Egg Sustainability Sunny Side Up

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N.C. Egg Study

The U.S. egg industry is breaking through the shell in terms of sustainability.

A new study shows the egg industry has significantly reduced its environmental footprint over the past 50 years through improved hen feed, better disease control, advancement in hen housing and more.

The study focused on comparing egg production in 2010 to 1960. It concluded that while the industry has increased egg production in response to the growing population, they have still been able to significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions. A few of the key findings in the study showed:

  • Egg production releases less polluting emissions today, including 71 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions.
  • It takes 32 percent less water to produce a dozen eggs today. The volume of conserved water would fill 3,716 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Today’s hens use a little over half the amount of feed to produce a dozen eggs, but they are producing 27 percent more eggs and living longer.

The study also shows the industry has become more efficient by incorporating new technologies to help protect natural resources, allowing them to provide the same high-quality product with less waste. As for feed efficiency, thanks to advancements in nutrition, young hens require 48 percent less food during the rearing period today than they did 50 years ago.

Learn more about the study and the environmental impacts of the egg industry at aeb.org.

– Rachel Bertone

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