What You Need To Know About Morrisons' Groundbreaking Hen Eggs

Even with the new egg alternatives on the shelves, hen eggs remain a staple on grocery shopping lists. With consumers' growing concern surrounding the environmental impact of the food they eat, the poultry and egg industry has made strides to become more sustainable — using less water, emitting fewer greenhouse gasses, recycling, and even prolonging their chickens' years of life (via U.S Sustainability). But few have addressed the chickens' feed, which all too often incorporates soya — a crop that has been linked to deforestation of the Brazilian Cerrado, South America's largest savannah, per Unearthed

In 2021, the World Wide Fund for Nature released a report outlining the potential benefits of substituting soya for insects in animal livestock feed. As a leader in sustainable food systems, WIRED reports the amendment of animal-based feed came that same year, allowing the use of insect feed alternatives for pigs and chickens . Now, a year later, the by-products are hitting the market — the first being Morrisons' new, carbon neutral, insect-fed hen eggs.

A carbon-neutral diet

Morrisons' new eggs are the first of their kind and come from hens raised on a food group that's a part of their natural diet — insects. As a part of the U.K. supermarket chain's quest to stock its shelves with products from zero-emission British farms, the farm that produces the eggs runs on wind and solar energy, while planting trees to offset its emissions (via Morrisons). However, the sustainability of the product doesn't begin with what you or the hens eat, but with the bugs themselves.

As part of Morrisons' dedication to reducing its food waste by 50% before the year 2030 (via Morrisons), the insects are fed the scraps from their bakery, fruit, and vegetable sites, creating a waste-free food cycle that's entirely soya free. The eggs will be sold at store locations across Yorkshire, along with one in Essex, where they'll be sold for less than $2 per half dozen. The Guardian says that the eggs have been confirmed carbon neutral by the University of Cambridge, making it Morrisons' first carbon neutral product — but the company's head of agriculture, confirmed that it wouldn't be the last.