A SIMPLE GUIDE TO BUYING HEALTHY EGGS
It can feel overwhelming to know what the difference is, if it really matters and if it's just a marketing tactic. Here's a guide to make buying eggs simple!
- Conventional eggs- These are the most inexpensive eggs on the market. They come from chickens who are confined to cages, don't have access to the outdoors and are fed enriched grain feed.
- Cage Free- These are eggs that come from chickens that live in barns and are free to run around but don't have access to the outdoors. They are typically feed an enriched grain diet and what ever they find on the barn floor.
- Omega- 3 eggs- Omega-3 is naturally found in eggs. Eggs that are omega-3 enriched are fed a diet that is supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids, typically flaxseed. These are generally conventional eggs with an increased amout of omega-3. But check your label for the amounts and types of omegas. They should contain both EPA and DHA forms of omegas and in much higher levels that conventional eggs.
- Pastured eggs- Pastured chickens are ones that are raised on pasture and grass. They are kept outdoors based on the weather and put in shelters to protect them from predators.
- Organic eggs- Organic eggs come from chickens that are raised in a barn but have access to the outdoors and are feed organic feed
- Vegetarian feed eggs- These are eggs that come from chicken that are feed a diet of grains and are usually conventional eggs unless otherwise specified. A typical diet of chickens consistents of worms, bugs, seeds and plants.
Which Eggs are the Best Eggs to Buy?
Choosing and buying eggs will be determined by availability and what fits in your budget.
- Pastured Eggs- Find a local farmer who allows their chickens to roam around the pasture. The best way to find this is to check with your local farmers market. Talking with the farmer will help you know exactly how the chickens are raised and what they are fed.
- Organic/ cage free eggs- This is the next best option. This will ensure that your eggs come from chickens that have some access to the outdoors and have natural forage as part of their diet.
You can always tell how healthy and nutrient rich the egg is by the color and richness of the yolk. Omega enriched or vegetarian eggs don't necessarily mean a more quality egg and isn't necessarily worth the investment.
Just choose the best option that is available to you and know that eating eggs, even if the quality isn't perfect is better than toast for breakfast any day!