Happy National Egg Day!
This week, I decided to start Sunday Staples with an ingredient that our Sunday morning brunches cannot live without…. Eggs! Whether you like them scrambled, sunny side up, or poached to perfection, eating eggs is a great way to get your morning nutrients.
However, it is important to note that…
… all eggs are not created equally.
Yes, there is an abundance of seemingly humane & health-conscious labels throughout the egg section. Companies avidly advertise “cage-free”, “humanely raised”, “vegetarian diet” and a laundry list of other marketing terms. But do those companies actually live up to the standards they aim to imply with their branding? And, how can you be sure that you are getting the highest quality eggs originating from a humanely operated farm?
Since I am personally unable to make it out to these farms for a firsthand look, I refer to one of my favorite organizations, The Cornucopia Institute, for guidance. As the established watchdog for all things organic, Cornucopia analyzes claims made by food producers and rates them, ensuring transparency for consumers. Taking organic living to the next level with their “egg-celent” ratings, Cornucopia has ranked all of the major egg producers throughout the country.
Based on a variety of factors, Cornucopia has comprised a company scorecard showcasing all that maintain “the golden standard in organic egg production”, while simultaneously exposing factory producers that tarnish what it means to be truly organic.
These 28 criteria cover everything from feed, to natural light exposure, outdoor spacing, beak trimming, litter management, death rate toll and housing rotation.
With government regulations being lenient in many areas, it is important to acknowledge the companies and farms that are going above and beyond to ensure the eggs we consume are being humanely produced. I have learned that the term organic goes far beyond the type of bird that lays the eggs and the type of feed it consumes.
Depending on where you live, you may enjoy the advantage of having a 5-Star rated local organic farm nearby. Being in Miami, I have had the pleasure of enjoying “Rachel’s Eggs” from Bee Heaven farm, which are rated 5-eggs, the golden standard in egg production.
Fortunately, when these lovely eggs aren’t available, I have found a consistent, excellent alternative that adheres to a higher standard than the majority of eggs made available at grocery stores.
This is why I choose Vital Farms…
Vital Farm eggs are Certified Humane, certified USDA Organic and certified Kosher by EarthKosher. They are consistently available at Whole Foods nationwide and have earned top ratings by The Cornucopia Institute. They have earned these ratings by going “above and beyond the minimum outdoor requirements” specified by the USDA, providing enhanced outdoor access all year round. Working with a collection of small family farms throughout southern US states, Vital Farms is one of the best organic options available.
These hens have the pleasure of being pasture-raised all year round, and have access to a minimum of 108 square feet per hen
Enhancing spacing for hens on farms promotes biodiversity, a healthy variety of forage and rich soil quality. Vital Farms ensures that their farms’ grass is never treated with chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides. The only treatment is sunlight, leading these hens to live a completely natural lifestyle compared to their conventional counterparts. Their diet consists of all things from the Earth, including weeds, worms, bugs, seeds and a healthy dose of Vitamin D.
The price for quality eggs may seem a bit high (I pay $7.99 for a dozen here in Miami, Florida). However, the value is well worth the price.
Organic Pasture-Raised Eggs have been proven to contain:
Double the Vitamin A & Omega-3 Fatty Acid content, triple the Vitamin E, and 25-33% less Cholesterol & Saturated Fat
Not only is it a major convenience to have these eggs consistently available during my weekly shopping trips, but they are also absolutely delicious and provide a much healthier alternative to other eggs.
I encourage you to visit your local Whole Foods Market or natural grocer this week and taste the difference. And hopefully you will incorporate these truly organic eggs into your weekly shopping list!
For more information regarding Vital Farms Eggs, feel free to visit: www.vitalfarms.com
For more information regarding organic egg ratings, feel free to visit: https://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/