There’s a growing divide in organic food and agriculture. Consumers hungry for nutritionally superior food that has been ethically produced are the target of giant factory farms that have muscled into organic agriculture. Their emergence and rapid growth is challenging family farm operators who have traditionally helped nurture and grow the popular organic sector.
Nowhere is this divide more apparent than in certified organic egg production. Some industrial-scale operations manage as many as two million hens on a single factory where they confine up to 200,000 birds in separate buildings. These corporate agribusinesses, mostly engaged in caged, conventional egg production, now dominate the organic egg market.
The owners of these facilities have been aided and abetted by inaction at the USDA, despite protests and formal legal complaints  detailing violations of federal organic rules and regulations. Confining organic birds on “factory farms?” One Iowa Amish egg producer, whose farm I visited with a few thousand birds, said to me, “How could that be?”