For a growing family, I can’t think of a more perfect food than eggs. Rich in fat-soluble vitamins like A and D, eggs are an economical source of complete protein.
But beware: all eggs are not created equal. I wanted to share these pictures with you to show the comparison between the fresh eggs from our own flock of chickens on the left and the commercial imitation of an egg available at your local supermarket on the right.
Notice how the egg yolk from a hen raised on pasture is a deep orange compared to the pale yellow commercial yolk. It is actually shocking how bright the color is when you first start eating pasture-raised eggs.
Some friends have even questioned whether something was wrong with the eggs they were served because they were so orange! Imagine their horror when they found out the diet that had produced such “unnaturally” colored eggs: bugs and vegetable trimmings destined for the compost pile. This color is a sign of the nutrient-rich diet my hens have been enjoying and the health benefits passed on to my family when we eat these delicious eggs.
Even the egg whites are different. Did you know that the white should actually be composed of two distinct parts? There is a firmer inner ring surrounding the yolk and a thinner portion that spreads out at the edges. Most people don’t know this since you can’t detect it in factory-farmed eggs, but I think the picture above illustrates it well. Give these high-quality egg whites a try for the most fabulously textured meringues you have ever eaten!
What you can’t see in these two eggs are the vast differences in nutritional quality. When hens are allowed to feed on grass and insects as they were designed to do, they produce eggs high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Commercial feeding practices, however, lead to eggs with high omega-6 fatty acids, but little omega-3s. The modern western diet already provides a dangerously high amount of omega-6s at the expense of omega-3s due to our high consumption of refined vegetable oils.
High omega-3 content is why Asian societies consider eggs to be a brain food. In fact, pregnant Chinese women often eat up to a dozen eggs per day and tests reveal their breast milk to be incredibly high in DHA, a fatty acid important for the brain development of their babies.
What about cholesterol, you might ask? Numerous studies cited in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions have found that cholesterol levels do not rise with egg consumption. In fact, eggs are a great source of choline, a B-vitamin that helps cholesterol stay moving in the blood stream. The cholesterol found in eggs plays a key role in brain development and forms the building blocks for hormones. From the age of four months on, it is actually a great idea to feed your child a cooked, mashed egg yolk a day. Wait until your baby is at least a year old before feeding egg whites, which contain proteins that are difficult for babies to digest.
Let me share a quick way to get more of this nutritional powerhouse into your diet. Add a raw egg yolk to your smoothies. Rest assured that eggs from pasture-raised chickens pose little threat of salmonella poisoning. Even so, you should wash the shell with hot, soapy water before using them raw and please only use pastured-raised eggs for this purpose. Commercial eggs are much too dangerous to eat raw because the chickens that laid them have been heavily treated with antibiotics.
Check out my downloadable CD Secret Spoonfuls: Confessions of a Sneaky Mom to find tons more tips on getting your youngsters to eat nutritious foods that taste great. Lots more free articles and info on my website homeopathyworks.net.