As a kid, I can remember going to the supermarket and grabbing any random cardboard carton of eggs off the shelf. I would run them home (top speed!) to my mother because they were usually going into a delicious coffeecake or batch of corn bread.
Times have changed. Cage-free? Organic? Brown? White? Omega-3s? Help! Here are some tips to help you figure out which eggs you should be eating:
- Brown or white? In actuality, color is simply an indication of the breed of hen. Find the freshest egg with the most flavor and let color be a secondary concern.
- Extra Omega-3s? Omega-3 eggs come from a hen whose diet has added flaxseed, which yields an egg containing an average of 225 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. The countless health benefits for humans make these eggs a tempting purchase. My opinion? Eat a piece of fresh fish — salmon or sardines or Atlantic mackerel, for example — and get a pure dose of Omega-3’s. Let eggs be eggs.
- Does your egg need exercise? Cage-free and free-range eggs are from hens raised without the confines of a cage, though they may or may not have spent much time outdoors. Organic eggs are from hens that are raised with the most holistic approach: their feed must meet organic standards, they must be raised humanely and sustainably, and they must be given access to the outdoors. Hey, happier hens do lay tastier eggs.
- Does local make a difference? Nothing is better than local eggs. They may have a feather or two stuck to them or a slightly imperfect shape and they may or may not be certified organic; however, they have one quality I prize: I know exactly where my food came from and how it came to be! In some cases I can even ask the farmer when the eggs were laid and what they were fed. At $2.20 for a dozen large eggs and all the information I could want about my food, I call it a bargain! I refrigerate the eggs the minute I return from the market.
- Is spending more really worth it? I think so. Some parts of your diet are hard to manage on a budget. Beef, for example, can make a costly difference if you’re looking to go organic at home. Eggs are less significant. Try making one evening meal a week where your organic eggs take center stage. Make a huge open-faced vegetable omelet, for example, or try a quick chicken stir-fry and fold in a few eggs during the last two minutes of cooking.
Anything goes for me as long as stock’s available on the shelf and no shortages – scrambled eggs and french toasts are my family’s delights!
(for YAHOO Food)
– Chef Mossavi –