We’ve all been there… cruising down the grocery aisle trying to find the perfect eggs amongst what seems like an endless ocean of labels and marketing tactics:
But seriously, what do all of these labels mean? Are they significant? And do these companies actually live up to the claims they so heavily market?
To the majority of the questions listed above, the answer is no. “Cage-free” is nothing but a fancy way to say that these hens are not individually stuffed in cages, but please don’t investigate any further because our hens are actually all openly crammed into a large, filthy hen house. “Farm Fresh” is nothing but a ploy to get you to imagine that your eggs are coming from a beautiful farmhouse in the middle of the countryside… which is absolutely never the case. And “Vegetarian Diet” is just another way to con you into thinking that you’re getting healthy eggs when in reality, chickens are omnivorous animals and aren’t supposed to be eating a vegetarian diet anyway…
Unhealthy Chickens = Unhealthy Eggs
Studies have shown that conventional eggs (mass-produced eggs with the white outer shell) contain significantly fewer nutrients compared to their pasture-raised counterparts. This significant difference is not hard to comprehend once you take into account the hen’s lifestyle:
Indoor Confinement, Genetically Modified Feed, Antibiotics, Hormones, Forced Beak Trimming is a day in the life for an average conventional hen.
And unfortunately, most famous egg brands that we are all aware of, fall into this category.
What does this mean for you?
This means consuming an egg that contains significantly fewer nutrients and more of what you don’t want: double the cholesterol and saturated fat.
If anyone ever comes to you with the claim that eggs are bad for you, please kindly inform them that they’re eating the wrong eggs.
Pasture Raised Hens
When chickens live outside, they are naturally healthier. They get more sunlight, which in turn allows them to produce more Vitamin D (crucial for immunity). They are able to run around and remain active; exercising normal social behaviors. They are also allowed to naturally peck away at grass; foraging for grasshoppers, worms, seeds and whatever else they can find. This is a stark contrast to conventional hens who have no beak and are force-fed genetically modified soy and corn feed in the dark.
Pasture-raised hens live healthier lives because they are able to live in sunlight and eat a diet consistent with their genetic makeup. This, in turn, brings us a healthier egg that contains double the vitamins and nutrients (vitamin A, E, and Beta-Carotene) and nearly 6 times the Vitamin D!
Organic Opulence’s Pick
When it comes to choosing the right eggs at the grocery store, ignore the marketing tactics and go for what really matters. If the eggs are labeled “Pasture-Raised” that is your best bet. And if you’re a believer in organic like I am, purchasing Pasture-Raised eggs with the added USDA Organic Label further confirms that the hens are foraging through natural grass that is grown without the use of synthetic and chemical herbicides and fertilizers.
If you’re looking to purchase a consistent brand that is readily available in most grocery stores, Vital Farms eggs are a great choice. These eggs are produced through small family farms, hens are allowed full outdoor access all year round, they have excellent access to extra feed, water and shade and are not administered hormones, antibiotics or forced beak trimming.
If you’re looking to see how your favorite eggs measure up, check out this Egg Scorecard by The Cornucopia Institute.
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