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While I was reading an article from Dr. Mercola on eggs last week, I started remembering how eggs have been respresented through my life. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s eggs were vilified, they were the cause of heart disease and you were taking your life into your hands every time you ate one.  The problem is, that like so much of what we are told by the government and the media, the story is much more nuanced than that (and in many cases is totally wrong).

Most warnings about eggs have to do with cholesterol, the fact is that eating something with cholesterol in it will not raise your cholesterol. The two are not linked. According to Gary Taubes in his book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health, many of the studies done on cholesterol (Framingham) being one, “could not measure either the diet or the cholesterol of the population, or both, with sufficient accuracy to establish the relationship.

So lets simply make a supposition that eggs are not bad for you and may actually be *gasp* good for you.  Does this mean all eggs are created equal?  Heck no.

When you go to the market today, you see a wide variety of eggs (and I’m not talking about brown vs white). You see Cage Free, Free Range, Omega-3 Eggs,  vitamin enhanced eggs.  (Help with Cooking has a good guide to these kind of eggs.)

The issue is that most of the chickens that produce these eggs are raised in conditions that are horrible. And in reality, if the chicken undergoes that much stress,  and as a matter of routine, has antibiotics and arsenic added to its feed, doesn’t that end up in the eggs?

An egg from a chicken that is raised on pasture, allowed to run around and be a chicken and eat the bugs its supposed to eat, actually produces eggs that have specific health benefits. All eggs contain lecithin, which helps us digest fat and cholesterol, and biotin, a B vitamin that helps with skin, hair and nerves. Pastured eggs however, contain more beta carotene, more monosaturated fats, folic acid, and beta-carotene. They are also richer in Omega-3 fats naturally than industrialized eggs. Pastured eggs also have a 1:1 ratio of omega6  fats to omega3 (the recommended ratio), while industrialized eggs have a ration of 20:1.

All eggs (unwashed) will last about about a week out of the refrigerator. Fresh eggs will keep for about 2 months in your refrigerator without much change in flavor or nutrition. (Keep in mind though that an egg from the supermarket took about 2-3 weeks to make the trip to you, so they won’t keep more than a few weeks.

I buy my eggs from a farm where I also purchase my chickens. Although I’m single, I tend to purchase about 5 dozen eggs at a time. I love eggs. On the days I work I take two hardboiled eggs with me for breakfast (I’m at work by 6am). I have eggs cooked in other ways the mornings I am home. Since I don’t eat cereal, eggs are a good way to fill me up and keep me going through my mornings.

Most farmers markets, farm markets and orchards with farm stores will have eggs available for sale.  To my mind, they taste better and I know they are better for us.  So do yourself a favor, read the articles I’ve linked to and have a pastured egg today!


One Response to “Lets Talk about Eggs”

  1. Keith Campbell says:

    One of my standards for “am I making enough money to live on” is, can I afford decent eggs? Sadly, the answer at the moment is no. Commercial cage-free is as low as I go, but that’s not that much better than the shitty ones, and I know it. Still, I can tell the difference in quality between those two, even so, so I get the somewhat-less-shitty because it’s the best I can do.

    But I miss getting real eggs in multi colors from my Radical Faerie friend in Minneapolis who raises chickens and ducks in the middle of the city. 🙂