Taco Bell Just Made A Historic Announcement

Image: Courtesy of Taco Bell
Soon, the only reason to feel bad after eating Taco Bell for breakfast may be the fact that you just ate Taco Bell for breakfast. The chain, whose a.m. offerings include biscuit tacos and egg and hashbrown “crunchwraps,” is the most recent fast food brand to announce the transition to more humane, cage-free eggs in its 6,000 U.S. locations.

The trend has been picking up steam recently, with McDonald’s announcing earlier this fall that its long-anticipated all-day breakfast will soon also be cage-free. And while Taco Bell is late to the cage-free party, Grub Street notes that, if all goes according to plan, Taco Bell’s eggs will be cage-free by December 31, 2016, making it “the first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the change.”

"Delivering a sustainable and safe egg supply to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide in one year is possible due to the brand's large yet flexible infrastructure, and years of close collaboration with our partners," Liz Matthews, Taco Bell's chief food innovation officer, explained in a press release.

Starbucks and Panera plan to take four years to phase out conventional eggs and McDonald's will take a decade to do the same. (McDonald’s, it should be noted, uses some two billion eggs annually, compared to Taco Bell's 130 million. So, that's a lot more hens to liberate.)

According to Taco Bell, some 500,000 birds will benefit from the change, which is based on cage-free egg production standards set by the American Humane Society. As for what that really means for these animals? Well, that depends on the farmers, but at least they'll be free to walk around a bit.

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