Tracking and investigating the life of Safeway’s Open Nature eggs was both easy and difficult, but all around interesting. Knowing about supermarkets’ tendency to squirm their way out of admitting to the mistreatment of animals, I knew there would be plenty of interesting information on the topic. I went into this expecting to find out that Safeway was as dishonest as most other egg brands– the ones who label their packages with words like “natural” and “cage free” to keep up the impression that the egg you’re eating came from a happy chicken roaming around in a field on a farm somewhere. In reality the word “natural” doesn’t mean anything; there aren’t any laws or regulations around it, unlike phrases like “organic” and “cage free,” although cage free doesn’t exactly mean that the chickens are walking around freely in an open space. Most of the time they’re confined in barns and still have very little space to move around. They are allowed to perch on roosts to lay eggs, but other comforts that most home-owned chickens would enjoy aren’t usually present. What I found indicated that Safeway was not only fairly trustworthy in its labelling, it also required all of its farms to become certified humane, to make certain none of the chickens providing eggs were mistreated. It isn’t uncommon for farms to clip beaks or starve chickens to force them to molt, so this is a huge step up from some less humane farms. Over all I would trust Safeway’s eggs, although I always prefer to get them from the farmer’s market anyway– they’re fresher and tend to come from a smaller number of chickens who aren’t all packed together in a barn.