Whenever I am approached by someone asking for dietary advice I first recommend starting most days eating eggs. Both an economical and nutrient dense choice, eggs are packed with protein and fat to keep you satiated. Eggs also provide brain friendly nutrients like cholesterol and choline – especially great for kids before school.
The highest quality eggs come from properly raised chickens. Chickens eat bugs for protein and love to dine on plants. My chickens delight in feasts of garden weeds! Chickens also eat small pebbles which are used for digestion. Like humans, chickens need exercise and make vitamin D from the sun. The best way to identify the healthiest eggs is by the color of the yolk – the darker the yolk, the more nutritious the egg.
Basic Grade A large eggs – a chicken who lays these eggs is typically kept in a cage its whole life eating grains – no bugs, no pebbles, no movement, no sun…no bueno. The yolks are a very pale yellow color.
While cage free and free range chickens do not reside in cages they generally live in crowded barns with concrete floors and are still fed a diet of grains. Organic simply means the chickens were fed organic grains. So while they might move their bodies, they do not receive proper nourishment. The yolks of eggs from cage free/free range and organic chickens are pale yellow.
Pastured chickens have access to grass, bugs, pebbles and sun providing the healthiest lifestyle. The yolks will have a deep yellow/orange hue much like the sun. Pastured eggs can be purchased directly from your local chicken farmer or at a farmer’s market. At $2.00 a dozen most everyone can enjoy pastured eggs.