Barilla Becomes First Pasta Maker to Go Cage-Free

barilla cage-free pasta photo

Barilla pasta will switch 45 percent of the eggs it uses to cage-free by the end of the year, according to the Humane Society. Barilla is the world's largest pasta maker, and the transition will make it the first pasta company to join the growing cage-free movement.HSUS notes this as part of a growing trend:

Across the country, a national movement away from using eggs from hens confined in cages has taken root: Kraft, Sara Lee, and Otis Spunkmeyer are switching millions of eggs in their products to cage-free; Hellmann's mayonnaise announced plans to convert the 350 million eggs it uses in the U.S. to cage-free; Burger King, Subway, Sonic, Wendy's, Arby's, Denny's, Carl's Jr., Hardee's, Quiznos, Cracker Barrel and Golden Corral are just some of the restaurant chains that use cage-free eggs; and Wal-Mart's and Costco's private brand eggs are exclusively cage-free.

HSUS quotes a letter from Barilla: "Barilla's policy on supply chain management takes into consideration not only health and wellbeing of people, but also the health and wellbeing of animals."

Why cage-free matters

A few reasons, from HSUS:

  • U.S. factory farms confine about 280 million hens in cages so small, they can't even spread their wings. Extensive scientific research confirms this causes suffering.
  • Cage-free hens generally have two to three times more space per bird than caged hens.
  • Cage-free hens may not be able to go outside and, like caged hens, may have parts of their beaks cut off, but they can walk, spread their wings and lay their eggs in nests--all behaviors permanently denied to hens crammed into cages.
  • Factory farming is a major social issue: A study by food industry consultancy, Technomic, ranked animal welfare as the third-most important social issue to restaurant patrons; an American Farm Bureau-funded report found that 89 percent of Americans believe that food companies that require their suppliers to treat farm animals better are doing the right thing.

Although "cage-free" and "free range" can be meaningless and not as cruelty-free as they sound, it's a step in the right direction. Go, Barilla.

More on cage-free eggs
How To Buy Humane Eggs - What to Know, and What You Can Forget
Factory Farms On Their Way Out? Ohio Farmers Agree to Lighten Up on the Confinement of Animals
California Becomes the First Cage-Free Egg State

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