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Letters to Nature
Nature 220, 921 - 922 (30 November 1968); doi:10.1038/220921a0

Point of Distinction between Battery and Free Range Eggs


School of Agriculture, University of Cambridge.

CONSIDERABLE speculation has arisen during the past few years about the difference between battery and free range eggs, or, more precisely, eggs from intensively and extensively kept flocks of fowl. Little evidence has been presented as to the exact nature of this difference, with the result that the majority of the populace, not appreciating the economic factors involved, are prejudiced against eggs laid by intensively kept birds, and imagine that there is a real difference in either flavour or nutritional value. Sinclair1,2 suggested that eggs from intensively kept birds are more atherogenic than eggs from free range birds. He based this suggestion on his theory3 that atherosclerosis results from a relative deficiency of essential fatty acids, linoleic and arachidonic acids, and his unverified assumption that eggs from free range birds contain greater amounts of essential fatty acids.

  1. Sinclair, H. M. , Lancet, i, 225 (1961).
  2. Sinclair, H. M. , Lancet, i, 339 (1961).
  3. Sinclair, H. M. , Lancet, i, 381 (1956). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  4. Crawford, N. , Clin. Chim. Acta, 3, 357 (1958). | Article | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |
  5. Bowyer, D. E. , Leat, W. M. F. , Howard, A. N. , and Gresham, G. A. , Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 70, 433 (1963).
  6. Smith, E. B. , Biochem. J., 84, 49 P (1962).
  7. Noble, R. C. , and Moore, J. H. , in Physiology of the Domestic Fowl, B.E.M.B. Symposium No. 1, 87 (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh and London, 1966).

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