What do egg labels really mean?

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Different types of eggs

Organic Eggs, Pasture Raised Eggs, Free Range Eggs, Free Range Organic Eggs…

These are just some of the basic labels that you encounter every day while shopping for eggs at the supermarket.

But do you know what they really mean?  Which ones are the most sustainable?  Health supportive?

Surprisingly, I’ve learned that most people really don’t know how these labels translate.  Health conscience individuals just like you are not really aware of what they are buying.

So I wanted to clarify so that you can make educated decisions about the types of egg farmers you support and what you are putting into your body and your children’s bodies.

Let’s start with Free Range eggs.

Free range means that the chickens aren’t being held in stacked cages.  It doesn’t mean that they are frolicking in a field somewhere.  Free range chickens are generally held by the 10’s of 1000’s in huge smelly airplane hangers.

Legally to call the chickens free range they have to attach a little fenced in area at the end of the hanger accessible by a doggie door.  This area is usually only about 20 square feet.  Most chickens will never get out there.

Now for Organic.

Any time you see eggs labeled as organic this means that they are definitely not living in a field eating their natural diet.  Legally in order for food to be labeled organic, chickens must be on vegetarian feeds.

Which brings me into pasture raised inorganic eggs.

Pasture raised eggs are by far the most natural and health supportive eggs to eat since the birds are allowed to eat grass, scratch for insects, and what ever else they can find.

No chicken raised in this way will ever have eggs that can legally be labeled organic since organic chickens must be fed commercial vegetarian feed.

In my opinion pasture raised eggs are the best.  Since the chickens are eating the most natural diet their eggs will be the most nutrient dense.

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