Our very first hard-hitting journalistic exposé!

Or the opposite of that. Whichever is easier for me, really.

So last night, I ran through King Soopers to pick up some eggs. I think I mentioned before that they have some pastured dairy there, but couldn’t remember the brand. I looked again and it’s called Simple Truth. They also have the same brand available for several types of eggs, all labeled as being cage free and organic. I hadn’t seen it before, so I was curious. They say their milk is pastured, which was why I bought it. I’ve now had a chance to do a little more research, and here’s what I found out about it.

Simple Truth is the Kroger store brand, but it’s sort of their premium, natural brand. They basically consolidated a couple of store brands (Kroger is the main company, but they are behind King Soopers in CO and a bunch of others across the country) to create this one brand that will be sold in all stores with the same name and packaging. Details are here.

So what does that mean? Not a ton, actually. The list of ingredients you won’t find in items with this brand is pretty impressive and awesome, and makes me think that they’re probably a great way to go for an inexpensive organic. But what does that say about their eggs and dairy products? Not enough, in my book. They say cage free and pastured and all, but there’s no way to verify, since store brands are notoriously unwilling to disclose their sources. So, if you remember the lists I posted a while back of how various egg and dairy producers rank for humane, ethical treatment of the animals (which translates into healthier food for you, even if you’re not a big animal lover) you won’t find any great info on these. So it’s a bit of a mystery, unfortunately. I would love to support Kroger’s choice to offer these natural, organic products, but part of their responsibility with that is to be transparent enough that the conscientious consumer can get the information to make an informed decision. I’ve looked around and can’t find any information online confirming how their farms treat the animals producing these products. Are they likely better than the straight-up cheapo store brand stuff? Almost definitely. Are they better than Organic Valley? I doubt it. They’re cheaper, though, so if you’re on a super tight budget and can’t afford the Rolls-Royce of eggs (Vital Farms, in my neck of the woods) and don’t want to spring for the Cadillac (I’d put Organic Valley in this category) but you’re not happy with the Yugo (This analogy is falling apart faster than I can write it) then maybe they’re a good option. I’m especially curious about their dairy being actually pastured, because that would be awesome. Organic doesn’t always mean pastured, and to me, that’s kind of the gold standard of cow treatment. If they really are sourcing milk from pastured cows, then I’ll happily buy it to support them, because that’s awesome. Just not sure how to confirm it, unfortunately. I’ll keep poking and if I find anything, I’ll post it here.

Thanks for reading!

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2 comments on “Our very first hard-hitting journalistic exposé!

  1. Amanda says:

    Organic is a term that can be checked, meaning nothing the animal has eaten was treated with pesticides/herbicides and the animal was not treated with artificial hormones so there are health benefits to this even if the cows are not pastured. No argument though that grass fed, pastured (as I see it free range healthy cows) is the gold standard but like you say these terms are not regulated. I find the best way to get this high quality meat/dairy/eggs is to be able to speak to the farmer directly. Most that you meet at farmers markets or food fairs will actually let you go visit their farms so you can see how the animals are treated.

    • Septimus says:

      You’re right, for sure. The USDA is supposed to make sure that people who use the Organic label are actually following certain rules. There’s a lot of leeway within the rules, though, and a fair amount of absentee regulation. During market season, I’m hoping to find a local dairy that I can start to source our milk from, and I’d love to find a local egg source, too. I just wasn’t on the ball enough last year, and now our market has gone into hibernation. I’m sure I could track down some places online or on the phone (shudder) if I really wanted to, but I’m pretty lazy. I’ll buy the best stuff available at the various stores I visit, and do my online research to make informed choices, but I’m pretty unlikely to take a bunch of field trips to visit farms. We’ll see, though. Maybe I’ll get the motivation to really step up my game on all of it so I can be a better source of info for my CO peeps. Thanks for commenting!

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