All You Need to Know About Eggs
(Photo: © Instagram).

What’s not to like about eggs? They’re full of high-quality protein, contain all 9 essential amino acids, have natural vitamin D, are low in calories, and are so so delicious. They are EGG-CEPTIONAL when it comes to health! I mean, there just isn’t a breakfast out there that is complete without them… right? 🙂 The only problem is that when we go to the grocery, we are BOMBARDED with all these different types of eggs to choose from, {brown, white, conventional, cage-free, vegetarian, organic}, and unless you have a dictionary in your handbag, all those different terms can be a bit confusing.

With Easter approaching, I thought it would be nice to crack down {pun intended} on all the different types of eggs available on store shelves to help you differentiate them and find out which ones are best for you!

Conventional Eggs

These are the eggs that are not labeled with any marketing claims; they will simply read “Medium, Large, or Jumbo Sized Eggs.” Conventional eggs come from chickens that are raised in “egg factories,” where they are crowded together in multi-hen cages. With such close living quarters, the chickens are given antibiotics to prevent diseases {which find their way into the eggs}, and to amp up production, these hens are also given hormones to make the egg turnover speed up {which also ends up in the eggs}. Their feed is a fatty grain which consists of Genetically Modified Organisms…. YUCK!…and pesticides, which, say it with me, ENDS UP IN THE EGGS!

Cage Free

This means that the chickens and hens are not kept in cages; to which they are free to walk around the barn or poultry house with unlimited access to food and water. But do know these henhouses are usually extremely crowded to the point where the chickens are usually walking around in their own feces. Due to these living conditions, the chickens are given antibiotics and hormones and, unless labeled Organic Cage Free, are fed a GMO and pesticide-filled feed.

Free Range

Chickens that are free-range are said to have access to the outdoors, but I must warn you, the term “outdoors” can take many forms, especially since it has no government requirements {basically, an open window or small ramp can pass as “outdoors”} Also, the size of the flock is regulated so that there can’t be any overcrowding. The use of antibiotics, hormones, GMO, and pesticide-filled diets apply to this type of poultry as well, unless labeled Organic.

Vegetarian Fed

This means that the poultry is only fed a vegetarian feed without any animal byproducts, meat, or fish. This is not a large improvement over conventional eggs, being that they can still be fed corn and other fatty grains…. Also, note that Organic and Pasture-Raised poultry (below) receives a completely natural vegetarian diet with other added benefits… so probably best not to waste your money on just Vegan Fed Eggs and look at the two options below.

Organic Eggs

These must meet strict guidelines, which include: NO antibiotics or hormones, all vegetarian feed produced without the use of pesticides, GMOs, or fertilizers, and once the eggs are laid, no artificial coloring or vitamins may be added. However, Organic, in this case, does not mean that the chickens are free ranging or even cage-free… most of them, in fact, are raised in “egg factories.” It really depends on the label… if it just says “Organic,” there is no telling, so try to look for “Organic Free Range” eggs.

Pasture Raised (Farmers Markets)

In this case, the chickens are able to roam around in open fields where they forage for food themselves {vegetation and insects}…. basically, it’s the way you picture chickens on a farm to live. These eggs usually come from smaller farms, so you’ll find Pasture Raised eggs at farmers’ markets 🙂 9 times out of 10, these chickens are not subject to antibiotics or hormones. They are usually richer in vitamins and have less cholesterol and saturated fat. Eggs that go to farmers’ markets come from farmers that are usually very proud of their farming habits and will gladly share with you their methods to ensure you that you are buying what you think!

So what’s the best way to go? If you can find them, go for the Pasture Raised Eggs…. if not, then Organic Free Range Eggs are your next best bet…. either way, you are getting Hormone-Antibiotic-GMO-Pesticide FREE eggs…which is what we want! Also, there is absolutely no difference, nutrition-wise, between brown and white eggs… it simply has to do with the color of the hens.


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