Sunday, March 25, 2012

Eggs, Eggs Eggs -- Free Range are baaaackkk!

OOoooh, that time of year has rolled around again, the girls are laying their hearts out and I could not be happier.

After a winter hiatus the daylight has finally extended to the point that the girls began working again.

Last year my little flock increased by three and this spring they began laying when the other girls did. Not a moment too soon. I was getting so tired of those bland store bought eggs.
The variety of colours stems from the fact that my "girls" hail from a multi cultural background. The blue eggs come from my Ameraucana and my Americauna cross, The dark brown eggs are from my Rhode Island Red, The lighter brown eggs are from my Jungle Fowl and Barred Rock and the light tan eggs are from my Lakenvelder and Hamburg. All beautiful healthy girls.

Not only do my free range eggs taste so much better than the store bought ones there are several benefits that go with them.

Free range eggs have incredible nutritional benefits. From what I have read much of the cholesterol in eggs is the good kind (HDL). You can also get many benefits from the egg whites without the added cholesterol because most of the cholesterol is found in the yolk of an egg.  Just look at the difference:
The healthy rich deep orange coloured egg on the left is a free range egg. The anorexic pale egg on the right is one that is store bought, laid by a chicken that was probably kept in a 1 x 1 foot cage and never saw the light of day.

Eggs contain all essential amino acids and lots of protein that our bodies need. But free range eggs provide more of these things, as well as plenty of Omega-3 that they get from the insects and green stuff they eat. Chickens raised in factories don't have the opportunity to eat insects and grass that make the chicken and eggs so nutritious for us. 

Chickens that are allowed plenty of open space and clean air to roam free and forage are much less likely to carry food borne illnesses. To me there are many benefits to eating free range eggs. It is better for the environment; it is healthier for the chicken and healthier for me when I eat a free range egg. I also know when my eggs are laid.

An added bonus is the chickens work from sun-up to almost sundown catching bugs to make those healthy eggs and my yard is more pest free than it has ever been.

This seems like a win-win situation all around.

I got the following information from the Mother Earth News website:

LATEST RESULTS: New test results show that pastured egg producers are kicking the commercial industry's derriere when it comes to vitamin D! Eggs from hens raised on pasture show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs. Learn more: Eggciting News!!!

RESULTS FROM OUR PREVIOUS STUDY: Eggs from hens allowed to peck on pasture are a heck of a lot better than those from chickens raised in cages! Most of the eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. That’s the conclusion we have reached following completion of the 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project.

Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:
• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene 

Please help us spread the word — eggs from hens raised on pasture are far more nutritious than eggs from confined hens in factory farms.

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