According to the e-mail, Dining Services buys eggs from “cruel”, “battery-cage’”egg farms, where birds are packed so tightly into small, feces-filled cages that they can barely turn around and will never be able to spread their wings.”
The Humane League is petitioning Dining Services for eggs from cage-free chicken farms.
According to the director of the Humane League, Nick Cooney, cage-free eggs are much healthier for humans than battery-cage egg farms.
“Ten recent studies have confirmed that cage-free eggs have a smaller chance of containing Salmonella and have increased nutritional value,” Cooney said.
Cage-free eggs are slightly more expensive than regular eggs. According to Cooney, the switch costs only a few pennies more per egg, which equates to about $8 per student per year.
Some students agree that the cost is well worth the cause.
“It sounds like a great idea, even if it is going to be a bit more expensive,” said Sebastian Mettes, an 18-year-old open-option major.
The petition for cage-free eggs has already gathered more than 1,200 signatures.
“We expect several hundred more in a week,” Cooney said.
Amy Beckstrom, director of Dining Services for Housing and Dining, said that the switch would be more expensive than it sounds, costing about $75,000 more per year.
“Dining Services is in support of changing to more humane food sources, but as of now, it is too expensive,” Beckstrom said. “We are in a position where supply and demand aren’t working in our favor.”
Many students said they are skeptical as to whether or not the student body is willing to make the switch.
“It seems like students would be willing to pay a few more dollars per year for a cause like this, but then again, maybe not,” said Charlie Ballinger, an 18-year-old open-option major.
Dining Services is working to get cage-free eggs at a price that is affordable for CU.
“We work very hard with providers every year to lower the price,” Beckstrom said. “Truly, if it was less, we would make the switch.”
Despite CU’s difficulty switching to cage-free eggs, many other schools in Colorado and across the country have gotten rid of “battery-cage” farm eggs.
“Colorado College and dozens of state schools have already gone cage-free,” Cooney said. “Universities in Wisconsin, Washington, Minnesota and Missouri have done the same.”
Environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and The Sierra Club are also in support of the movement toward cage-free eggs in schools since they are far more sustainable than caged-chicken eggs, according to Cooney.
Some students said they think that switching to cage-free eggs would be an appropriate action for the community to make.
“It seems like a very ‘Boulder’ thing to do,” said Colin Bovet, an 18-year-old business major.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kevin Stockton at Kevin.firstname.lastname@example.org.