Egg procuring was easy—white eggs or brown eggs. Finish of story.
(To which the reply was a no brainer for yolk-lovers. We at all times flock to brown eggs as a result of their yolks simply at all times appear a bit richer, don’t they?)
Enjoyable truth in case you missed it—the one distinction between brown and white eggs are that brown eggs come from chickens with brown feathers and white eggs come from chickens with white feathers. Aside from that, their dietary make-up is similar: 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fats, 5 p.c of your every day vitamin A wants, and 10 p.c of your vitamin D wants.
However egg procuring at this time, nonetheless, isn’t really easy or simple.
The Bother With Eggs
You stand on the egg fridge at your grocery and see white eggs, brown eggs, free-range eggs, natural free-range eggs, cage-free eggs, Omega-Three fortified eggs, antibiotic-free eggs, pasture-raised eggs, and on and on—your confusion builds.
One thing tells you it’s best to keep away from a budget giant, white eggs for $2.99 for a dozen so that you go for the middle-priced brown, free-range eggs for $4.50 as a result of they appear to supply one thing extra, you assume. You’re undecided why, however you bear in mind listening to brown eggs are more healthy than white.
However is that this sufficient?
Do you have to be spending $7.99 a dozen for the licensed natural, cage-free, pasture-raised eggs with out antibiotics which have been pumped with Omega-Three fatty acids?
Whole. Thoughts. F**okay. Proper?
Let’s unravel all this egg confusion. What do the labels actually imply? And do they matter?
You’re going to hate me for this reply: It relies upon.
It will depend on your priorities and it will depend on the place you reside: The US versus Canada, for instance.
Let’s take into account three priorities under.
Egg Guideline 1: Hen Happiness
Within the US, the fact is that almost all of egg-laying hens reside in shut quarters in cages barely large enough for them to totally stretch their wings.
So, if this tugs at your heartstrings, then cage-free might be for you as a result of no less than it tells you the chickens have sufficient area to maneuver round. That’s, nonetheless, just about all it tells you. Free-range eggs inform an identical story. The hens get to go exterior and run round and do their pure hen-like actions.
In Canada, however, there are totally different housing choices for the hens.
- Standard housing – Hens reside in small teams in cages. Just like the US, that is the commonest methodology utilized by egg farmers. Actually, as many as 90 p.c of eggs in Canada are produced this manner in cages.
- “Enriched housing” – Hens reside in cages of various sizes they usually’re capable of lay their eggs in a nesting space with easy accessibility to meals and water.
- Free-run housing – Hens roam a bit extra freely, however are nonetheless saved in a barn. In addition they have bedding areas and nesting areas for egg-laying.
- Free-range housing – Much like free-run besides the hens even have entry to an out of doors area, relying on the climate.
Egg Guideline 2: Your Personal Well being
You have got been informed you want extra Omega-Three fatty acids as a result of it helps with restoration, irritation, reduces coronary heart illness, and many others. You don’t eat a lot fish and also you dislike the fishy burps you produce after taking a fish oil complement. If that is you, then Omega-Three eggs is perhaps the eggs for you, as they’ve been pumped with Omega-3 (principally DHA) fatty acids.
If the non-GMO factor is your precedence, then natural eggs is perhaps for you—that is precisely what that designation tells you. As for pasture-raised, this tells you the farm has been licensed by a third-party, such because the Licensed Humane Program (no less than that is what it means within the US).
The True Gold Normal
The shortcoming with the entire above labels (cage-free, free-range, free-run, Omega-3, natural, and pasture-raised) is there are nonetheless many unknowns, reminiscent of what the hens had been fed.
Thus, the gold customary, so to talk, for those who reside in the US is USDA licensed natural—which means the hens had been raised following an agreed-upon customary of apply. The USDA licensed natural label additionally ensures the eggs had been produced with out pesticides or fertilizers and that the hens had been fed an natural weight loss plan free from animal by-products or antibiotics.
In Canada, hens are very not often fed antibiotics except they’re sick, so it’s much less of a priority than it’s in the US.
The Egg Takeaway
Navigating egg finest practices is hard at one of the best of occasions. Some nice recommendation a good friend gave me some time again: Get to know a neighborhood farmer (I discovered one at a neighborhood farmer’s market) and take a look at their farm in particular person.
Although most hens are housed in cages, there are various that aren’t, and for those who’re a 4-eggs-a-day type of particular person like me, it’s value investing the time to seek out an egg supply you’re pleased with.
Associated: The Nice Egg Debate: Why You Ought to Eat Eggs, Why You Shouldn’t Not Eat Eggs