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Eggs labeled 'humane' served in Whitney

- February 21, 2006

Whitney Dining Hall is now serving eggs given the “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” label by Humane Farm Animal Care, the non-profit national organization that certifies the humane treatment of animals raised by meat, poultry, egg or dairy producers.

The Department of Dining Services agreed to buy the “cage- free” eggs after a meeting last spring with representatives of the UConn Animal Rights Society.

Some students have been vocal in the pursuit of a dining facility that follows a “farm-to-fork” philosophy, emphasizing humane treatment of animals and minimal processing.

The eggs are being used in Whitney this semester to test their acceptability, as well as to secure accurate usage numbers and establish a cost analysis.

The cost of the Certified Humane eggs is more than twice that of the conventionally farmed eggs used elsewhere on campus.

Rebecca Gorin, assistant manager of Whitney Dining Hall, says the cage-free eggs are fresher than those that are conventionally farmed.

“One of the chefs made banana bread with the eggs and said the bread rose to be lighter and fluffier,” Gorin says.

Students seem interested in tasting the eggs, she adds: “People seem to be eating more eggs just to try them out.”

Cage-free eggs are now being offered in the Whitney Dining Hall.
Cage-free eggs are now being offered in the Whitney Dining Hall.
Photo by Jordan Bender

Initially, only whole-shell eggs will be bought from a farm in New Hampshire.

Pre-cracked, institutional packaged eggs will be considered if they become available in the future.

The egg decision is the first of many product changes for the Department of Dining Services through its “Local Roots” initiative.

There are plans to transform Whitney over the next year into a sustainable food service facility.

Ingredients will be bought locally whenever possible, with specific attention paid to how the food is raised or produced.

Seasonality of ingredients will be a main consideration when developing recipes for the sustainable food program at Whitney.

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