What are the Best Eggs to Buy at the Grocery Store?
Cage Free or Free Range Eggs? Organic? How to choose the best eggs and healthiest eggs possible!
We need to start paying more attention to how our food is raised and how it affects our bodies.
Now more than ever, we have so many choices at the grocery store. Look at the egg section in your local store and you will see 15 different varieties and prices on eggs.
Just what makes these eggs so different?
All natural and cage-free eggs! WoW! Sounds like the best possible eggs! Wrong! Terms that sound so appealing to us as consumers are not quite so appealing to some of these poor animals that are being raised inhumanely.
Know your Egg!
Eating eggs as part of a healthy breakfast can help you lose weight because eggs are so nutritional balanced they keep you feeling fuller and more satisfied longer. And eggs are also the perfect choice for breakfast because they contain much needed vitamins and minerals and are naturally low in calories.
Eggs are a great protein choice as well, but as we know, not all eggs are created equal.
Did you know that if you find local pasture-raised eggs they can contain 1/3 more Vitamin A, 2 times more the Vitamin E, and over 2 times more of Omega-3 fatty acids!
When making your delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs or perhaps your own homemade mayonnaise, find the freshest eggs possible from a trusted source or store. Look for words such as “free roaming” or “pastured eggs.”
PASTURED EGGS – Pasture-Raised – These are the BEST eggs to buy. These chickens live in their natural environment and are allowed to forage for bugs, insects and worms. Also spending plenty of time outdoors in the sunshine leads to more vitamin D.
CAGE-FREE – These hens have no access to the outdoors and could be kept in cramped storage. The cage free label can be deceiving because they easily could be kept in dark and cramped indoor spaces.
FREE -RANGE – These hens do have access to the outdoors but it is not clearly defined as to how much or if they ever really get out.
CERTIFIED ORGANIC – Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals fed 100% organic feed and forage, given no antibiotics or growth hormones, and raised in conditions that follow their natural behaviors. (CCOF.ORG)
ALL NATURAL – There really is no meaning to this label other than it sounds really good. This just means that nothing was added to the egg. So all eggs would meet this criteria.
HORMONE-FREE – The use of hormones in poultry was been banned back in the 60’s. All eggs are hormone-free.
VEGETARIAN FED – This is not always a good thing. A chicken is an omnivore and loves a good meal of bugs and greens.
HUMANELY RAISED – According to the Humane Society – “The animals must be kept in conditions that allow for exercise and freedom of movement. Outdoor access in not required for poultry or pigs, but is required for other species. Poultry may have part of their beaks removed before 10 days of age without painkillers.”
Labels that don’t really mean all that much would be – Vegetarian Fed, Natural, Farm-Fresh, Pasterized and Omega -3 Enriched. Don’t be fooled by these.
White Eggs vs. Brown Eggs
This really makes no difference in the nutritional value of the egg so pick your preference. Different colored hens lay different colored eggs.
Does the Color Of the Egg Yolk Matter?
Yes! We think so! The below picture of two different eggs shows a big difference in egg yolk color. The eggs on the left are considered “high quality” Amish eggs. But the eggs on the right are eggs we found at a local farmers market that were from chickens that lived in a woman’s backyard and garden. This chicken was free to roam and eat bugs and enjoy the sweet sunshine.
How old are those eggs in your fridge?
Learn how to tell if eggs have gone bad or are stale.
So Why Eat Farm Fresh Eggs? See Egg Picture Below with the Chicken that Was Free to Roam! Which egg came from the healthiest chicken?
“Real Free-Range Eggs– A recent MOTHER EARTH NEWS study found that compared to conventional American eggs, real free-range eggs have less cholesterol and saturated fat, plus more vitamins A and E, beta carotene and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids.” — READ MORE HERE ABOUT REAL FREE RANGE EGGS —
5 great reasons to include more eggs in your diet
The highly nutritious egg has been consumed sparingly for years due to outdated research that incorrectly connected egg consumption to increased levels of cholesterol in the blood. However, recent research has shown not only that eating eggs will not increase cholesterol levels in healthy people, but it can help ward off heart disease and diabetes. Here are some of the most important reasons you should consider eating eggs every day:
1. They are good for your heart
In the second half of the 20th century it was strongly believed that consuming more than two eggs a week can have a disastrous on your cholesterol levels, leading to heart disease. In the past years it has been proven that it is not dietary cholesterol, but trans and saturated fats which raise cholesterol levels. In healthy people, eggs not only do not increase the risk of heart disease, but can help reduce it.
2. They are highly nutritious
Eggs are one of the most complete foods available, as they contain almost all the nutrients the human body needs. They are a great source of inexpensive protein, which is found mostly in the egg white, along with vitamins B12, B6, iron, selenium, and copper. The egg yolks, on the other hand, are rich in essential fats, lecithin, and the fat-soluble proteins A, B, and E.
3. They reduce the risk of diabetes
A 2015 study has shown that eating eggs reduces blood glucose levels and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Scientists analyzed the eating habits of more than 2,000 men and noticed that the subjects who ate four eggs a week had an almost 40 percent lower chance of contracting diabetes compared to those who ate only one egg a week. Eating more than four eggs a week did not seem to increase the protective effect.
4. They help maintain a healthy weight
Eggs are an easy, tasty, and cheap way to stay slim. Research has shown that eating eggs every day for breakfast reduces snacking throughout the day and helps maintain a healthy weight. In the studies, the people who consumed eggs for breakfast ate up to 200 calories less throughout the day than the people who ate cereal or a bagel for breakfast.
5. They are rich in choline
Eggs are one of the richest sources of dietary choline, a substance related to the vitamin B family. Choline is used in the brain as a precursor for acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. It is estimated that 80 percent of people don’t get enough choline in their diets, which can lead to poor memory, insomnia, low mood, and headaches. Choline is also important during pregnancy, and prevents neural tube defects.
Eggs are a high-quality source of protein, healthy fat, and vitamins. In the past years, the claim that egg consumption increases cholesterol levels and promotes heart disease has been strongly refuted. Scientists have in fact shown that eggs can safely be consumed every day, and can reduce the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Consumed as a breakfast food, eggs can create a better filling meal than a carbohydrate-rich meal such as cereal or bagels, and much better for you.
Cooking Eggs Safely To Reduce Your Risk Of Salmonella
There should always be a concern in regards to the safety of our foods and eggs are no exception. Following are some tips from the CDC for handling and cooking eggs safely. Safe Egg Tips
There seems to be a large mass recall of eggs in 2018 so arm yourself with the best knowledge of how to protect you and your family from a Salmonella outbreak.
How can I reduce my chance of getting a Salmonella infection?
- Consider buying and using pasteurized eggs and egg products, which are widely available.
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder at all times. Only buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
- Discard any cracked or dirty eggs.
The inside of eggs that appear normal can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick, but eggs are safe when cooked and handled properly.
- Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs, including countertops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards, with soap and water.
Poultry may carry bacteria such as Salmonella that can contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed. Eggs can also become contaminated from the droppings of poultry.
- Cook eggs until both the yolk and white are firm. Egg dishes should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter.
- Make sure that foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as hollandaise sauce, Caesar salad dressing, and tiramisu, are made only with pasteurized eggs.
- Eat or refrigerate eggs and foods containing eggs promptly after cooking. Do not keep eggs or foods made with eggs warm or at room temperature for more than 2 hours, or 1 hour if the temperature is 90°F or hotter.
- Wash hands and items that came into contact with raw eggs—including, counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards—with soap and hot water.