Choosing the Right Eggs

Pasture Raised Eggs

Eggs! The incredible edible egg, remember that?

Eggs are one of the least expensive sources of high quality proteins available, but for years you have been told not to eat them because they are too high in fat and cholesterol.  And if you must, then 
whites only please.  But the truth is

  • The egg yolk has lots of vitamins A, D, and E.
  • Half of an egg’s protein are found in the yolk.
  • There is little to no link between dietary cholesterol and higher blood cholesterol levels.
  • There is little to no link between dietary cholesterol and heart disease.
  • Your liver is already producing more cholesterol than you will find in an egg.
  • The more cholesterol you eat the less your liver will produce, while conversely the less you eat the more your liver will produce.
  • Cholesterol is essential to the good working order of your body. It aids in the production of steroid hormones and helps to build and repair cells.
Choosing Eggs

The trick is in buying the right eggs.  And that it seems, is no easy task…

I’m telling you, it shouldn’t be so difficult and confusing to find healthy choices.  But it is!
Before researching this I thought as long as the package said organic, and cage free, or free range that I was good to go.  But turns out NOT!

An organic label guarantees that NO antibiotics have been used.  But it doesn’t say anything about the living conditions of the chickens or their diet.

The most nutritious eggs come from chickens who have been allowed to roam freely in a clean and uncrowded environment. Chickens should be able to forage for worms and eat grass.  They should have easy access to shelter and plenty of time outdoors.  Chickens are omnivores and should NOT be eating a vegetarian diet.

Pastured Eggs

Eggs which come from chickens living this way are labeled pastured.

True pastured, organic chickens are found to have:

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • and 7 times more beta-carotene than their commercially raised cousins.
Chickens who do not see the light of day and who do not eat grass will produce eggs without vitamins A or D.

It turns out that I have been paying a lot of extra money for eggs touted as being superior when in fact they were not.  I might as well have been buying just regular eggs.  The only benefit I can think of was the lack of antibiotics.  Which is good, but I thought I was getting ALL of the benefits and I wasn’t!

And you too might be paying a lot of money thinking that you are getting a superior product when really you’re not.

You want  an egg from a chicken who has been allowed to roam freely on a grassy area with plenty of insects and worms for eating.

Other Types of Eggs

Cage free is a chicken who, although not in a cage, is probably not roaming around a pasture.  That chicken is most likely living in a cramped and crowded environment while being fed a vegetarian diet.

Free range implies outdoor time, but it doesn't say how much outdoor time.  And it doesn't say the size of the outdoor space.  And it doesn't say what kind of diet that chicken is being fed.

What you want to see is pastured AND organic.

Since it can be cost prohibitive for a small farmer to become certified organic it might behoove you to build a relationship with your local egg supplier.  Get to know him well.   Learn about his chickens’ environment, diet, and lack of antibiotic use.

The only thing better would be to raise your own chickens.  But’s that’s a whole other story!

Egg Labels

Making the Decision

Here’s a good source to help you through all the confusion.  I was really surprised when I checked this list and found that the eggs I used had received the lowest rating.  Want to know which ones?  Eggland’s Best, Trader Joe’s Organic, and Costco Organic.  Frustrating huh?

The highest quality eggs were not readily available to me in my area.  But I was happy that Happy Eggs (which my local Albertsons’s carries) received a 3.  And I am planning on taking a trip to the Eben – Haezer Poultry Ranch  as soon as possible.  They are the closest egg farm to me with a 5 egg rating on the score card. And I can’t wait to compare the yolks of the Happy Eggs with the yolks of the Eben-Haezer eggs.  But I’m kind of strange like that.

I’m telling you folks it just should not be so difficult to find good quality food.  But it is!!  And it is so important to sort out the good from the bad.  And that’s what I can help you do.  This article alone will save you time and get you started in the right direction for finding good quality eggs.

And remember they are WORTH the extra money.  You can make lots of meals with eggs.  They are an excellent source of protein and even the price for truly pastured eggs will be less money than grass fed meats.  So find a good source and eat your eggs!

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