eggs

 

Eggs are such an amazing food, so versatile. You can scramble them, fry them, bake them in brownies, and so much more!

Eating eggs is one of the best ways to start your day. Did you know that eggs have about 6 grams of protein? That protein helps sustain mental and physical energy throughout your day. On top of that, eggs contain absolutely no carbs, no sugar, no gluten, and have all nine essential amino acids.

Depending on your preference, you can spend anywhere between $1.50 a dozen for conventional eggs to more than $3.00 a dozen for specialty eggs. What does that mean?

Conventional eggs are eggs laid by hens in cages with access to food, water, and shelter. Specialty eggs could be:

  1. Free Range: eggs produced by hens that have access to outdoors in accordance with weather, environmental, or local laws. In addition to consuming a diet of grains, these hens will forage for wild plants and insects. They are provided floor space, nesting space, and perches.
  2. Cage-Free:  eggs laid by hens at indoor operations, also called free-roaming. They may roam in a building, room, or open are, usually a barn or poultry house, and have unlimited access to fresh food and water. Some may also forage for food if allowed outdoors. Cage-free systems vary and include barn raised and free range hens, both of which have shelter that helps protect against predators. Both are produced under common handling and care practices, which provide floor space, nest space and perches.
  3. Organic: eggs produced according to national U.S. Department of Agriculture standards related to methods, practices and substances used in producing and handling crops, livestock and processed agricultural products. Organic eggs are produced by hens that are fed rations with ingredients that were grown without most conventional pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or commercial fertilizers.

Typically brown eggs are more expensive that white, but the high price has nothing to do with their quality. Brown eggs actually cost more because the hens that lay them are physically bigger breeds and need more food, therefore farmers spend more on feed.

Egg shell color does indicate any nutritional difference. Whether the shell is purple, white, brown, or orange, as long as the chicken is raised under the same conditions there will be no difference in nutrition or taste. The shell color is due to genetics.

If your looking for a difference, its all in the yolk. Egg yolks will range in color from a pale yellow to a deep orange, sometimes bright red, based on the hens diet. Free range hens typically have richer colored yolk due to eating more insects and grass. Grain fed chickens usually produce a light yellow yolk. The protein and fat count will often remain the same regardless of color, but there can be up to a 100% increase in micronutrient value of certain antioxidant carotenoids. Rich dark yolks will contain more of these antioxidants. Studies have also indicated that the same diet that produces richer colored yolks also result in eggs with higher levels of heart healthy omegas 3s and less cholesterol.

I’ve always wondered if I had to refrigerate eggs, I’ve actually left them out overnight.. complete accident! Did you know because of the way most U.S. eggs are washed, its crucial to refrigerate your store bought eggs? The recommended temperature is 40* F or less. You can also freeze eggs if you have more than you can use in a timely manner, amazing!

Check out our Facebook page later today for our #wisdomwednesday post about eggs!

Information gathered from Eat This, Not That! and incredibleegg.org
Photo curtesy of Julie F.