Have you ever gone to a grocery store and wondered why one carton of eggs is more expensive than another, or if there really is a difference between free range eggs vs regular eggs?
With the global egg market being a billion-dollar industry, it's easy to question whether egg labeling like "cage free" is an easy marketing tactic, or if happier hens really make healthier eggs.
Chicken eggs are versatile superfoods ranging in everything from nourishments, cosmetics, to even vaccines. These budget-friendly, heart-healthy favorites are packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals!
❤️ Why I Love Eggs
✔️ Chicken eggs are loaded with vitamin a, vitamin d, and omega-3 fatty acids!
✔️ Eggs are delicious on their own, in a quiche, or as a creamy glass of egg nog!
✔️ Chicken eggs are a low-cost option with high amounts of nutrients.
🥚Types of Eggs
Regular eggs are also known as conventional eggs and can easily be found at grocery stores for the lowest cost. Regular eggs come from hens that are fed on grain, live in battery cages, and are often given antibiotics and hormones to increase egg production.
Cage Free Eggs
Cage free eggs come from hens that aren't caged but confined to indoor facilities without any outdoor access. These cage free systems often house a very large flock but unlike conventional hens, cage-free hens have the ability to roam, spread their wings, and exhibit basic natural behavior.
Free range Eggs
According to the USDA, hens must have some sort of outdoor access in order to produce free-range eggs, however, this doesn't necessarily mean free-range hens roam outdoors. So why choose free range eggs at all? Well some studies suggest free-range eggs have significantly less cholesterol than regular eggs.
Organic eggs have the highest standards in that they come from hens with seasonal outdoor access that haven't been treated with antibiotics or hormones and feed on a natural diet of insects and worms or organic feed. Several studies suggest organic eggs have higher levels of vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Do the float test by putting your eggs in a bowl of water, floating eggs have accumulated gas which is an indication of a rotten egg and should not be eaten.
Yolk color depends on the diet of the hen and gives no indication of the nutrition of the egg.
Egg size depends on several factors like the breed of the hen, its age, weight, diet, and lifestyle.
Brown eggs come from brown hens and white eggs come from white hens. There is no difference in the nutrients or taste.
- Save older eggs for boiling, the membrane is weaker making them easier to peel!
- Get the freshest stocked eggs by checking the date on the egg carton at the supermarket.
- Eggs will continue to cook in a heated pan, take the eggs off of the heat before they're done to prevent overcooking!
🏫 What I've Learned
When it comes to purchasing eggs, there are many things to consider beyond the labeling of free range eggs vs regular eggs. If you're on a tight budget regular eggs might be the best option, but studies have found free-range eggs have more nutrients and less cholesterol than both cage-free and regular eggs. With certified humane organic eggs having the highest nutrient levels, it seems happy hens really do produce a healthier egg!
Unwashed, fresh free range eggs can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. For best results, refrigerate eggs in a container or carton for 4-5 weeks or freeze the egg contents for up to 1 year.
Other Egg Uses
- Eggshells make great pesticides! Put crushed eggshells in soil to prevent slugs and snails!
- Crushed eggshells make great fertilizer, add them to your compost to increase calcium levels!
- For a hydrating facemask mix the whites of 2 fresh free range eggs with a ¼ cup of water until foamy and apply for 10-20 minutes!
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