McDonald's Bought Over 4 Percent of the Eggs in the US Last Year

Illustration for article titled McDonalds Bought Over 4 Percent of the Eggs in the US Last Year

When McDonald’s decides to make a change in its suppliers, it moves markets. The American fast food giant just announced that it would shift to cage-free eggs. That’s a big deal since McDonald’s purchases accounted for “more than 4 percent of the 43.56 billion eggs produced in the United States last year.”

That figure comes from The New York Times’s coverage of the cage-free announcement. The paper reports that “it could take McDonald’s as long as 10 years to reach its goal of having 100 percent come from hens in what are known as ‘aviary systems.’” Aviary systems should not be confused with free range situations. They’re simply cages with room for chickens to run around and nest and hang out and stuff.

So don’t expect to start feeling better about scarfing that Egg McMuffin any time too soon. The good news is that McDonald’s is a big enough force that its move to eggs from cage-free hens will put the pressure on many others to follow suit. Burger King actually beat its competitor to the punch and says it will complete the transition by 2017.


The cage-free news comes just a week after McDonald’s announced that it will start serving breakfast all day in the U.S. That surely means that the fast food restaurants will buy even more eggs in the years to come. And again, when McDonald’s buys more of something, it don’t buy thousands. It buys billions.

[New York Times]

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So what do they expect us farmers to do? Tear down our 3 million dollar cage investments, build 3 times as many barns to house the free range birds, work twice as hard to keep the barns clean and running properly? I’m sorry but people don’t have this kind of time and money to throw away when something is already working just fine! The farms you see on TV making you feel all horrible for the animals are a very select few of the worst farms in North America to make you think that every farm is like that! People need to walk through a barn and a farmers shoes before demanding change!