It seems as if eggs have gotten a bad reputation of raising cholesterol and contributing to heart disease. But, eggs are actually a nutritional powerhouse! Studies have shown that eggs are a source of antioxidants that help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. But, not all eggs are created equal. Chickens who are raised on a natural diet, being able to forage in the pasture for grubs and bugs, produce a nutritionally superior egg.
Why Pastured Eggs are Better
A recent study from Mother Earth News has revealed that eggs from pasture raised chickens are actually quite different than eggs from your standard factory farm chickens. The pasture-raised eggs contain:
- 4-6 times as much vitamin D as standard supermarket eggs.
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 3 times more vitamin E
See the Difference
This picture was not photo-shopped. The eggs really are that much different. The egg on the left is a big box store brand and the egg on the right is from a local farmer who raises their chickens on pasture. Wow! Aren’t you shocked to see just how much different the eggs are? My farmer was on vacation so I had to get conventional eggs and had forgotten just how much difference it makes to get pastured eggs.
The yolk of the pastured egg is so much brighter and the taste is far superior.
And, in case you’ve not used pastured eggs before you will notice a HUGE difference in the egg shells. Imagine that the eggshell of a store-bought egg is like a sheet of printer paper. Well, then the eggshell of a pasture raised chicken would be more like the cardboard of a cereal box. They are that different!
Find Local Eggs
If you would like to find a local source for pastured eggs, try looking at your local farmer’s market or check out eatwild.com to find farmers in your area who raise their animals on pasture.
We buy our eggs from a farmer now, but it is our dream to get a large piece of land and have our own pastured chickens and probably build a chicken tractor (amongst many other things!). In the meantime, I’ve been reading up on raising chickens at home in Keeping Chickens with Ashley English: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock so that when the time comes I will be ready 🙂
A few delicious recipes to use your pastured eggs:
- spinach bacon oven omelette
- quiche with onions,mushrooms and chard
- fried eggs with vinegar and garlic
- eggs and greens breakfast
- cherry almond oatmeal
- spanish egg scramble
Do you have your own chickens or buy locally pastured eggs? How much do you pay per dozen?