free (range) the eggs!

 Viva la difference!

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

happy chickens in pastureThis is the nutritional difference between your average supermarket egg and a true free-range, pastured chicken egg!

Yet, right now, the USDA defines free-range so broadly that it’s
difficult to ensure that you’re getting the nutritious eggs of truly
pastured hens. According to the USDA labeling glossary, as long as hens
are “allowed access to the outside,” producers can call their eggs
free-range. Oftentimes, though, that only means a small opening where
hens could go outside, regardless of whether or not they ever go. Terms such as pastured and farm-raised aren’t defined at all.

The FDA really needs to crack down on unclear egg labeling. But until then (and the cows don their ice skates in hell) you’ll need to do your
own checking. Eggs from truly pastured hens often are found at farmers’
markets and local farm stands, where you can chat with farmers about
the condition of their flocks. It’s also possible that a
conversation with a grocery store manager about the nutritional
benefits of truly free-range eggs might bring them to your local
supermarket as well.