Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Joy of Pastured Eggs

Another reason we choose to eat locally grown food is because we can ask about HOW it is grown and choose to support farmers who are thinking sustainably about their land, products and animals.

Even before we had our own chickens we sought out pastured eggs. I want to buy eggs from farmers who let their chickens roam free, able to eat the delicious worms and weeds and run around in the wind, protected from predators and loved by their keepers. Now that we have our own clucky darlings I can't imagine raising chickens any other way. Turns out my instincts about how chickens are happiest is also apparent in the eggs they lay. In March 2007, Mother Earth News put out the call, looking for eggs to test and info about how the chickens were raised. The results were published in October 2007 speak for themselves. I highly recommend you go and read everything in the Mother but for those of you who just want the highlights, here they are:

From Mother Earth News "Our testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture may contain:

• 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"

The picture above is a recent egg from our chickens--it is a joy!