Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
In this sustainability story, it’s the chicken.
According to Bloomberg, American farmers are tackling the $6.1B US egg industry by raising chickens with regenerative agriculture, resulting in “climate-friendly eggs.”
What is regenerative agriculture?
Modern agriculture was responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, per the EPA.
Regenerative agriculture improves soil’s organic matter and biodiversity through farming and grazing techniques. This healthier soil holds more water and — most importantly — draws carbon into the earth. (See this handy illustrated video.)
The Rodale Institute, a nonprofit that researches organic agriculture, suggests it could even reverse climate change.
Will people buy sustainable eggs?
Demand for specialty eggs — cage-free, free-range, etc — already makes up ⅓ of the industry and are projected to grab 70% in 5 years, per Bloomberg.
While regen eggs aren’t cheap (~$8 per dozen), Big Food is getting into it:
- General Mills has committed to 1m acres of regenerative farmland by 2030.
- At the UN Climate Summit in 2019, 19 companies — including Kellogg, Nestlé, and Google — agreed to protect and restore biodiversity through practices that include scaling regenerative agriculture.
- In 2020, The Nature Conservancy, Target, McDonald’s, and Cargill launched an $8.5m investment into 100k acres of land in Nebraska, potentially trapping 150k metric tons of CO2.
For a complete breakfast, Applegate Farms has regenerative agriculture sausages.