Thanks for stopping by for a chat today 🙂 Please grab a cuppa or an adult beverage if you prefer as we uncover the truth about eggs – are they all they’re cracked up to be?!
I could go on with all the egg-ceptional and egg-citing quips about eggs, but that might be taking it a yolk too far! Ba-da-bump!
Today’s article focuses on chicken eggs, but the same principles apply to duck and goose eggs – often a good alternative for those with allergies to chicken eggs.
Deciphering Egg Cartons
It’s easy to be confused when deciphering egg cartons. From Cage Free, Brown Eggs, Omega 3 Eggs, Fertile Eggs, Organic Eggs, Free Roaming to more recently Soy Free Eggs, you want to get the best value for your nutritional dollar.
Articles from both the NY Times  and Mother Earth News, explain the confusion caused by a lack of regulation and verification for egg production and why being educated about terminology will help save time and confusion while shopping.
Pastured eggs top the list of choices. Pastured chickens forage for insects and other critters and have space to roam. They are not debeaked, forced to molt or housed in an artificially lit environment like many of the battery hens.
Free Range eggs imply some outdoor access but usually limited to dirt or concrete and not pasture.
Free Roaming and Cage Free are other terms used for hens able to move their wings and walk around. However access to the outdoors is not assumed in this category.
Surprisingly, Mother Earth News  advises Certified Organic eggs do not prohibit debeaking and forced molting. The certification relates to accommodating the health and natural behavior of the animals.
Both food source and the environment in which the poultry is raised directly affects the nutritional benefits of eggs.
For example, pastured eggs have been found to contain a 1:19 ration of Omega 3 and Omega 6, sharply with the 1:1 ratio of commercially produced eggs The difference in the ratio matters as it coincides with the increase in gastrointestinal issues, sterility, high blood pressure, weight gain and decreased immunity .
Pasture raised chickens have a variety of food sources, show rich yellow yolks and are not the result of being vegetarian fed!
Most importantly, vegetarian feed may contain soy. Due to the adverse effects of naturally occurring phyto estrogens and possible GMO tendencies, I recommend avoiding soy. “The Whole Soy Story” from Dr Kaayla Daniel is a great source of more information. http://drkaayladaniel.com
Soy free feed is more expensive and if the carton is not labeled as soy free, it’s a pretty good bet it’s not!
Nutrition Value of Eggs
In her book, Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon Morrell, says eggs are the most complete and economical protein source  containing:
- Saturated fat
- Omega 3
- Omega 6
- Vitamin D3
Thanks to our marketing friends, eggs are most commonly associated with protein, saturated fat and cholesterol. In my opinion, eggs are an important part of our diet and pack a huge nutritional punch for their size.
Chromium is a trace mineral contained in eggs. Not stored by the body or needed in large quantities, Chromium is known to help with diabetes and blood sugar control, as well as optimizing cholesterol ratios.
Another trace mineral Boron needed for strong bones is found in eggs and apples. Boron works with magnesium and calcium to support bone development.
Naturally occurring Sulfur is a vital addition to our diet, as our bodies cannot make it. Proper functioning of our brain and central nervous system is dependent upon sufficient dietary Sulfur and is found in eggs and animal protein.
The mighty yolk also has the hormone  Vitamin D3.
Sunlight and sufficient cholesterol our bodies also manufacture Vitamin D for use in bone health, reducing inflammation and stimulating nerve growth.
Vitamin D performs its activities through regulation of gut bacteria. 
This recent discovery proved the vital importance of addressing the health of our gut micro biome.
As with all of our food choices, food source is of utmost importance, constrained by budget and logistics. In an ideal world we would all have access to the cleanest food sources and have no concern about cost.
THE most important thing is to “Bloom Where You’re Planted” a phrase used by the wonderful Jamie and Laurie of www.fooodwifery.com.
This means starting by sourcing the cleanest ingredients available in your area and within your family’s budget.
The second most important thing is what I call the process of transition.
Not many of us are able to make a change without some thought and planning. This is not a bad thing but a practical and realist barrier to change.
How to Find Eggs
When looking for eggs, it may mean starting by purchasing what’s easiest to find and being on the lookout for better choices.
It could mean asking your friends and neighbors if they know of someone willing to sell or trade to have access to pasture raised chickens.
If you’re the adventurous kind, it may mean having your own chicken coop and feeding kitchen scraps to ‘the girls’!
A combination of pastured raised and conventional eggs will increase your nutrient intake, while balancing the budget.
Only you know what your budget and lifestyle can sustain.
Check back and let me know what you found in your area and any tips for locally sourced eggs. I’d love to know!
PS: Here’s a great recipe using eggs – that’s healthy too!
To find local eggs, check out www.localharvest.org and your local farmer’s market.
Or keep your eyes peeled when driving around the ‘hood!!
If you’re looking for resources about your own chickens, first check with your local council to know the rules about chickens.
Once you’ve got the green light for a chicken coop, start with these articles and use Google to answer any further questions!
 Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary, “Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats”, New Trends Publishing, Washington DC, USA, 2001, page 11
 Fallon, Sally and Enig, Mary, “Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats”, New Trends Publishing, Washington DC, USA, 2001, page 30
 Perlmutter, Dr David with Loberg, Krstin, “Brain Maker “, Little, Brown and Company, New York, New York USA, 2015, page 215
 J H Ooi et al, “Vitamin D Regulates the Gut Micro Biome and Protects Mice from Dextran Sodium Sulfate Induced Colitis: J.Nuutr.143 No 10 (Oct 2013) 1679-86; doi: 1.3495/jn.113.180794 epub 21 August 2013