Our shell eggs are cage-free, as certified by a third-party auditor
A concerned student at American University brought the issue of cage-free eggs to our attention in 2005. We learned that most eggs come from hens confined in what are known as “battery cages.” These barren enclosures are so restrictive that the birds can barely move, let alone engage in most natural behaviors such as nesting, foraging or even spreading their wings. Each hen is allotted only 67 square inches of cage space, less than a standard sheet of paper, on which to live their entire lives.
In addition, battery cage operations stack literally hundreds of thousands of hens into very tight conditions creating massive amounts of manure. This can lead to poor air quality and potentially unsafe conditions for farm workers as well significant water and land pollution.
We think this cruelty and negative environmental impact is unacceptable. In 2005 we enacted a policy stating that all of our shell eggs would be cage-free. We worked with the experts at the Humane Society of the United States to create a trustworthy program and decided that third-party certification was important. Our egg farms must meet the animal welfare standards of one of three independent auditing organizations: Humane Farm Animal Care, Animal Welfare Approved, or Food Alliance. Battery cages are not permitted and the housing facilities must include areas for hens to nest, dust bathe, scratch, and perch.
Bon Appétit was the first restaurant company to make a national commitment to cage-free shell eggs and in 2011, to cage-free cracked (liquid) eggs. For us, it’s simply the right thing to do.