All Eggs Are Not The Same: Why “Cage-Free” Doesn’t Mean “Free-Range & More!

NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF EGGS

Eggs are sometimes disparaged for their cholesterol content, but an egg also offers high nutrient value with 13 vitamins and minerals, high quality, easily digested protein, healthy unsaturated fats and antioxidants, all for fewer than 100 calories!

Eggs are a natural source of some of the highest quality proteins of any food available. Your average egg provides over six grams of protein, or 13 percent of the recommended Daily Value (DV), and nearly half is found in the yolk. In addition to being a nutrient-rich source of high-quality protein, eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E and K and a range of B vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, B12 and B6.

These values are based on your average egg, which unfortunately, comes from high production farms where hens are kept in 8.5” x 8.5” wire cages. (That is a space smaller than a sheet of copy paper, for a bird with a 30” wingspan!) I’ll show you how pastured (not to be confused with pasteurized) hens produce eggs that are superior in flavor and health benefits! But before I tell you how much better, let me go over the different terms used in classifying eggs so you know the difference.

TYPES OF EGGS

CONVENTIONAL EGGS – standard grocery store eggs, usually from caged hens unable to stretch or move around, fed a commercial feed that may contain GMOs or animal by-products, and may be treated with antibiotics & hormones to fight diseases or infection from habitual feather pecking & cannibalism.

FARM-FRESH EGGS – no standardized definition to distinguish “Farm-Fresh” from the required freshness of any Conventional Egg, and most likely came from caged hens.

“NATURAL” EGGS – People think the word “natural” means something. It doesn’t. In term of eggs, it generally means no artificial ingredients and “minimally processed.” But then again, that applies to 99% of eggs on the market (meaning caged hens). See the link below for more on “natural” regarding other foods. http://www.salon.com/2014/06/18/the_majority_of_people_think_the_word_natural_means_something_it_doesnt/

ORGANIC EGGS – means not treated with anibiotics or hormones, and fed organic feed. These hen may or may not have had limited access to the outdoors.

VEGETARIAN EGGS – hens are only fed a vegetarian diet from from any meat or fish by-products, but kept in cages or indoors so they do not peck any grubs or worms.

CAGE-FREE – doesn’t mean the hens have access to the outdoors, but they could be in an over-crowded, smelly hen house. Better than being in a cage, but they may still never see the light of day.

FREE-RANGE EGGS – could mean there is a small window on a crowded hen house where hens have the “access” to the outside. However, outside does not have to be a pasture, and a concrete slab counts as “outdoor access.” People often confuse Cage-Free as the same as Free-Range.

OMEGA-3 ENRICHED EGGS – like conventional chickens, but feed is supplemented with Omega-3 via sources like flax seed. These hen may or may not have had limited access to the outdoors.

PASTURED EGGS – hens are allowed to roam free eating plants and insects (their natural diet) along with commercial feed.

SUPERIOR NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF PASTURED EGGS

Studies have found that the beef from free-range, grass-fed cows have a healthier nutritional composition than penned, factory-farmed cows fed GMO commercial feed. And, the same superior nutritional benefit has been found in the eggs of pastured hens. In 2007 Mother Earth News magazine tested the nutritional value of pastured eggs from 14 different farms. They were measured in a chemical lab before being compared to the USDA conventional egg; and, the results were remarkable!

Pastured Vs Conventional Eggs

 Chart reprinted from http://authoritynutrition.com/pastured-vs-omega-3-vs-conventional-eggs/

You can see pastured eggs were not only significantly higher in Vitamin A, E, and Omega-3s, but also lower in cholesterol and saturated fat!

Do you have any friends or relatives who keep saying that the eggs and bacon back on the farm tasted so much better? Or maybe they said their family ate eggs all the time back then, and didn’t have the health problems associated with high cholesterol like today? Maybe it was because they ate eggs raised the old-fashioned way.

So now you’re asking, where can you get pastured eggs raised the old-fashioned way? I have to admit that I did get some coupons from The Happy Egg Co. to try some for free, but my praise for their product is based on facts. If you are a skeptic like me, please do the research like I did. And while you’re at it, also check out The Happy Egg Co. website to see exactly how well they treat their laying hens. I believe you will be as impressed that they go far above and beyond the minimum effort to have their eggs classified as “Pastured Eggs!”

