Product Swap of the Week: Pasture Raised Eggs
Do you know the difference between "pasture raise," "cage free" "free range," "organic" or "conventional eggs?"
Pasture-raised eggs are our top pick for high quality eggs, as they come from hens who are free to roam in healthy pastures with the freedom to forage for local grasses, succulents and wildflowers while enjoying fresh air and sunshine!
Why is it Important to Understand Egg Carton Labels?
If you've noticed all of the different kinds of eggs available at your local grocery store, you have probably felt confused or overwhelmed by the descriptions & specific claims like "cage free" "free range" and "organic." So here's the breakdown:
Conventional- if none of the descriptors listed below are on the carton, then these are regular eggs which means the hens live in cages and have virtually no room to move around or spread their wings. This means low nutritional value and morally unsound.
Cage-free- the hens are not confined to cages and can roam “freely" in what is most likely an overfilled coop or hen house. In theory, cage-free sounds nice but it's usually not. Chickens raised cage-free typically have no outdoor space, never get the chance to breathe fresh air or see the light of day.
Free-range- These hens get less outdoor space (minimum 2 square feet) which is not enough for roaming & many of them only spend a small part of the day outdoors.
Organic- The USDA Organic seal identifies raw, fresh, and processed products with at least 95 percent organic ingredients (in this case, the chicken feed). All organic eggs are free-range but not all free range eggs are organic...this is an important distinction!
No Hormones Added- this is straight marketing! Hormones are legal for use in cattle but the FDA has not approved them in poultry production. This means all USA chicken eggs are free from hormones so if a label reads "no hormones added" it means nothing.
No Antibiotics- Hormones are not approved for poultry production but antibiotics are. That's the catch! These medications are intended to keep infections at bay that typically result from overfilled and dirty hen houses. What does this mean for our health? We ingest the antibiotics ourselves which can in turn negatively impact our hormones!
The Nutritional Benefits of Pasture Raised Eggs vs. Conventional:
In comparison to conventional eggs, pastured eggs have:
> 3-6 times more vitamin D (think mood & mental health, immune system strength)
> 70% more vitamin B 12 (essential for energy & hormone production)
> Twice as much vitamin E (acts as an antioxidant)
> 38 percent higher vitamin A concentration (immune & reproductive health support)
> 2.5x more total Omega-3 fatty acids
Note: Omega 3 fats are essential for proper hormone production! They help to keep your brain sharp and focused, your skin clear and vibrant, can help manage weight, promote healthy pregnancy and more!
These eggs also provide a complete protein essential for ovulation & hormone balance!
Why We Love Vital Farms Eggs:
Pasture-raising puts the welfare of animals & the health of consumers above all else. Vital Farms requires their partner farmers to allot at least 108 square feet per hen, giving them plenty of room to roam and their land time to rejuvenate naturally, without pesticides or herbicides.
When attempting to balance your hormones, you want to be very mindful about where your food comes and how it's treated both from an ethical and nutritional standpoint. Pasture-raised eggs are packed with nutrients you won't find in conventional eggs and they taste 10X better!! Plus, they're not sprayed with pesticides or fed antibiotics which can throw our hormones out of whack and create long term health problems.
Learning to read labels when grocery shopping in general is so important! Just because a food is technically healthy doesn't mean the way that it was produced is ethical or nutritious. Sometimes these "so-called" healthy foods like eggs can do more harm than good when not chosen intentionally. So many foods have been altered in the USA to mass produce, keep them fresher for longer and appeal to the American palette. Instead, become your own detective by reading labels and doing your research. You will feel empowered & your brain and body will thank you later!
Interested in testing your hormone levels and getting started on an all-natural rebalancing plan? Now is a good time to test your hormones from home! Our saliva test kits are mailed to you directly for convenient collection(including a postage-paid shipping envelope for returning your samples directly to our lab for analysis).
View our testing + consulting packages HERE.
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