A Good Egg

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Pasture-raised chickens enjoying the great outdoors.

Last summer, my family spent a week at a bed and breakfast on a farm.  We had a wonderful trip visiting gorgeous beaches but as strange as it sounds one of the highlights for me was the eggs.  Driving onto the the farm, we passed the chicken coop and the loosely fenced yard.  The chickens wandered freely around the place and the kids helped collect eggs with the owner.  Each morning we were served eggs in omelets, scrambled, and fried.  They were amazing, creamy and so much more flavorful than the eggs we get here at home.

Pasture-raised eggs from Mom’s Organic Market in Falls Church, VA.

Pasture-raised eggs

When back home in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, I buy eggs that most closely resemble those farm fresh eggs I had last summer.  Pasture-raised eggs are available at most natural food stores and farmers markets.  Pasture-raised chickens spend time outside, scratch in the dirt and eat bugs.  The yolks are bright yellow and they taste better.

According to a study by Mother Earth News, evidence is mounting that pasture-raised eggs contain more nutrients including:

  • ⅔ more Vitamin A
  • 3x more Vitamin E
  • 4-6x more Vitamin D
  • 2x more Omega 3 fatty acids
  • 7x more beta carotene.

Cage-Free & Organic Eggs

Cage-free eggs from the grocery store.

Cage-Free eggs from the grocery store.

Easier to find and less expensive than the pasture-raised eggs are cage-free or organic eggs.  Unlike conventionally raised chickens, they are raised in larger areas and are free to move their wings and lay their eggs.  They contain more nutrients and a significantly improved level of animal welfare compared with conventionally raised chickens.  While they may or may not ever go outside this is a step in the right direction.  I find them to be more flavorful than conventional eggs. 

Conventional eggs from the store have the least amount of nutrients and greatest mistreatment of the chickens.

Conventional eggs from the store have the least amount of nutrients and greatest mistreatment of the chickens.

Conventional Eggs

Regular eggs sold at your neighborhood grocery store are raised in cages where they have less space than one sheet of paper to live their life.  They are cramped and unable to move their wings or walk around.  Besides the inhumane treatment they may be fed antibiotics and hormones.  Conventional eggs are the least expensive.

I recommend buying the highest quality eggs you can find and afford.  Even at $6.00 a dozen (if you purchase a dozen a week), that is only an extra $187 a year more for pasture-raised eggs or $52 more a year for cage-free/organic.  That’s a small price to pay for more nutritious and delicious eggs for you and your family.

Pasture-raised eggs have taste better and have a brighter yellow yolk.

Pasture-raised eggs have taste better and have a brighter yellow yolk.

 

Egg Type

Price

Nutrients

Animal Welfare

Taste

Pasture-Raised

$6.00/dozen

Cage-Free Organic

$3.50/dozen

Conventional Eggs

$2.40/dozen

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