Is an egg just an egg? We source all of our eggs from Frank at I Like Eggs, who provides us with the freshest free-range eggs direct from the farm.
Free Range eggs are produced by chickens that are allowed to roam freely by day and return to safe secure barns at night. The fundamental decision is an ethical one. Some studies have also
found nutritional enrichment of Free Range eggs not only due to supplemental nutrients obtained on the range, but also as a result of exposure to natural sunlight (e.g. vitamin D).
These eggs will usually have a much deeper yellow/orange yolk, avoid the inflammatory fat profiles and salmonella issues of caged eggs and I personally think taste much better too.
During the day the hens have access to an outside range area, enabling them to exhibit normal chicken behaviour such as scratching, pecking and dust-bathing. At night they return to
secure safe barns. They are fed a grain-based diet free of animal by-products. The outside range area is at least twice the size of the barn. Healthier hens mean superior quality eggs, and farming
standards in Free Range production need to be much higher to ensure a quality product.
It costs the producer about 50% more to produce Free Range eggs than eggs from caged birds.
LESS THAN 5% OF EGGS SOLD IN SOUTH AFRICA ARE FREE RANGE!
The best source of pastured free range eggs are smaller farmers in your local area and they deserve your support. This is a relatively inexpensive food and it’s worth a little more for all the free range egg benefits ahead.
A comparison of nutritional data for caged versus eggs found, on average, the free range eggs had:
Twice as much omega-3 fatty acids.
Three times more vitamin E.
Seven times more pro-vitamin A beta-carotene.
A quarter less saturated fat.
A third less cholesterol.
Other tests have demonstrated that pastured eggs have up to six times more essential vitamin D than regular supermarket eggs. They have also been shown to have significantly more B vitamins than a factory egg.
Egg yolks are also a known source of lutein and zeaxanthin, but the pale, watery yellow yolks in eggs from caged chickens, fed the waste products of the grain industry, contain very little.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two important antioxidants for the health of your eyes. They help to protect the delicate macula region of your eye from damaging UV and high-intensity blue light.
If you’d like to protect your vision as well as improve your overall health, look for the deep yellow/orange yolks you’ll find in real free range eggs.