Cage-free: Chickens must have room to roam (not necessarily outdoors) and have unlimited access to food and water.
Free-range: Birds are cage-free with continuous outdoor access during their laying cycle.
No added hormones: This label is meaningless, since all eggs in the U.S. must be hormone-free.
No added antibiotics: No hens receive antibiotics unless they’re sick, and their eggs are diverted from the human food supply.
Vegetarian-fed: This may be important to vegetarians who eat eggs, since chickens are omnivores that naturally nibble grubs, worms and such.
Organic: USDA-certified organic eggs must come from cage-free, free-range hens fed an organic diet produced without conventional pesticides or fertilizers.
Omega-3 enriched: Hens’ diet includes seeds, fish oil and/or algae to ensure they lay eggs three to five times richer in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs.
Pasteurized: Eggs are heated to destroy pathogens—a smart choice when a recipe calls for uncooked eggs.
Pasture-raised: This is an unregulated term but indicates hens are free to graze in a pasture.