Until 20 years ago, I was your ordinary city girl. I never questioned where the store-bought eggs I purchased originated. I never considered the treatment or conditions of the chicken’s short life.
So here is what this country girl has learned in the past 20 years. If you are purchasing eggs from the store these suggestions might help. When purchasing brown eggs you are basically paying for a colored eggshell. The eggs are brown because of a certain breed of chicken laying the egg. They are not healthier or more “fresh off the farm” than the white eggs. A 100% natural egg means nothing was added to the egg, no flavorings, brines or coloring. All eggs have to meet this requirement to be sold in stores. Don’t be fooled by marketing terms.
Cage-free means that the chickens are not kept in a cage, as most hens are unless otherwise noted on the packaging. The chickens never see the light of day.
Free-range eggs are from chickens that are allowed outside access. The USDA does not specify that the grains fed to these animals are non-gmo, hormone-free, pesticide-free and fertilizer-free.
Organic eggs are more regulated by the USDA organic labeling. These hens are cage-free, free-ranging and allowed access to the outdoors.
Check your eggs at home
If you wonder how fresh they are, here is a simple little test you can do at home. Place an egg in a flat-bottomed bowl of water that covers the egg. If the egg remains lying down on its side, it is fresh. However, if it starts to lift off the bottom and raise up it’s less fresh. If it stands on end, throw it out, it’s bad.
Farm fresh eggs have a darker yolk and taste so much better than store-bought eggs. If given the opportunity, purchase eggs from a local farmer. The USDA nutrient content of commercially produced eggs vs farm fresh eggs is significant. Farm fresh eggs have 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 300% more vitamin E, 200% more Omega-3 fatty acids, 700% more beta-carotene, and 4 to 6 times more vitamin D.
To sum it up, if given the option to purchase farm fresh eggs there are so many benefits. The most important thing in my mind is how these chickens are treated and that the farmer who cares for his animals gives them clean healthy living conditions. Supporting local farmers is another reason to buy fresh farm eggs. If that option isn’t available, use the information in this article and on the web to make an educated choice on what type of eggs to purchase for you and your family.