Egg procuring was easy—white eggs or brown eggs. Finish of story.
(To which the reply was a no brainer for yolk-lovers. We all the time flock to brown eggs as a result of their yolks simply all the time appear a bit richer, don’t they?)
Enjoyable reality 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. Apart from that, their dietary make-up is an identical: 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fats, 5 p.c of your each day vitamin A wants, and 10 p.c of your vitamin D wants.
However egg procuring right now, nevertheless, isn’t really easy or simple.
The Hassle 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 you need to keep away from a budget massive, white eggs for $2.99 for a dozen so that you go for the middle-priced brown, free-range eggs for $Four.50 as a result of they appear to supply one thing extra, you suppose. You’re undecided why, however you keep 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 resolve 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 is dependent upon your priorities and it is dependent upon 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 truth is that almost all of egg-laying hens dwell in shut quarters in cages barely large enough for them to completely stretch their wings.
So, if this tugs at your heartstrings, then cage-free might be for you as a result of at the least it tells you the chickens have sufficient area to maneuver round. That’s, nevertheless, just about all it tells you. Free-range eggs inform an analogous story. The hens get to go outdoors and run round and do their pure hen-like actions.
In Canada, then again, there are totally different housing choices for the hens.
Standard housing – Hens dwell in small teams in cages. Just like the US, that is the most typical methodology utilized by egg farmers. In truth, as many as 90 p.c of eggs in Canada are produced this manner in cages. “Enriched housing” – Hens dwell 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 stored 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 outdoor area, relying on the climate.
Egg Guideline 2: Your Personal Well being
You could have been advised you want extra Omega-Three fatty acids as a result of it helps with restoration, irritation, reduces coronary heart illness, and so forth. 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-Three (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 (at the least that is what it means within the US).
The True Gold Commonplace
The shortcoming with the entire above labels (cage-free, free-range, free-run, Omega-Three, natural, and pasture-raised) is there are nonetheless many unknowns, equivalent to what the hens had been fed.
Thus, the gold commonplace, so to talk, should you dwell in the USA is USDA licensed natural—that means the hens had been raised following an agreed-upon commonplace 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-reduction plan free from animal by-products or antibiotics.
In Canada, hens are very hardly ever fed antibiotics except they’re sick, so it’s much less of a priority than it’s in the USA.
The Egg Takeaway
Navigating egg greatest practices is difficult at the very 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 should you’re a Four-eggs-a-day sort of particular person like me, it’s value investing the time to seek out an egg supply you’re proud of.
Associated: The Nice Egg Debate: Why You Ought to Eat Eggs, Why You Shouldn’t Not Eat Eggs