Buying Eggs

Pastured-Eggs

With so many different types and marketing for eggs these days, which eggs should you buy?

Naturally raised eggs taste great and will contain valuable nutrients to support our bodies.  My favourite eggs have been from Diamond Valley Farms near Black Diamond.  These eggs come from hens who are allowed to roam in a large enclosure out in the fresh air, and in the winter are cage-free inside the barn.  They are also given a nutrient-dense feed that contains many different superfoods (including garlic and apple cider vinegar) to keep them healthy.  If you can get farm fresh eggs from a farmer who can tell you how they raise their hens, you’ll notice a difference in the taste and quality of the eggs. Visit your local farmer’s market and talk to farmers.  Often vendors will have pictures and information on their farms, and even allow you to visit so you can learn how it is your food is raised.

It is not always possible to get eggs straight from the farm, so check out Community Natural Foods, Planet Organic, or Amaranth for naturally raised eggs. I also have used Organic Rabbit River Eggs from Superstore which raises their hens cage-free (free run) and humanely (they are SPCA certified to be humane). Labels like “free range” or “free run” are not regulated, so check out the brand of eggs you are buying to ensure that they are naturally raised. Free Run usually means the hens are raised inside in a barn on shavings and allowed to run around the enclosure.  Free range often means the hens are raised out in a pasture. But again, these terms are not regulated so it is important to check into the brand you are buying.

Often hens are given flax seed in their feed to produce eggs that contain omega 3 fatty acids.  I have noticed grocery stores are selling Omega-3 eggs.  These eggs will contain more of this beneficial fatty acid, but it doesn’t mean that the hens were raised humanely.

  • Lift eggs out of the carton and inspect, checking for cracks and dried egg liquid on the box to ensure there are no broken eggs.
  • Store eggs in the fridge for about 1 month to ensure that they stay fresh.
  • Keep eggs in their carton because the eggshell is porous and will often absorb odours from other foods.
  • If buying eggs from a farmer ask if they wash their eggs before they sell them.  If they don’t, you will need to wash and clean them for bacteria.

Article by: Carrie Dancey, RHN

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