Healthy Days and Nourishing Ways

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Eggs
Scrambled. Fried. Poached. Hard-boiled. Soft-boiled. In an omelet or in a quiche. What would we do without eggs? Eggs breed life and life needs eggs. In the grocery store there are so many varieties of eggs to pick from that it can be confusing. There are regular store eggs. Then there are the name brand eggs. There are eggs from chickens that were vegetarian fed, eggs from chickens that were not fed antibiotics, and eggs from chickens that are omega-3 enriched. And let’s not forget the eggs that are labeled “organic”, “cage-free”, or “free-range”. Are brown eggs healthier than white eggs? I will take a crack at clearing up some of the egghausting confusion when it comes to selecting eggs.

Take a look.

· The color of the egg makes no difference to the quality of what’s inside the egg. Whether white, brown, pink, or blue, what’s important is not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside.
· If the label states “vegetarian fed”, the feed probably consisted of soy and/or corn and antibiotics.
· If the label does not state what the chickens ate or did not eat they were probably given a feed that included soy and/or corn, animal by-products, and antibiotics.
· Eggs that are labeled “omega-3 enriched” probably came from chickens that had flaxseed or algae added to their soy or corn feed. This provides for a better omega-6 to omega-3 balance.
· Organic eggs sound nice but it may mean that the chickens are in a cage being fed organic soybeans or corn.
· There is no real definition for the terms “free-range” and “cage-free” so there is no real way of knowing how much time the animals get to be outside walking around, unless a visit to the farm is made.
· Chickens should ideally be outside during the day eating grasses and insects, and be inside a shelter at night. These chickens will produce eggs that have lots of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
· Powdered eggs should be avoided since they contain oxidized cholesterol. This dangerous form of cholesterol may lead to health problems if consumed regularly.
· Along with eggs from chickens, eggs are available from other animals like ducks, quails, geese, and some fish. These, of course, are more expensive and more difficult to find.
· Eggs should be stored in a closed container on a shelf in the refrigerator, not in the door.
· Check out this month’s recipe for an Italian omelet. It’s my mother’s recipe and it is simply eggcellent!

If you can’t find the eggs you want at the grocery store, seek out a local resource. Or, you can get some chickens and have your own fresh eggs whenever you want. Whatever eggs you decide on, keep this eggceptional food a part of your healthy days and nourishing ways.