I love eggs. Seriously.
Fried, scrambled, boiled, poached…however you want to serve them, I’ll devour them. I blame it on my Danish grandfather who came to the United States and made his living as a chicken farmer in Upstate New York. Genetic destiny, I guess!
Eggs have always been my comfort food – whether as a special hot breakfast to start my school day, or as a second dinner after a hard workout, eggs are my jam. My sister still harbors resentment that my mother would lovingly cut my eggs and toast for me like a tic-tac-toe game board until I was like 8. Okay, maybe 12. What can I say, sis? Mom loved her baby!
Those of you who enjoy eggs like I do – have you ever wondered what all those different labels on the egg carton mean? And which one is the best choice? One thing I’ve re-learned recently is that chickens are omnivores – so eggs labeled “vegetarian diet/vegetarian fed” aren’t necessarily better. Likewise, “free-range” means they have some kind of access to the outdoors (like maybe a small door opened part of the day in a crowded coop), but whether or not the chicken actually got outdoors is questionable.
Here’s a little cheat sheet from my Primal Health Coach training that I found helpful, with the best choice listed at #1.
Eggs Spectrum Summary
- Pastured: One of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Unlike other premium animal products, you might even find yourself paying less than a supermarket dozen for the very best eggs!
- Organic: Pesticide-free food and some access to the outdoors – a good second choice.
- Omega-3: Raised on a sub-optimal grain-based diet, but a good choice in the absence of pastured or organic options.
- Conventional: Still a great option for regular consumption if you can’t find a premium egg.
If you’re looking for the best choices, head to your local farmer’s market, or find a friend who raises free-range, pastured chickens. Happy hens make happy, yummy eggs!