HEALTHY EGGS: WHAT TO BUY
BEST CHOICE: Pastured eggs from a local farmer (aka Real Eggs). Chickens live their entire lives outdoors, in the pasture, eating bugs and grass and basking in the sun. Their feed may or may not be supplemented with what is provided in the field. If it is supplemented, a non-soy feed is best.
Remember, when compared to the USDA’s nutrient data for conventional eggs coming from chickens confined in factory farms, the eggs of pastured hens usually contain:
- 1⁄3 less cholesterol
- 1⁄4 less saturated fat
- 2⁄3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 4 to 6 times more vitamin D
SECOND: At the supermarket, choose the eggs with the most Omega-3s and DHAs available. Those are the nutrients most commonly lacking in the eggs from “battery hens,” and some companies have specially formulated their chicken feed in an attempt to make up for the hen’s abnormal and unnatural living conditions.
THIRD: Organic eggs. Although they may not be nutritionally superior to your average “battery hen” eggs, you at least know these eggs came from hens raised without the use of antibiotics and that the hens were fed organic feed. So you at least won’t have any environmental guilt buying them.
HEALTHY EGGS: WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Real eggs are amazing to behold. The average egg is made up of three parts you need to pay attention to:
- the yolk
- the thick egg white
- the thin, runny egg white
You can tell how nutrient-dense and healthy an egg is by appearance alone. You can tell if a farmer’s telling you the truth or scamming you. You can tell if the chicken who produced the eggs was happy or sad.
When compared to conventional, battery hen eggs, the eggs from pastured chickens have these differences in appearance:
THE YOLK is bigger, taking up a larger portion of the egg. It is also a darker, more orange color when compared to the pale yellow yolks of battery hens. (Note: The color may vary based on the season and how many bugs or green grasses the hen eats, but it will always be noticeably different than the pale yellow of supermarket eggs.)
THE THICK EGG WHITE is bigger and noticeably thicker.
THE THIN, RUNNY EGG WHITE is smaller.