Sources:

The Happy Egg Co. http://thehappyeggco.com/

The American Egg Board (AEB) http://www.incredibleegg.org/

“Pastured vs Omega-3 vs Conventional Eggs – What’s The Difference?” by Kris Gunnars, Authority Nutrition – An Evidence-Based Approach http://authoritynutrition.com/pastured-vs-omega-3-vs-conventional-eggs/

“How Much Protein Does 1 Egg Have?” by Norma DeVault, LiveStrong.com http://www.livestrong.com/article/250456-how-much-protein-does-1-egg-have/

“Cage Vs. Free Range Eggs” by Dawn Walls-Thumma, Demand Media, SFGATE http://homeguides.sfgate.com/cage-vs-range-eggs-79620.html

Bodybuilding.com http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/eggs.htm

DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust. I will always identify those products where I have received compensation in any form.

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October 27 is National Potato Day

Here are today’s five thing to know about Potato:

  1. Despite being delicious fried, baked, or boiled, the root vegetable rarely gets the praise it deserves. The environmentally friendly food crop has played a huge role in our development, but rarely do we give our starchy friend a second thought.
  2. They’re cheap and ridiculously easy to grow, and don’t require massive amounts of fertilizer and chemical additives to thrive (although some growers still use them anyway). They’re also super cheap and good for you, providing you’re not eating them in fried form all the time.
  3. In 1995, potato plants were taken into space with the space shuttle Columbia. This marked the first time any food was ever grown in space.
  4. The world’s largest potato weighed in at 18 pounds, 4 ounces according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
  5. While potatoes may be synonymous with the Irish these days, they were grown in the Andes mountains centuries before Europeans ever set foot in the new world.

October 27 is National Potato Day. via Foodimentary

August 27 is National Pots De Creme Day

Originally posted on Foodimentary - National Food Holidays:

Pots De Creme

Time to study another French sweet!

Here are today’s five thing to know about Pots De Creme

  1. Pot de crème is a loose French dessert custard dating to the 17th century.
  2. The name means “pot of custard” or “pot of creme”, which also refers to the porcelain cups in which the dessert is served.
  3. It is usually looser than other custards, flans, or crème caramel.
  4. Pot de crème is made with eggs, egg yolks, cream, milk, and a flavor, often vanilla or chocolate.
  5. The milk and cream are heated and flavored, then mixed into the whisked eggs and egg yolks.

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Today’s Pinterest Board : Pots De Creme

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Today’s Food History

  • 1940 The London production of ‘Apple Sauce’ opened at the Holborn Empire Theatre.
  • 1944 Tim Bogert of the Rock group Vanilla Fudge was born.
  • 1949 Jeff Cook of the music group ‘Alabama’ was born.
  • 1970‘Spill…

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July 9 – Today’s Food History

Terree:

Today is National Sugar Cookie Day
celebrate by making a Dessert Pizza!

Pizza for Dessert

Pillsbury’s Easy Fruit Pizza

Ingredients

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 kiwifruit, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 cup halved or quartered fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup apple jelly
.
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 12-inch pizza pan with cooking spray. In pan, break up cookie dough; press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Bake 16 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
.
In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Spread mixture over cooled crust. Arrange fruit over cream cheese. Stir jelly until smooth; spoon or brush over fruit. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. To serve, cut into wedges or squares.
Cover and refrigerate any remaining pizza.

 http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/easy-fruit-pizza/a765c571-37d5-4916-8747-e944a923c83b

Originally posted on Foodimentary - National Food Holidays:

National Sugar Cookie Day

Events of July 9

Today’s Food History

on this day in…

1766 Jacob Perkins was born. Perkins was issued the first U.S. patent for a refrigerating machine. It used sulfuric ether compression.

1792 S.L. Mitchell was named as the first Professor of Agriculture, at Columbia College, New York City.

1815 The first natural gas well in the U.S. was discovered by accident, near Charleston, West Virginia. They had been digging a salt brine well.

1850 U.S. president Zachary Taylor died. He supposedly developed peritonitis after eating too much of a new dessert treat, strawberry ice cream, at a 4th of July celebration.

1869 Henry Tibbe invented the corncob pipe. The pipe was made from a white kernel corn that was used to make taco and tortilla flour. (But can you roll a cigar with a taco wrapper?)

1872 John F. Blondel of Thomason (Thomaston?), Maine, patented…

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Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

MugCake-UK

 

Two Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
From Lucky Peach Magazine, Issue 3
Makes 1 or 2 servings (depending if you’ll share)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons (20 grams) flour
4 tablespoons (45 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (10 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch salt
3 tablespoons (30 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a medium sized microwave-safe mug, add the vegetable oil, whole milk, egg, and vanilla extract. Use a fork or small whisk to mix until combined. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake in the microwave on high for two minutes. Serve immediately.

