What came first, the chickens or the eggs?
While it really doesn’t matter which came first, what does matter is how one affects the other. We know that eggs come from chickens. We also know that because of this fact, the two are intimately related. In other words, what the chicken eats affects the egg eats as it develops inside the chicken, much like a baby inside their mother’s womb. So, based on the last blog regarding pasture-raised chickens, would you not agree that eggs from a pasture-raised chicken are more nutritious than those raised conventionally? And if given a choice, you would select the more nutritious option, right? When you walk the aisles at the grocery store or order two sunny-side up at a local restaurant, do you know what type it is?
Nutritionally, eggs are a great source of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, lecithin (a fat that is essential in the cells of the body), and choline (a macronutrient important to liver function, brain development, and nerve function). Pasture-raised eggs have higher levels of these nutrients, plus higher levels of omega-3 fats and Vitamin D. Why? The pasture-raised chickens have access to plants and bugs that have a nutrition profile that is superior to the commercial grade feed they receive in cages.
So, what should you look for the next time you are grocery shopping?
- Cage-free (also known as free-range)
Pastured eggs are from hens that had access to natural food sources. They may still be caged and eat some conventional feed thought. “Certified organic” means the chickens were raised outside of cages, even outdoors, and provided organic feed. Organic feed does not contain pesticides, any animal byproducts, or GMOs. In addition, the chickens are given no antibiotics. The key is to select eggs that are not only certified organic, but also pastured as well because of their higher nutritional content. Ironically, the terms “cage-free” and “free-range” don’t exactly mean what their names imply. For example, the Humane Farm Animal Care organization only guarantees 2 square feet of space for a chicken. Is that humane to you?
You truly get what you pay for. In terms of protein options, the pastured egg is still the most cost-effective than conventionally grown meat. Opt for the better option.