2/4/13

Expensive Organic Free Range vs Cheaper Free Range Eggs

Eggs are a dime a dozen. Well, not literally but you can get them for pretty close to that price. If you want just an average quality yolk holder you can buy them for roughly 12 cents each. If you want a brown egg, you can expect the price to climb. If you want free range you can add some more change on top of that. If you expect organic, take a mortgage out because things just got a little more real.
I’ve decided to take a couple steps forward in my consumption of foods. The first was to consume healthier and less commercialized meats. The second was to buy products from local farmers, and companies, that take care of their animals and the land. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. If original man was instructed to take care of God’s creation, then we should honor that too.

It’s Better for Me

Eating less commercialized foods usually results in a more nutritious product. Remember how grass fed beef contains many more nutrient values than grain fed? Chickens that eat free range can produce eggs that contain higher, healthier fats with more micronutrients. Increased Omega-3’s, Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Beta Carotene can all be found with increased abundance in these free range goodies. Unfortunately, like anything in this world, there is a corruption to the system.

We Want Real Free Range

The glorious FDA has very limited regulations when it comes to organic and free range. Free range constitutes as uncaged inside barns or warehouses and have some degree of outdoor access, but there are no requirements for the amount, duration or quality of outdoor access. Since they are not caged, they can engage in many natural behaviors such as nesting and foraging. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed. This relaxed approach leads to eggs being produced by hens that get little to no outdoor time. The results can be seen in the quality of the eggs, which will be shown later.
The guidelines for organic say the birds have to be uncaged inside barns or warehouses, and are required to have outdoor access, but the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access is undefined. They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides. What’s worse is that the pricetag to call something organic is a leg and an arm. The reason the price is so high on organic foods is not superiority, but a relapse from what the FDA charges to deem something organic.

Not All Free Range Eggs Are Created Equal

Top egg was best from Farmhouse, bottom was best from  expensive brand.
Like I said before, it is easy to tell the difference between eggs that experience more natural eating and those that are caged too much. I performed a little experiment where I purchased two brands of eggs. One was roughly 6 dollars a dozen and claimed to be organic and free range. Another was about 3 dollars a dozen, and only claimed to be free range. I picked the best looking, most spotted brown eggs I could see from the batch. I proceeded to crack them both and examine the quality of the yolk. To my surprise the cheaper, less labeled egg, had a much darker yolk color. The name of the egg brand that was superior was FarmHouse eggs, which I could only find at United Supermarket.
Left egg shows a much darker yolk, and was from Farmhouse. [camera doesn't do it justice]
When I re-evaluated the nutrition facts on the back I realized that the FarmHouse eggs contained a whole extra gram of fat. This quality of egg was most likely the result of hens that got more outdoor time, and consumed a healthier diet. The turnaround is more money saved, and better quality food consumed [we in the biz call that a win, win].

Save Money, Eat Awesome

Sifting through all of the evidence I realized that paying for an organic label doesn’t always make it worth it. A simple experiment can reveal whether or not something is living up to its hype. Like I showed here, FarmHouse eggs produce higher quality products with lower prices all due to avoiding the FDA organic costs. I highly recommend that anyone who is looking to eat an improved diet try these eggs out. I just wish they came in bigger containers!

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.