Choosing Pasture Raised Eggs for your household might be the best decision you have made in a long time. Hi this is Janice again. Do you sometimes feel that shopping for healthy eggs can be confusing? If you are anything like me, you have probably had the following scenario happen to you in the grocery store: You are shopping for eggs, and you end up spending much more time then you’d like because there are so many labels, “Cage-Free Eggs”, “Free-Range Eggs”, “Organic Eggs”. All of these options claim to be the best for you and your family, but sometimes it seems that more is less. The more choices you have, the less you feel empowered to make the “right” decision. You find yourself mentally tossing around ideas over and over about which eggs are better and why, and you just aren’t sure what to do. Does this sound familiar? Well now the power is yours again. You don’t have to be a victim to the label mystery game promoted by the food industry. The 3 free helpful tips that I will share with you will help you take charge of your own health, by addressing the things you REALLY care about, the benefits.
Before I give you these helpful tips, let’s first look at the health benefits that may be important to you:
- You want a powerful antioxidant that will boost your immune system and help you fend off diseases. (Vitamin E)
- You want healthy skin and better eye health (Beta Carotene)
- You want to help lower your risk for heart disease(Omega 3)
- You want to support your bone health and help prevent osteoporosis (Vitamin B12)
Several studies show that eggs from chickens that have free access to pasture, produce eggs that are much higher in nutrients than chickens raised in commercial factories. Unfortunately, the labels mentioned above which you have grown to trust, aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be. Cage free just means that the chicken isn’t confined to a cage and can walk around but DOES NOT mean they have access to the outdoors or pasture.
Free Range means the chickens have access to the outdoors but according to the USDA legal definition
, the chickens can be cooped up most of the time and only have a few minutes of access to a small section of grass or ground covered with netting.
Organic just means that the chickens are free-range and are fed feed that have no synthetic pesticides. Also, this does not mean that they are fed a natural diet, which consists of proteins from insects. In many of these scenarios the chickens are fed diets consisting of protein from soy. This is not best for the chicken, as chickens are omnivores.
None of these options guarantee that the chickens are allowed to “free roam” outdoors where they can move about, have access to sun and fresh air, and be allowed to forage. These are the very things that make for a healthier chicken which equals healthier eggs.
So how can you make sure that you are getting these benefits? Oh yeah, on to the 3 free tips that I promised.
Tip 1 – Find a local poultry farmer that raises their chickens on pasture and get to know him/her and their practices.
Tip 2 – Make sure that this farmer allows you access to visit their farm and see how their chickens are raised. Ideally the chicken should be allowed to graze on fresh pasture for a good amount of time daily. Even if you never visit the farm, just knowing that the farmer is transparent is a good sign
Tip 3 – Check the yolk color. Eggs from chickens raised on pasture normally have a darker richer orange yolk color. This means that the egg has a higher level of vitamins.