Eggs. As simple as they are, we humans found a way to complicate them. While I am deeply aware of the fact that in some countries people just go and buy eggs when they want eggs without really thinking about it that much here in the US things are different. Or better said, complicated! Here everything has a zillion of labels ( even an egg) which complicates things so much and gets so confusing that you end up spending 10-15 minutes if not even more trying to buy such a simple thing as an EGG.
But there is a reason behind all of this. One can no longer assume that an egg is an egg. One egg can be a nutrient-dense superfood and one can be deficient in all these nutrients and contaminated with chemicals and antibiotics. Food quality has become a big fuss in the media because we are now suffering the consequences of producing massive amounts of foods in a short time. The usage of antibiotics and hormones on animals have directly impacted our health and the health of our children. Forcing nature to meet the agricultural requirements of the population now translates into soil erosion. But this is a whole ‘nother topic.
So today I am going to help you understand what all these labels mean.
Means chicken are allowed to roam freely on the pasture during daylight hours. Eggs from these chickens have twice more Omega-3, more vitamin E, B12, D and are lower in cholesterol.
This label ensures that chicken feed did not contain fertilizer or animal byproducts. This also means the chickens received organic feed and were not treated with hormones and/or antibiotics.
This label combined with the one above is what I buy because like I said pasture-raised ONLY means that the chickens were allowed to roam freely and eat grass during daylight hours. It doesn’t mean that they are ORGANIC.
Organic meat, poultry, and dairy products can be more expensive but are worth the extra cost as harmful compounds can become concentrated once digested by the animal, a concept called bioconcentration. The good news is that bioconcentration also means that pasture-raised chickens bioconcentrate the nutrients that they got from their feed, particularly the grass, and pass those benefits on to us.
This label only ensures that the chickens have more space than the caged ones. The label gives the impression that the chickens are allowed to roam freely but in reality they don’t get outdoors a lot. Not really better than conventional eggs as sometimes they are still a corn/soy based diet. And again this label does not mean they are ORGANIC.
The chickens aren’t raised in a cage but they could still be raised in a smelly, dirty and overstuffed hen house. Which usually means they are given antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections.
NO ANTIBIOTICS USED or RAISED WITHOUT ANTIBIOTICS
These labels only ensure that the chickens were never given antibiotics.
This label means that the chickens feed was supplemented with an Omega 3 source like flaxseeds.
So now that you know what each one of them means you probably wonder which one is the best option? The first best option when buying eggs is Organic Pasture Raised and the second best option is Organic Omega 3 eggs.
My favorite brand is Vital Farms, their eggs are organic pasture raised with a deep orange color egg yolk. They are sourced from Austin, Texas and what I like about them is that they always include a note about the mother hen and her story. Plus their mission is pretty impressive – ” Our mission is to bring ethically produced food to the table by coordinating a collection of family farms to operate with a well defined set of organic agricultural practices that includes the humane treatment of farm animals as a central tenet. ” – read more about them here.
Hopefully now you can spend less time debating on which eggs to buy 🙂
To Your Health and Happiness,