I’ve also included a version from the UK courtesy of BBC Radio 2 (metric equivalents included) picture courtesy of WritingOurWayHome.com blog
[Note: this one differs slightly from David Chang’s recipe by using 4 tbs of self-rising flour microwaved at 3 minutes, as opposed to David Chang’s 3 tbs of regular flour and microwaved at 2 minutes.]

Ingredients
4 tbs / 45g self-raising flour
4 tbs / 55g caster sugar
2 tbs / 17g cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tbs / 43 mls milk
3 tbs / 25 mls sunflower oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small dash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug
Double cream or creme fraiche – optional for serving (it’s not the same without cream…..)

* Add dry ingredients to the mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
* Add the milk and oil – mix well (don’t forget the corners / edges of the mug).
*Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
* Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes (in a 1000 watt microwave). The cake will rise above the top of the mug, don’t worry it’s supposed to! Allow to cool a little, tip out onto a plate.
* Serve with fresh double cream, crème fraiche or custard. Serves two.
* EAT and enjoy!

Don’t Miss the Next Big Culinary Wave to Hit America!

The Modern Mexican food chefs are the next wave to hit the food world, and it’s about darn time. Mexican cuisine, with a few standout exceptions, has been slow to get elevation and recognition. That is unfortunate, because if you look into most restaurant kitchens throughout the country – – no matter what the ethnicity of the restaurant’s menu – – you will see that your meal has been cooked by a Mexican man. Still, we have come a long way from the 1960s frozen ‘Mexican’  TV dinners with processed cheese enchilada, two tubular tamales filled with questionable meat mush, flavorless pinkish-orange Mexican rice, bland refried beans, and pepper sauce.

Swanson Mexican Dinner

Back in the 1970s, Diana Kennedy became the ‘Julia Child of Mexican Cuisine,’ by championing the diversity of Mexico’s regional dishes. She helped raise America’s awareness of genuine, authentic Mexican cuisine beyond Swanson’s TV dinners, Tex-Mex and Taco Bell. In those pre- and early Food Network days, a handful of chefs like Rick Bayless’ “Cooking Mexican” (PBS 1978 – 1979), and Sue Feniger & Mary Sue Milliken of Too Hot Tamales TV series (PBS 1993, Food Network 1995 – 1999) showed how Mexican food could be executed using authentic ingredients and with soigné. More recently, we experienced a wave of Mexican-Korean Fusion by Chef Roy Choi, which ignited the gourmet food truck trend in LA and nationwide.

LatinFestChefs

So now Baja-Med cuisine is the next wave! Don’t take my word for it, simply look back at some episodes of Anthony Bourdain on Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” or “Parts Unknown” on CNN, or Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods” on the Travel Channel. This fresh, healthy locavore cuisine is both a feast for the eyes as well as the palate, with its new twists on familiar dishes using not so run-of-the-mill ingredients or combinations. Don’t miss this opportunity to try the food of some of these premiere Modern Chefs of Mexico at this event on Friday September 12, 2014, 8:00 – 10:30 PM! Get your tickets here: http://latinfoodfest.com/benefit/

Dining in Oaxaca: 12 Essentials in Mexico’s Food Capital

Terree:

Since the 1960’s when Diana Kennedy – – the “Julia Child of Mexican food” – – first championed the diversity of its regional cuisines, Americans have been slowly expanding their knowledge beyond Swanson’s frozen Mexican TV dinners and Taco Bell. Scott shares some great info on Oaxacan cuisine, which is known for its delicious moles and use of banana leaves instead of corn husks for tamales.

Originally posted on A Gringo in Mexico:

OAXACA DE JUAREZ, OAXACA – Over 10,000 years ago, small tribes that had hunted and searched for food during the Ice Age settled into the Valley of Oaxaca and a life of farming the grains, vegetables and plants they had previously foraged. Over time, cooking and local food sourcing traditions from the indigenous Zapotec to the Mixtec blended with those of the invading Spaniards in the 16th century.

1. Oaxacan Cuisine: A Bounty of Culture and Taste

Today, Oaxaca is internationally renowned as one of the food capitals of Mexico (along with Michoacán, Puebla and Baja California), its cuisine named an “intangible” UNESCO asset in 2013. From the street, to the market, to the high-end hacienda, Oaxaca’s colorful and varied gastronomic offerings range from street pozole to modern takes on traditional Oaxacan cuisine at foodie restaurants such as La Catedral, Casa Oaxaca and Los Danzantes.

Mercado Benito Juarez, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico Produce at Mercado Benito…

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