These days, finding the right egg is a real science. You go to the supermarket and something as simple as getting the ingredients for your Sunday omelet turns into an entire journey between brands, labels and sizes. What makes an egg healthier than others, after all?
This is what the most common egg labels (don’t) mean and find out which is the right option for yourself.
A basic definition of the term ‘cage-free’ means that the chickens raised as poultry or the hens are not kept in cages. Basically, they are just let to walk around and lay eggs wherever they want. By comparison, chickens raised for meat are kept in cages so small that they can barely open their wings.
It’s being believed that cage-free eggs are less stressed than other types, thus resulting in high-quality eggs. Although it hasn’t been officially scientifically proven, this may be a good option for you.
Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
This category of eggs is more special than any other. If you read on a label that eggs have an Omega-3 enrichment, it means that the hens that laid them were on a specific diet. This by-the-book diet implies foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, linseed oil or kelp.
Organic eggs are those that come from chickens fed with certified organic feed. This means that those chickens weren’t given any synthetic chemicals, didn’t go through irradiation and weren’t genetically modified. These birds were also cage-free.
‘Organic’ is the only egg label that has inspections, enforcement and regulations attached to it.
This latter option is actually the one we’re all looking to eat. Pastured eggs come from chickens that live just as they naturally would: they walk around in open fields, eating whatever they want and living in hen houses at night to roost, nest and lay eggs. In other words, this is the most ‘raw’ version of eggs available on the market.
Most of the times, this category of eggs comes from small farms and the easiest way to get them is to actually talk to a farmer involved in this type of business.