Protein is the super-star nutrient in an egg. But we have to give props to Vitamin K and the mineral Selenium both found in our oval friend. Vitamin K is an element vital in the bone building processes and selenium is essential for healthy thyroid function. Also showcasing in eggs is Lutein, an antioxidant that helps prevent free radical damage in the eyes.
While eggs seem simple and straight forward, buying them can be overwhelming. Here is a breakdown of the different labels you will find on egg cartons.
It can be Egg-asperating!
Organic: Animals may not receive hormones/antibiotics except in the case of illness. They consume organic feed and have outdoor access but may not necessarily use it. Animals are not necessarily grass-fed. Certification is costly, and some reputable farms are forced to forgo it. Compliance is verified through third party auditing.
Pasture-raised: Animals can roam freely in their natural environment where they are able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants or bugs/grubs that are part of their natural diet. There is no specific pasture-raised certification, though certified organic meat must come from animals that have continuous access to pasture regardless of use.
Cage-Free: “Cage-Free” means uncaged inside barns or warehouses, but they generally do not have access to the outdoors. Beak cutting is permitted, and there is no third party auditing.
Natural: Minimally processed, and companies may use this word deceivingly. All cuts are, by definition, minimally processed and free of flavorings and chemicals.
Free-rang/roaming: Poultry must have access to the outdoors at least 51% of the time, and ruminants may not be in feedlots. There are no restrictions regarding what the birds can be fed. Beak cutting and forced molting through starvation are permitted. There is no third party auditing.
Naturally Raised: Is a USDA verified term. It generally means raised without growth–promoters or unnecessary antibiotics. It does not indicate welfare or diet.
No Added Hormones: It is ILLEGAL to use hormones in raising poultry or pork; therefore, the use of this phrase is solely for marketing purposes.
Vegetarian-fed: Implies that the animal feed is free of animal by-products but is not federally inspected. Chickens are not vegetarians, so this label on chicken or eggs only serves to indicate that the chicks were not eating their natural diet.
Wow! Now what? How do you decide?
Best choice: Neighbor with hens!
Better choice: Pasture-raised, local. Check out your farmers market (Thursday Morning in Oceanside, on PeirView Way!)
Good choice: Cage-Free Organic
OK choice: Commercial. When I need eggs, I need eggs, and I do not hesitate to buy commercial. It is the best I can do in that moment and that is what counts the most!
You now have the knowledge to make Egg-cellent choices!
Eat With Joy~
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Owner of SNAC (simple, nourishing, affordable, cooking) pragmas and classes.
LInkedin - See more at: http://www.oceansidechamber.com/occ-blog/6-tips-for-a-successful-school-lunch#sthash.DbBGX7zO.dpuf
Talk about versatile! Breakfast lunch and dinner!
½ medium onion
¼ ground meat (turkey, beef, port or lamb) Optional!
4 medium garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. chicken broth
3 Cups rinsed and finely chopped kale or any green leafy veggie.
Salt and Pepper to taste
*Chop Garlic, mince onions and let sit for 5 minutes.
*Pre-heat broiler on low.
*Heat 1 Tbsp. broth in 9-10 in a stainless steel skillet. You will need a pan with steel handles. Add onions and sauté over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes.
*Add garlic and ground meat (turkey, beef, pork or lamb) and cook for another 3-5 minutes, breaking up clumps.
*Add Green Leafy Veggies and 2tbs of broth. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, covered, for about 5 more minutes. Season with Salt and pepper.
*Beat Eggs, season with pinch of salt and pepper, pour on top of the mixture evenly Cook on low for another 2 minutes with out stirring.
*Place skillet under the broiler on a rack in the middle of the oven, about 7 inches from the heat source so it has time to cook without the top burning. Watch it! I have burned mine so many times! As soon as the eggs are firm it is done: this should take about t 2-3 minutes.