Friday, June 3rd was the grand opening of a brand new grocery store called Farmboy Superfresh in Paterson. I love cooking and the idea of a having a convenient new place to shop is appealing, but I won’t be giving this store my business. With a name like “Farmboy”, you might picture the food coming from some local family farm with animals running around. In reality, Farmboy Superfresh is part of the Key Food co-op, which is currently under fire for its support of outdated and cruel factory farming practices.
The co-op’s suppliers house egg-laying hens in battery cages. On this type of factory farm, hens are crammed into stacked wire cages with several other birds. Chickens like to roost and dust bathe, which other housing systems allow for, but battery cages make it impossible for them to do any of this. Instead, they are forced to stand in their own waste and breathe in the fumes that accumulate inside these dank, filthy sheds, which are packed with thousands of animals. The wire flooring and walls cut into and ensnare their limbs and each animal has less space than a sheet of printer paper to live on.
The grocery industry as a whole is moving away from this type of egg farm because consumers won’t support this level of cruelty to animals. Practically every major retailer in the country – including ShopRite, Fairway Market, Whole Foods, Wegmans, Target, and even Walmart – has committed to eliminating battery cage eggs from its supply chain in the coming years, but the Key Food co-op refuses to do so. If its animal welfare policy can’t even keep up with Walmart, then I see no reason to visit the new Farmboy Superfresh location. The storefront may be new, but the company is squarely stuck in the past.
Fair Lawn resident