Fresh eggs are much different from store-bought, factory farm eggs. Let’s talk about what makes these eggs better when compared to store-bought.
It turns out; there’s more to the term than just making a cute home decor sign. For starters, eggs come in a variety of colors, from white to brown, to blue to green, even some shades of pink! They also taste different (not nearly as bland) and tend to have a darker yolk, which is indicative of a higher nutritional value. They come in all different sizes and shapes. Their shells vary from thin to thick and from bumpy to smooth.
Here are eight differences between farm-fresh eggs and those that you purchase at the grocery store.
In a blind taste between the farm-fresh and store-bought egg, no taste preference was reported. However, the texture of a farm egg is easily noticed and preferred in the farm-fresh egg. The farm egg white contrasts with that of the watery version of the store-bought.
The yolk is also firmer, which helps it not to break as easily, making over-easy eggs easier to make. So those of us who love dipping our toast into a yummy pool of yolk can be happy.
They say we eat with our eyes, and the color of the yolk of a farm egg is noticeably different. The deep orange color is due to the diet of the farm chicken.
Nutrition is one area there is a marked difference in, and once again, it goes back to what a farm chicken has available to eat and the lack of stress in their life. These two things help their byproduct, the egg, have a higher nutritional value for those who partake of them.
Farm eggs are lower in cholesterol, (note: eggs only have good cholesterol), and saturated fat. They are high in Omega 3s, Vitamin A and E, and beta carotene.
A deficiency in Vitamin D is a problem for many people, and the food that provides it naturally when consumed is… you guessed it, the egg. As a hen basks in the afternoon sun, they take in large amounts of Vitamin D, which is then passed on to the egg they lay that day.
Another factor in the nutritional value of an egg is that once an egg is laid, its nutritional value decreases as it ages. So if a grocery store egg has been held in the cooler or has been on a shelf for several weeks, then a farm-fresh egg will always win the nutrition battle.
The thickness of a farm eggshell is thicker due to the food that they forage and supplementary feed given by their flock owner. This higher quality feeds increases the shell making it less likely to break in the carton.
The pelletized feed that most chicken farms feed their birds causes the thinner shell to form.
The USDA recommends that eggs are consumed within five weeks from the date laid. Your local grocery store may have had the eggs for nearly a month, and when you buy them for your family could have already lost a good portion of their nutrition.
If you have you raise chickens, you know when they were laid and can keep track of their laying date by marking them to ensure using the oldest eggs first.
Farm eggs don’t have to be refrigerated. If you’re like me and during the holidays you’re stacking things in the fridge and holding your breath as you close the door, you’re happy to have your eggs out on the counter and not taking up room.
Not washing an egg helps it retains the natural bloom that protects it. This bloom gives the egg the ability not to be refrigerated and still stay fresh. If you do wash the eggs then they always need to be stored in the refrigerator.
One place that store-bought eggs may have an advantage is during the long, frostbiting winter season or the scorching parched summer season.
In these seasons, you can drive in your warm car to the store and pick up a dozen eggs. Not so for the flock owner who has to brave these conditions to gather their eggs.
It is only two seasons out of four, though, and the time with your fine feathered beauties is worth a little bundling or sweating, don’t ya think?
Store-bought eggs rarely have any irregularities or variations in their offering of a dozen eggs. They are white or brown and candled to make sure no blood spots or abnormalities arrive in the carton.
However, with a farm-fresh egg, you can get many colors from pink to green to blue.
A host of other oddities may occur such as:
Tiny eggs called wind or fairy eggs laid in the beginning stages of a hen’s reproductive cycle.
Large eggs are at the other end of the spectrum happening at the end of the hen’s laying cycle or be due to a mineral deficiency.
Another abnormality that can be attributed to the hen’s laying cycle is a double yolk. When two yolks combine, and then the shell forms around them.
Wrinkled eggshells are attributed to rough handling of a hen or are a sign the hen may have had a respiratory infection.
Bumpy eggshells are a sign of excess Vitamin D and calcium, while eggs with blood spots are due to blood or tissue releasing before the shell forms.
There are many more anomalies in the world of chicken eggs, which you can read about here: Help! My Hen Laid a Weird Egg!.
Salmonella is a health concern for egg consumption not only in this country but countries like Great Britain that has seen a significant rise in deaths attributed to it.
The risk of salmonella is higher in caged hens, and the disease is passed down through their eggs. It is hard to see signs of the disease, so when you have so many hens to watch, it often gets missed.
As a flock owner, you peruse your flock reasonably frequently and have a better chance of spotting an irregularity.
So basically, it comes down to happy, healthy hens produce Egg-cellent eggs!
I don’t know about you, but the peace of mind that you know where your food is is sourced is a big reason for partaking of farm-fresh over store-bought.
How about you?