Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Farm Egg vs. Organic Egg

The pastured chicken egg is on the left
while the commercial organic egg is on the right.
Choosing to buy organic eggs is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to enter into the world of organics.  And dollar-for-dollar, the nutritional difference between a conventional and organic egg is huge.

But going one step further and buying eggs from a farmer who pastures chickens may be even better.

Consider this,  a study conducted by Mother Earth News found the following benefits of eating from pastured hens rather than those from commercial producers:

• 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

When we don't have easy access to farm eggs from pastured hens, we choose organic.  While pastured chickens dine on insects, commercial organic eggs come from chickens fed an organic grain-based diet. While organic grain-based chicken feed is not the ideal diet, it is still better than a conventional egg.  Think of eggs using this scale:

  • Best:  farm egg from a pastured chicken
  • Better:  organic egg
  • Good:  conventional egg

When I recently cracked open an organic egg and then a pastured egg, the color difference was startling.  A truly pastured egg is deep orange -- bursting with nutritional beta-carotene and goodness that can only be achieved by allowing the chicken to eat its preferred diet.

Check out my picture -- and the video of somebody else who home-tested an organic and farm egg -- and choose orange when you can.