Eggs are the ultimate hunger buster. Rich in both muscle building protein and satiating healthy fats, studies have shown that people who eat eggs in the morning will consume less for the rest of the day. Plus, their amino acid profile maximizes building and preserving lean muscle mass, which can help your body burn fat. Eggs are also full of B-vitamins and choline, micro nutrients which are important for brain development, muscle health, and energy levels.
USDA 2015 statistics, said “93 percent of all eggs purchased in America come from conventional caged systems known as battery cages.”
A 2011 Poultry Science study conducted over two years found that free range eggs were not all that nutritionally different from the eggs of hens kept in a cage. The only clear difference the Poultry Science study found was that there are higher beta carotene levels in range eggs, which contributes to their darker colored yolks.
Cage Free on egg cartons. Hens are required to have a minimum of 120 square inches per bird. Hens will still exclusively live indoors, either in large barns known as aviaries or in bigger cages.
Free Range These hens have the option to go outside. They are required to have at least two square feet of free roaming outside pasture space, as stipulated by the HFAC Certified Humane standards, which allows them space to engage in natural behaviors like roosting, dust bathing, scratching, and other social interactions.
Pasture-raised hens enjoy a minimum of 108 square feet per bird. They can forage grass, go outside year round (except in extreme weather conditions or under the threat of a predator), and are never given antibiotics.
No Hormones This claim is misleading because the FDA banned the use of hormones in all poultry production back in the 1950s. That means no chicken meat nor eggs on the market will ever contain hormones.
No Antibiotics antibiotics are rarely used in the egg industry, but you can feel comfortable knowing that there are none administered to your hens.
Farm Fresh has no legal definition. Many brands attempt to get their eggs on store shelves within 72 hours of being laid, there is no regulation on the term “Farm Fresh.”
A better indication of how fresh the egg is would be the grade. Grade A eggs allow for more air space in the egg, which indicates an older egg than Grade AA.
All Natural as defined by the FDA. Natural means “that nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in that food.” So it has no real meaning.
Vegetarian Fed Chickens are actually omnivores. In the wild, they’ll eat a diet of omega-3 rich grasses and get their protein from insects, grasshoppers, and worms. Vegetarian fed means they are grain feed which contains no animal by products (as protein) and will be supplemented with vegetarian based protein sources such as soybeans.
Omega-3 enriched eggs are often given feed that has been supplemented with flax seeds and sometimes fish oil. This term is not regulated, so there’s no way to really prove that the eggs you’re consuming will have significantly higher levels of omega-3s.
Eggs are sized and graded before they’re delivered to the supermarket. The USDA has specific guidelines for egg weights per dozen (as there will invariably be differences between individual eggs), which are listed below:
Small: 18 ounces (about 1.5 ounces per egg)
Medium: 21 ounces (about 1.75 ounces per egg)
Large: 24 ounces (about 2 ounces per egg)
Extra Large: 27 ounces (about 2.25 ounces per egg)
Jumbo: 30 ounces (about 2.5 ounces per egg)
Grade AA: These are the finest quality eggs. The whites are thick and firm, the yolks are free from any defects, and the shells are pristine and without cracks.
Grade A: Eggs also have clean whites but they may be less firm, the yolk is less protected by the albumen.
Grade B: These eggs are rarely ever sold in stores. These eggs have such a reduced quality they have flat yolks, thin whites, and blood spots that they will be used commercially in liquid and powdered egg products.
Egg Shell Color The answer to the question everyone always thinks when they pick up a carton of eggs at the store! The difference between brown, white, and blue eggs is… that’s right, the shell’s color!
The real reason eggs are different colors boils down to genetics. If a chicken is raised under the same conditions, there will be no difference in nutrition, taste, or baking stability in different colored egg shells. In particular, the color of the earlobes of chickens (yes, chickens have earlobes) will indicate shell color. Chickens with white earlobes generally lay white eggs, while chicken with red or brown earlobes lay brown eggs.
White. This is the standard color egg you’ll find most commonly in grocery stores.
Brown. Although brown eggs are typically more expensive compared to white eggs, it has nothing to do with their quality. These eggs usually cost more because the hens that lay them are physically bigger breeds than the chickens which lay white eggs. Bigger hens mean more food, which means farmers have to spend more on feed. And that increase in cost per egg gets passed onto consumers.
Blue. These are also from different breeds of chickens.
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