What Type of Egg is the best for Good Health?
I have a friend who has been raising chickens for years. His eggs are real organic free range. Depending on the breed of Hen the color of a farm fresh organic egg can be white, brown, blue or even green. It’s not the color of the egg that counts it’s what’s on the inside.
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I also know the color of the inside of the organic egg says a lot. The best eggs should have a certain color. The color of the yoke should be bright orange and plump with perfectly clear egg whites. Eggs that are not will be a pale yellow with dull, speckled whites. With such inside information and access to the freshest eggs possible, you would think I wouldn’t have needed the information.
We were in the kitchen, and I was preparing eggs for breakfast. I carefully separated the yolk from the egg whites. Apparently, the newest research advises that a baby can’t eat the egg white until at least 1-year-old. My buddy had his young child in the kitchen with him. While the egg yolk is loaded with nutrients, the egg white is a source of allergens.
My friend has always had access to the best eggs. Therefore he has been very strict on the subject of organic freerange eggs. Even more so as a new dad. So he went right to the subject and asked me what kinds I was using. I told him when I don’t have access to the eggs I generally bought organic free-range eggs. As I cooked, he proceeded to tell me why, that was not the best choice for the egg. Here’s what I learned.
Organic Cage-Free and Free-Range Eggs are a Play of Words:
Cage-free and free range might sound like the hens have access to the outdoors. Therefore are free to roam which is not necessarily so. Many are kept in multilevel aviaries which might allow them to spread their wings but hardly move around. This label also does not preclude the use of antibiotics in feeding even with an organic label. In addition to the problem, these structures are much more expensive to build. The cost is on the consumer. The USDA organic defines free-range or free-roaming as long as the poultry has access to the outdoors. Nothing is provided about living conditions. Standard industry practices keep the consumer and chickens and eggs in the dark, literally. When reading the labels, on egg cartons the consumer has to be careful. Know the color of the egg and the conditions the hen is placed in. Organic or not it makes no difference.
Brown Eggs; White Eggs; The color of the Egg makes no Difference:
Brown rice might be better for us than white rice in our diet plans, but not with eggs. The color of the egg depends on the breed of the hen or the color of the hen. The color of most eggs the average person consumes are brown eggs or white eggs. How nutritious the egg is,depends on what the hens are fed and how they are raised. The color of the egg is not especially relevent.
Organic is a Trick Word for Eggs when the USDA comes in:
The USDA has given a guide to the Organic Certification. If the egg is not labeled as certified the word organic is open for interpretation. In the case of eggs, in order to meet the USDA Organic certification they must come “from un caged hens. Hens that are free to roam and have access to the outdoors.” They should also be “fed an organic diet of feed produced without conventional pesticides or fertilizers. In the real world the tricky part here is how “access to the outdoors” is interpreted.
Pasture Raised at the Grocery Store is Best:
By the end of my egg-ucation, my friend had told me where the freshest, healthiest eggs came from. Hens raised in the most spotless conditions. Local small farmers are great, but when you don’t have access to the eggs, reach for pasture-raised. According to a study by Mother Earth News, pasture-raised eggs are the only truly free-range eggs. Pasture raised eggs are the most healthful egg for your diet plans. Furthermore, it has with one-third less cholesterol, one-quarter less saturated fat, two-thirds more vitamin A. Pasture raised have twice as many omega-3 fatty acids, therefore the best egg. Consequently, three times as much Vitamin E and seven times as much beta-carotene as commercial eggs!
It’s not just Reading Labels about the Egg:
Lessons my friend taught me are, you never know, even when we are reading labels. I became acquainted with the term LOHAS which stands for Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability. This market includes brands, products and services from organic food, to fuel-efficient cars.
It is a $209 billion dollar market in the US. LOHAS is political bad news and It’s understandable that many people want to tap into that. I also learned that the so-called green services we think we are getting are what you call greenwashing. You are led to think the product or service is truly green. When you look deeper into the cage free egg industry it is not the case.
Don’t be taken in by Greenwashing:
Reading labels can only take your knowledge so far with your diet plans. Being a conscious consumer and educating yourself so you know what the labels mean will do it. Whether the eggs from some unsanitary aviaries or a clean free range environment you will be able to choose the right egg.
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