See more details here.
You know your stuff. If your an egg eater, you buy organic, cage free eggs. They’re a bit pricey, but they’re better for you and the cute little chickens, right?? Well I’m here to tell you there’s a better way to spend your money friends.
To start, the definition of “free range” or “cage free” is that they give the chickens “access to the outdoors”. What does that mean? Uh, nothing. Do they really go outside? No, usually not. They’re crowded into large, windowless sheds and they rarely ever go outside. Ok, so now you probably feel like you’ve just been wasting your money and are ready to swear off eggs forever. Keep reading, I’ve done my homework and have got you covered.
Good, I’m so glad you kept reading. But seriously, you’re messing with my breakfast RNL. So what kind of eggs should I buy?
Pastured eggs! Why?? Grass-fed or pastured hens (same thing) are raised on pasture, as opposed to being kept in confinement and fed primarily grains. Eggs from pastured hens contain at least 2 times more healthy omega-3 fatty acids than those their less fortunate cousins, factory hens. And they contain 5 times more vitamin D than a regular eggs, meaning you’d have to eat five standard eggs to get the nutrition of just 1 pastured egg. And remember chickens need to go outside to get Vitamin D from the sun, just like we do.
Chickens may be “Organic” and “cage free” but these are not truly healthy birds. Because they are given no antibiotics to keep them healthy they are very susceptible to disease. That may sound good, but on rare occasion, us humans need a bit of medicine for our health too. In fact, often the people who work at these “big organic” chicken farms even have to wear clean room suits (you know those weird white space ship looking suit…see photo below) when they go in to visit the birds. So that picture on the box of the sweet red barn and the farmers out with the chicken on pasture….yeah that’s a big fat lie. There should be a picture of a guy stomping around a weird looking suit. Now that is not how Mother Nature intended it at all.
Pastured hens’ diets are naturally complemented with bugs, earthworms, and other such critters that give their eggs a huge nutritious oomph. Although not necessarily organic, pastured hens are usually much healthier and happier than their space-restricted and antibiotic-pumped industrial cousins.
Pasturing is the traditional method of raising egg-laying hens and other poultry. It is ecologically sustainable, humane, and produces the tastiest, most nutritious eggs.
Pastured eggs also have 10 percent less fat, 40 percent more vitamin A, and 34 percent less cholesterol than eggs obtained from factory farms. They contain 5 times more vitamin D,2-20 times more omega-3 fatty acids,3 times more vitamin E,7 times more beta carotene. Nutrition powerhouses!!
I am allergic to eggs and can eat a few pastured eggs each week with no problem!!
Now where to buy these nutritional powerhouses?? Whole Foods will carry them and your neighborhood market may as well. Always be sure the package says “Pastured” and ask to be sure. I have found the best tasting eggs and the best price through local farmers in my area. Most of them are happy to talk to you about their animals or even accomodate a visit to the farm. Be a detective, it’s for your health! You can also search here for great local options in your area. Taste the difference and support your health, as well as your local farmer. The adorable little chick in the photo is from one of my very favorite local farms. Thanks Royer Farms
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.