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benefits of farm fresh eggs

One of our employees used to work as a server at a restaurant known for its breakfast menu. Each day, the cooks diligently cracked and whisked dozens of eggs, preparing them to be scrambled to-order. One morning, a family called the server over in the middle of their breakfast and said, “Are these eggs real? Or are they from a carton?”

Once the server explained that the scrambled eggs were, indeed, from “real eggs,” the family sighed. They realized they were spoiled by the benefits of farm fresh eggs from their own, farm-fresh eggs.

Farm Fresh Eggs Are Healthier and Tastier

You see, the family had a backyard chicken coop and were used to eating fresh eggs from hens who ran free and regularly foraged in their compost pile as well as the yard. As a result, the family was used to eggs with vibrant orange-yellow yolks and lots of flavor. While the restaurant eggs were “real,” they were still seriously lacking.

Here are some of the ways you and your family benefit every time you invest in farm fresh eggs over the regular kind:

Higher nutrient values

It’s not only in color or flavor that farm fresh eggs are superior, they are also proven to have higher nutrient contents than store-bought or factory-farmed counterparts.

When real, bona fide lab tests are used to compare farm fresh eggs with official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs (aka: store bought versions), farm fresh eggs can contain:

– Two-thirds more vitamin A.

– 1/4 the amount of saturated fat.

– 1/3 the amount of bad cholesterol. Eggs got a bad rap for a while because experts claimed they were high in LDLs, or the bad cholesterols. This is true of eggs from caged chickens, which live a much less healthy existence. However, organic, pasture-raised eggs have only minimal amounts of the bad stuff because chicken diets are more varied and the chickens get their daily exercise.

– Four- to six-times more Vitamin D. Pasture-raised hens get to be out in the sun. Just like us, exposure to the sun facilitates their synthesis of vitamin D. This vitamin D makes its way directly into their eggs- and then into your body.

– Two-times more Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are getting quite a bit of press these days. Not only are they essential for healthy heart, brain and nerve function – they are also good for babies in-utero.

– Three-times more vitamin E.

– Seven-times more beta carotene.

Plus, eggs are full of protein – about 6 grams of protein per egg . That’s some serious nutrition packed into a very versatile food source.

Farm Fresh Chickens are Happier Chickens

We won’t traumatize you with images depicting of the horrors of commercial egg production, you can google that on your own. However, the reality is bleak. Even egg cartons that claim their chickens are “free range” don’t really tell the whole truth. Most commercial “free-range” chickens are raised in football-sized barns with barely any room to move once they’re grown – and with very little access to outside space.

Farm fresh eggs come from chickens that have plenty of moving and foraging ground, typically by way of portable chicken shelters that allow the chickens to help organic farmers as they rotate their crops. Chickens pecking around a plot about to be planted, or a crop that was just harvested, is like Mother Nature’s way of light tilling and fertilizing the ground. That makes for happier and healthier chickens.

There’s No Such Thing as a Vegetarian Chicken

Note: We respect our vegetarian friends, and we honor your respect for the lives of all living beings. That being said, if you eat eggs – be wary of cartons that read, “vegetarian-fed hens.” Chickens are not vegetarians. In addition to grains, grass, foliage and vegetable matter, chickens love to eat bugs, grubs, worms, lizards and frogs. If a hen is truly organic and free range, we assure you she isn’t a vegetarian – any farmer who guarantees their chickens are vegetarians is not raising free-range chickens.

For a very tastefully done, short video (less than 5 minutes!) on the difference between true, organic farm fresh versus corporate organic versions, we recommend watching Scrambled Eggs. We also recommend Mother Earth News’, “How to Decode Your Egg Cartons,” for further information.

Moral of the story: Get in touch with farmers at your local farmers markets, or source your eggs through local CSAs or other organic food purveyors, like our own Golden Gate Organics. That’s the best way to gain access to the healthiest eggs out there if you aren’t planning to raise your own egg-laying chickens.

Interested in having farm fresh eggs and other, healthy organic food delivered right to your door? Visit our organic eggs page and start shopping or learn more about the local organic eggs we carry from Rockside Ranch.