo dyes may affect activity and attention in children. “Most foods with these dyes have to be warned accordingly. This is not mandatory for egg colors, ”says the Consumer Center Bavaria. Small cracks in the shell allow the color to get inside and then into our body when we eat the colored egg.
This is how you avoid brightly colored Mogel eggs
The best Easter egg is organic. The best thing to do is to buy colored organic eggs (they are only colored with natural dyes and coloring natural materials) from brother rooster or two-use chicken projects. Or you can dye the raw organic eggs yourself. This is the most fun! Here you will find tips for dyeing yourself with natural colors.
Also pay attention to eggs in finished products
If ready-made products or Easter biscuits are not certified organic, the eggs they contain often come from keeping on the ground, in the worst case from cages. It is therefore better to avoid products in which eggs of unknown origin are processed.
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