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Thread: Regular egg vs. Expensive Egg test page

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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification


    We've had plenty of discussion about high Omega 3, or organic, or vegetarian diets, etc. here. So, I did a side by side test. First, the eggs.


    The conventional were Publix Jumbo, $1.59. The "special" eggs were Egg Innovations Large from Hole Foods, $2.79 IIRC. They were the least expensive I could find of the genre; I don't think they were organic.


    After a bit of organic butter in the pan, I fried them. I looked at the yolks very carefully for color depth from several angles. I THINK there was a difference, but as any good scientist knows, there could be that much variation in a day's run, or two eggs of the same kind. But I'll give the cautious nod to Egg Innovations.


    I didn't put any of my usual salsas or hot sauces on the eggs while I ate them. I went back and forth, a bite from one, a bite from the other. The special eggs had a head start in the frying pan, so there is another variable. Anyway, once again I THINK the Egg Innovations were slightly tastier.


    So the inevitable question is, "Are they worth the expense?" Keeping in mind not only the price difference, but the size difference, you pay quite a premium for barely any difference in perceived quality. OTOH, the Egg Innovations are cage free, which is important to me and others. If your budget is unlimited, by all means, you can't go wrong with the more expensive eggs. If not, it's your moral decision.


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    I think the free range/organic have a lot better nutrition value though... which might not equate to significantly better taste...


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    Free range eggs, like the kind bought from an actual farmer who lets their chickens run around and eat bugs and seeds, then go back to their little hen houses to lay eggs without a doubt taste better than conventional eggs. Hands down, no contest. I've been buying pastured eggs (as they are called, as opposed to organic, though free-range means about the same thing I think) for about 6 months now, and will not go back. The eggs are substantially larger most of the time, though the green eggs are smallish sometimes, and the yolks range from bright yellow to very deep orange and stand quite tall in the skillet.


    I also tried "better" eggs for a few months before the pastured eggs, and while they tasted better and were slightly larger than conventional eggs, I agree they were only sort of worth the extra dollar. The pastured eggs are much much better.

    You are what you eat,
    and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


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    The "Seven Deadly Sins"

    Grains (wheat/rice/oats etc) . . . . . Dairy (milk/yogurt/butter/cheese etc) . . . . . Nightshades (peppers/tomato/eggplant etc)
    Tubers (potato/arrowroot etc) . . . Modernly palatable (cashews/olives etc) . . . Refined foods (salt/sugars etc )
    Legumes (soy/beans/peas etc)

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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    Arthur, free range does not equate to organic and vice versa. Don't fall into the "organic is always more nutritious" trap. A conventionally fed chicken could turn out eggs better than that of an organic farmer thinking that the bugs in the yard will do the job. Or just an inferior mix.


    No question about true pastured eggs being better tasting, better for you, and better for the chicken.


    But those were not my point of comparison. "Free range," as pointed out in The Omnivore's Dilemma means they are not in cages and there is a door to go outside if so inclined. But according to the author, they seldom do. And as I've said numerous times, it is those bugs that make deep yellow yolks and incredible flavor. Otherwise, they are just another grain fed chicken.


    Hanna, size is set by federal standards, so if a given size is larger than store bought, the farmer is either generous or foolish. Or both.


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    Farmers don't size there eggs, at least not at my farmers market. They reuse old egg cartons that many people donate back to them, and I can only tell they're bigger because usually at least half of the eggs are too big to fit in the egg seats quite right. I'm not being duped into thinking I'm getting bigger eggs, I can clearly see the difference. The egg depends on the chicken, like I said before the green eggs from the farmer I buy from tend to be smaller, because the type of chicken that lays the green eggs produces slightly smaller eggs. A chicken that lays tan eggs tends to lay very large ones, and another type of hen that lays darker brown, speckled eggs are medium to large. This is my own experience from the eggs I've bought, not something I read online or saw on tv.


    The "amish" eggs that I bought before were also good, but not as big and not as flavorful. I didn't even buy many eggs for eating before then, because I didn't think I liked them all that much when I was buying conventional eggs.


    I also read The Omnivore's Dilema, and he said the same thing that I'm saying now. The Polyface eggs were better than any eggs he'd ever tasted because of the hens' diet and exercise, and that the "free range" eggs sold at specialty grocery stores didn't necessarily have any noticeable difference from conventional eggs.


    If you're doing a comparison and telling people that it's basically moot to buy better eggs, then you should take the comparison all the way. You're right, there's not a huge difference between the eggs you bought. But, if people have access to pastured, truly free-range chicken eggs from a local source, and all it costs is an extra dollar or two that they can afford, then it is well worth the investment in their health and in their local food community.


    You've been posting a lot about cost versus benefit, and this is an example that I don't think you're doing justice to. Sometimes you do have to pay more for better food that is healthier in all aspects, I don't think there's any way around that.

    You are what you eat,
    and what you eat eats too - Michael Pollan


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    I'm with Hannahc, pastured all the way!


    I buy mine from local farmer's at the farmer's market and there really is no contest. Yummy fried in grassfed butter!


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    Bright yellow yolk, better flavor, thicker/ harder shell is a good indicator too. If the yolk breaks very easily, it has less nutrition.


    You'll find the cheapest store-bought (conventional) eggs usually are the opposite of the above descriptions.


    I also get mine from a local farmer whom I buy raw milk, cream and cheese from. Those cute little chickens are out in their fenced in pen, just running around acting like goofy/ happy chickens when I drive by! ;-)


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    OnTheBayou's Avatar
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    hannahc, your information is interesting but wanders from my point(s). On the size issue, I misread you into thinking that they were graded eggs you were comparing to. The bottom line is that, in this case, size does not matter. You are right, some breeds lay larger eggs, and some smaller. So size is not an indication of quality.


    I said that the flavor benefits of the "better" eggs were minimal at best. I distinctly said that the moral aspect of commercial egg production might behoove one to go for the special eggs regardless.


    Otherwise, the cost of the eggs is a personal decision. I hear this all of the time, for instance, on photo forums. "XXXX" is better, it's worth the difference in cost. Well that's fine if you are buying it for me, or I have unlimited funds, but in the middle class world we all have to make quality/cost decisions. No way in hell can I (currently) afford the beef and chicken that is better for me. Again, I said it is up to the buyer. I didn't advise either way.


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    But wait, if they are bigger eggs then arent you getting more for your money, which would factor into the cost/benefit decision?


    Not that it matters a lot to me, all the good stuff is in the yolks, which I cant eat! Arg. I just get the protein from the whites and throw the rest out. There are only so many egg yolks you can feed your 7 lb poodle.

    Life on Earth may be punishing, but it includes an annual free trip around the sun!

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