How do you gather?

Farm FreshWhat’s the big deal about free-range chicken eggs?   Pretty, clean,  eggs that I buy from the store are cheap and convenient and my favorite store also carries the brown ones and that makes me feel a bit less guilty when I buy those!”

Have you ever said this in your mind?  What’s really the difference with free-range?   Are they “so much better” for us? Let me explain 🙂

Over the years the experts have gone back and forth as to whether eggs are good for us or not.  As of now the verdict is yea.  In Women’s Health Magazine 2011, several health benefits of eggs are mentioned:

1.  Eggs may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.  Whole eggs have a high content of choline.  A study published in 2011 revealed that women with a high amount of choline in their diet, were 24% less likely to contract breast cancer.

2.  Egg yolks are high in two antioxidants that help fight off macular degeneration; lutein and zeaxanthin.

3.  Eggs contain amino acids that are easy for the body to absorb the protein within the egg.  Protein is a building block for muscle and great for a meal after you have done strength training.

4.  Eggs can help you feel full longer and stabilize your blood sugar which in turn can help you shed unwanted weight from blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling hungry within an hour or so after you’ve eaten a carb loaded meal.

Science has now proven that there is NO nutritional difference between cage free and caged hen eggs. Both vitamin and A and C levels are the exact same.

Do you know how to tell how old your eggs are that you buy from the store?  Turn the carton to the side.  You will see a 3 digit number.  It may start with 0, 1,2 or 3.  I can assume that the eggs you will be buying right now July 2013 will probably have a number like this printed on the side:  168 or 172.  Those numbers represent the day of the current year that they were processed and put in that carton.  NOT THE DAY THEY WERE LAID.  So if the number is 172, the eggs were processed on June 20th , because June 20th will be the 172nd day of the year (if it wasn’t a leap year). By the way, this carton of eggs was purchased the week of July 8th and NO I DID NOT BUY THEM!

egg carton

Cage free egg yolks are richer in color (and flavor to me).  This is due to the higher carotene found in cage free eggs.  I also like that the yolk doesn’t splatter like a sweat shop egg.  It’s especially helpful when you want to make that perfect fried egg!

Last but not least, how do you tell how fresh an egg is… bought sweat-shop or farm fresh?  Boil it.  Peel it.  If it peels easily it’s pretty old….helpful when you are making deviled eggs and need to peel the shells, not so good when you are a guest at a bed and farm-fresh breakfast. Nothing like expecting a farm- fresh egg and it tastes like it came from a bag that’s been boiled….:(

“As a hen gathers her chickens….”  Let us gather our eggs wisely for the purpose we are seeking.

Chelle 🙂

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