We basically have 3 choices of eggs to buy:
1. local, pastured eggs for $4 - $5 per dozen:
These eggs come from chickens on a local farm who are free to roam and do and eat natural "chicken" things. They are not given hormones or antibiotics. They are perhaps in a coop more often than they would like to be protected from other animals, but they do have access to pasture and they are able to get exercise.
2. organic or vegetarian-fed eggs from the grocery store for about $3 per dozen:
I honestly don't know much about these eggs, but I have to assume that they are better for us than the next option.
3. eggs from factory farm chickens for $1 - $1.50 per dozen:
These eggs come from sick chickens pumped with antibiotics who never see the light of day their entire lives and are fed primarily genetically modified grains.
My first choice, as you might guess, is pastured eggs. Here's why:
- healthier bird = healthier eggs
- there are no salmonella recalls, which makes them seem safer to eat
- many more nutrients including more Vitamins A and D, more healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and less cholesterol
- no antibiotics
- chickens are raised more humanely than factory chickens
It's easy to see the difference in the eggs as well. The richer the color, the richer in nutrients. I found this great photo online which perfectly reflects my experience with egg yolk.
How do I justify spending so much on eggs? Read on. This is how I justify spending more money on ALL the real food that I buy:
We don't just need food to fill our bellies and give us protein, fat, carbs, etc. We need food to nourish us. If you don't already, you should try to start thinking of food as preventative medicine. The more nutritious food we eat, the healthier our bodies are and the more effectively they work. Try to remember that when you look at the prices of local, organic or unprocessed food compared with the hormone-filled, highly processed stuff. To me it is totally worth it to spend more on food when I know it is nourishing our bodies. And yes, we can take vitamins, but the sad truth is that there is not much quality control in the vitamin industry and it's hard to know if you're getting the quality and quantity of the vitamins/minerals that the bottle claims you are. Our bodies more readily absorb vitamins naturally available in the foods we eat anyway. Michael Pollan, one of my favorite authors on clean eating, says that if your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, it's probably not real food. I don't think that's his direct quote, but it's pretty close.
I'm sure some of you have more info on eggs than I have here. What can you add to this post? And for some of you, this is new information. What questions do you have?