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Eggs are good for you. They really are. But not all eggs are what they are cracked up to be. In this episode, Jen explains the different types of eggs available at your local supermarket and shares the best and worst free-range eggs you can buy.

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

SHOWNOTES

Eggs are good for you. They really are. 

I remember being a kid and watching a family friend pull out the egg yolk and only eat the whites. I asked what he was doing, and he told me, “Oh, the yolks are no good. I get high cholesterol, and they raise my cholesterol. They’re just no good for you!”

Now that was a long time ago, and I love how science can be – and should be – revisited. Back in those days, they just measured cholesterol; these days, they measured good and bad cholesterol and what they’ve found in eggs is that there are good and bad fats. The good fats in egg yolks help boost our good cholesterol.

So, today, I want to talk about eggs and all of the different kinds out there.

What’s the difference between eggs? 

  • Conventional eggs: These are your standard supermarket eggs. Hens that lay these eggs are usually fed grain, supplemented with vitamins and minerals.
  • Organic eggs: The hens were not treated with hormones and received organic feed.
  • Pastured eggs: Chickens are allowed to roam free, eating plants and insects (their natural food) along with some commercial feed.
  • Omega-3-enriched eggs: They’re basically like conventional chickens, except their feed is supplemented with an Omega-3 source like flaxseeds. May have had some access to the outside.
  • No Hormones: This label like ‘Farm Fresh’ and ‘All-Natural’ states the obvious. Egg-laying hens are not given hormones. Some egg cartons say that the eggs are hormone-free; however, this is true for all eggs in commercial egg production. This means phrases like ‘Hormone-Free’ or ‘No Hormones’ could technically be put on every carton in the store.

Pasture-Raised Eggs

Pasture-raised eggs can have incredible benefits:

  • 1/3 less cholesterol
  • 1/4 less saturated fat
  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene

They also found that eggs from hens raised outdoors on pasture have from 3-6 times more vitamin D than eggs from hens raised in confinement. Pastured hens are exposed to direct sunlight, which their bodies convert to vitamin D and then pass on to their eggs. Eating just two of these eggs will give you from 63-126% of the recommended daily vitamin D intake!

Conventional Eggs vs Omega-3 Eggs

A study compared the fatty acid composition of three types of eggs: conventional, organic, and omega-3-enriched.

  1. Omega-3 eggs had 39% less arachidonic acid, the inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acid that most people eat too much of.
  2. Omega-3 eggs had five times as much Omega-3 as the conventional eggs.
  3. There was very little difference between organic and conventional eggs.

Hens fed Omega-3-enriched diets laid eggs that were much higher in Omega-3s than conventional eggs.

The best eggs come from pasture-raised hens that graze outside all day long like a chook is meant to. You can get more Omega-3 by eating a diet rich in Omega-3 using flaxseed oil and oily fish like salmon.

Organic Eggs

The hen forages on a natural diet of small plants, insects and seeds. These eggs have a strong shell and wonderfully rich yolk that is more orange in colour and rich in carotenoids, minerals and anti-inflammatory Omega-3s. They are also higher in Vitamin A and E and lower in cholesterol and saturated fat.

Free Range is NOT Pasture Raised.

Under the law, eggs labelled as ‘free range’ must come from hens that are able to roam and forage outdoors for at least eight hours each day. 

Now, if you have 10,000 chickens in the shed, which is the kind of thing they do, they’re not all going to get out of the door for eight hours a day. However, because there is a door on that shed so the chickens ‘can’ get out of it, they are allowed to call it free range. I’m not a fan of these eggs.

The maximum outdoor stocking density for free range egg farming is 10,000 hens per hectare of land or one hen per square metre.

So free range chickens will ideally get out for eight hours a day and then come inside to roost, lay their eggs, and be securely housed at night. Sadly, free range is a marketing term. The chickens are still locked in warehouses and fed an unhealthy diet of soy and grains, which makes inflammatory nasty Omega-6 rich eggs with a pale pink-yellow yolk.

Best and worst free-range eggs in Australia as per Choice Magazine

The best free-range eggs at Woolworths:

  • Yallamundi Farm: 750 hens/hectare
  • Woolworths Macro Organic: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Sunny Queen: 1500 hens/hectare 
  • Sunny Queen Organic: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Josh’s Rainbow Eggs: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Happy Hens Organic: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Ecoeggs Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Canobolas: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Flanno’s Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Golden Eggs: 1500 hens/hectare

The worst free-range eggs at Woolworths:

  • Pace Farm: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Woolworths Select: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Port Stephens: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Veggs for Families: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Country Fresh: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Sun Valley: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Valley Brook: 10,000 hens/hectare

The best free-range eggs at Coles:

  • Hens of the Earth Eggs: 500 hens/hectare
  • Family Homestead: 750 hens/hectare
  • Sunny Queen Free Range Eggs: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Sunny Queen Organic: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Lucky Chicken Eggs: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Coles Certified Organic: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Flanno’s Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Golden Eggs Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • The Good Farmer: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Bloom Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Margaret River Free Range: 1500 hens/hectare
  • Josh’s Rainbow Eggs: 1500 hens/hectare

The worst free-range eggs at Coles: 

  • Coles Free Range Eggs: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Pace Farm: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Veggs for Families: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Day’s Eggs: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • McLaren Vale Free Range: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Tassie Devil: 10,000 hens/hectare
  • Valley Brook: 10,000 hens/hectare

Healthy Life Hacks

The Healthy Life Hack I want to share with you today is:

  1. Track down your local pasture-raised eggs and enjoy!

Did you enjoy the podcast today? Please let me know by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts. Every month I draw one lucky reviewer to have a free one-hour consultation with me. Also, remember to subscribe wherever you’re tuning in from so that you always catch the next episode.

Are you looking for more great resources? Get a free copy of my Feed Your Body ebook here and be sure to explore my blog while you are there.