Sometimes you just run into the answer to a question that you didn’t actually know you wanted to ask. That was the case when I ran into this article on wisegeek – Why Are Chicken Eggs Different Colors? that carefully validated my usual choice.
Chickens who eat free range, varied diets tend to produce healthier eggs, as their free range lifestyles allow them to consume the dietary minerals they need for their own health, and these minerals will be passed down in their eggs. You may also have noticed that farm-fresh eggs have very dark yolks, whereas chicken eggs from battery hens have much lighter yolks, indicating less nutritional value.
I admit, like many of you, my husband and I often stand in complete bewilderment in front of the egg section and wonder if spending that extra 2 TO 3 DOLLARS per dozen of eggs really makes a difference? Or why the brown, free range eggs we tend to buy at Trader Joes are less than the organic white ones? Or why we like the taste of brown eggs better- is this just psychological. (My husband I have to admit gets into these types of conundrums in the milk aisle too).
As I started to dig into this issue, I ran across this article in the NY Times, which helpfully, seemed to answer most if not all my questions and definitely summarized my dilemma.
Now they can be cage free and free range, vegetarian and omega-3 fortified, organic, “certified humane” or “American humane certified.” The incredible, edible egg is becoming unintelligible.
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, natural means nothing so that’s often not a good guideline. Certified organic however, does means something…but is it worth the extra cost? Meanwhile California’s are pitched right into the middle of a battle over how chickens are raised via a proposition on our November ballot.
Reading through all of these confusing assertions, I can’t say I’m any less confused. As a marketing consultant and one who has spent much of her career developing labels for various products, including food, I find it rather dismaying that there doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer.
How about you?
Photo Credit: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times