Sunday, April 12, 2009

Eggstra Benefits

For those of you out there who still haven't sampled eggs from free-range/pastured hens, there's no time like the present to start. Not only is the flavor of pastured eggs far superior to those of their caged kin, research also indicates that their nutrient profile is considerably more substantive. Consider this nugget of egg info:

"For every one egg you eat from a pastured hen, you would also have to eat three factory eggs to get the same amount of vitamin E and five for as much vitamin D. All the while, each additional conventional (factory-raised) egg you eat will be giving you one third more cholesterol." 

That comes from a recent online article in Gourmet magazine, detailing the hidden costs of purchasing, and consuming, factory-farmed eggs. While it might initially seem like pastured eggs are costly, it is quickly apparent that the real costs of many foods aren't often accounted for. Humane treatment of animals, fair and living wages for farm workers, natural grain (preferably grown nearby), and hand-gathering of eggs add time and labor (not to mention ethics!), and produce a more nutritious egg in the end. It's basically a form of health insurance, fantastic news for the uninsured! I'd love to hear some of your own adventures in Eggland. 

*Small measure: Eat pastured eggs. Astounding flavor? Check. Laudable nutritional profile? Check. Good way to support small farms? Check. Visually interesting on account of color variation? Check. Need I convince you any further?


Anonymous said...

You have shown me the light! I love eggs.

Anonymous said...

love fresh eggs,can't compare to store bought.the yolk is a much deeper yellow. major difference taste.miss my chicken's.

nicole said...

every time i eat local, small-farm eggs i feel like i'm doing something really good for myself while also supporting my community.

and the difference in both taste an appearance is huge. yay, eggs!

sk said...

Amazing! Ever since I developed a consciousness about these types of things I've tried to support mostly organic and local and humane growers-- because it's the right thing to do, and who wants a bunch of extra chemicals and hormones floating around in their food supply?!? But, to learn that food grown naturally is actually healthier? I love it. It all makes sense now! I think Mother Earth News had a good article about pastured eggs and their health benefits last year, but I can't remember which month.

Also, I read in an old copy of Organic Gardening yesterday that tomatoes grown organically (i.e. in the presence of pests) have a lot more of the healthful flavonoids, because they produce them as a defense mechanism! So, if you spray chemicals on a tomato plant, and they never have to defend themselves from pests, they won't be as healthy. WOW. This stuff is blowing my mind this morning!

Ani said...

i love opening the carton i receive from my local farmer every week. the range in browns and the odd green or blue egg are just beautiful (and they just taste so much better!).

jen jafarzadeh said...

great post! I just learned more about how cage free eggs doesn't mean much in terms of the humane treatment of chickens from a great green book.