Friday, April 27, 2012

Are Farm Fresh Eggs Really Better?

 Buff Orpingtons in the compost pile
Eggs. They have been called nature's perfect food. They are packed full of muscle building protein, B-12 which breaks down fat, B-6, folate, riboflavin, D, E, iron, phosphorus, Omega-3, and zinc. We all know they are good for you , and despite what some people say, eating eggs everyday will not increase your risk of heart disease.

store bought eggs on the left and farm fresh on the right
I used eggs of the same size for this comparison 
 But, are some eggs better than others? Recently a friend asked me if there really was a difference in the eggs you buy from the store and farm fresh eggs. "Oh, absolutely!" was my immediate reply. Of course I gave the standard reasons, "They taste better and they're fresher, not to mention my chickens aren't pumped full of antibiotics and chemical wormers."  After doing a little research on the subject I was surprised (well, not too surprised really) about how much healthier farm fresh eggs really are.

According to testing done comparing the official USDA nutrient content of commercial mass produced eggs versus free-range, pasture raised hens, the results were more than amazing.  The data revealed that free-range hens produced eggs that had 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!  I'd say hands down that free-range, farm fresh eggs are the bomb! Not only are they nutritionally superior, but they are far less likely to contain harmful bacteria like salmonella. If that hasn't convinced you than do a quick search on the treatment of commercial egg producing hens and take a look at the deplorable living conditions those poor chickens are subjected too.  I know my chickens enjoy the freedom to scratch around, take dust baths and spread their wings. Happy hens lay healthy eggs!

I did a side by side egg pictorial so you could see the visible differences.

Notice the pale yellow of the store bought egg vs the bright orange of  the fresh egg.
There is a big color difference (beta carotene anyone?) and the fresh egg has a larger yolk.  Also, the yolk of the fresh egg "stood up" and was firmer. The white of the store egg was runnier, while the fresh egg "held" a shape.

cracked shells
The shells of the store eggs were much thinner and easier to break. You can see the thicker membranes in the fresh eggs. This does make it very hard to peel a hard boiled fresh egg.  When I want to make deviled eggs I keep them in the refrigerator for a week and then boil them in salted water. The membrane in the store egg has almost completely broken down and is extremely thin. There is no such thing as a fresh store bought egg, they are usually weeks old.  In commercial production of eggs they are washed and the "bloom" or "cuticle" on the outside of the egg is washed off. The bloom is responsible for keeping out bacteria and dust.

the color difference is even more visible in the pan and
you can see how the white holds it's shape 
The taste test!

once again the difference in coloring is starkly visible
while the difference in taste is amazing

If you've never had the chance to eat free-range, farm fresh eggs, you really ought to give them a try. They are wonderful and taste delicious. Once you try them you won't go back to the bland and rubbery mass produced eggs they sell as food in the stores.  You can find farm fresh eggs at your local farmer's market or even at rural produce stands. You may pay a little more but they are worth it and your body will thank you!

Blessings,
Michelle

8 comments:

  1. This is a great side by side taste test, wish i was closer, I'd be visiting your farm!

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    1. Hi Liza!

      Thanks Liza, my home is always open. If you ever need a vacation from Hawaii just give me a call! Bring your camera though because I'd want you to work your magic and create a photography portfolio of the farm...I just love your work!

      Blessings,
      Michelle

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  2. If you've never seen or tasted a farm fresh egg, you don't know what you're missing! These pics really show up the difference. Great job, Michelle (and Bill too)!

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  3. Hi Michelle, I really like this post! I'm not sure about chicken eggs, but thin shells in hawk eggs has been shown to be caused by the pesticide DDT interfering with calcium production. Just something else to consider! I always buy the cage-free organic eggs at the store, and I agree the taste is far superior to the white mass produced eggs. Its tough to get "farm fresh" in the city though. - Leila

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    Replies
    1. Hi Leila, I totally agree with you about the DDT! Our so called "modern farming technology" has done more damage to our ecosystem and it is about time that we return to caring for and being good stewards of the earth rather than slowly poisoning it with chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. I believe that is why the organic, natural local food movement is growing and we are proud to be a part of it! Hey, maybe you can keep a couple chickens in your apt.? :)

      Blessings,
      Michelle

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  4. I believe you made awesome the moment when you picked up this subject of the article here. Do you as a rule write your entries by yourself or you have a writing partner or a helper?

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  5. Thank you for your comment GildedDiva! The entries are all my own. I do all the research and writing and I really do love it. How about you, do you write all your own entries?

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  6. i don't know what to believe anymore, ive done some research and many people say farm eggs are worse than commercial eggs, mainly that they have more cholesterol and that ur more prone to getting sick from the bacteria that sticks to the eggs from fecal material, ive asked doctors and the like and they all swear up an down that farm eggs are bad, i even learned that they are bad in school from teachers but when i find people who do eat them they say the contrary, that they r better and healthier and the like, so im just all kinds of lost now.

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