You Are What You Eat

They say you are what you eat.

We joke about it with witty quips about not wanting to live till 100 if it means cutting out all the fun stuff.

Until you see it literally staring you in the face.

I first noticed it when I made a quiche out of the lovely free fresh farm eggs we received the other day. It’s not like, in my head, I didn’t know they were better. I had occassionally splurged on some cage free eggs at the store. Yes, they were a bit deeper in color than regular eggs. But even a store cage free egg can have many meanings and not necessarily mean a chicken free to eat its natural vegetation. Which is why I couldn’t justify paying triple the store price for a very small, almost impercievable difference. (Watch a video from the Cornucopia Institute here.)

But this…

Oh these eggs were beautiful. All shades of brown, some light, some dark…no bland uniformity here. The yolks were fat and plump and this deep golden butter yellow. They made me happy to be making dinner instead of dreading it. And the quiches…oh my. What a rich golden color it came out. They looked (and tasted) like I had added all this cheese. Nope. Just a small sprinkling of parmesan and mozzerella in one and a smidgen of feta in the other. Not a drop of cheddar. But the taste…oh the taste was divine. Even my kids, who are not huge quiche fans (they are skeptical of anything that is not a scrambled egg), loved these eggs.

So I decided to capture the difference on camera. I wish you could’ve seen it in person. I actually think the picture shows the store-bought eggs reflecting the color of the fresh eggs. But even so you can tell the difference. My kids noticed it. They said they wanted the yellow eggs. They were sure I had screwed up making the other eggs despite them being the same eggs they have eaten for years.

“Did you put cheese in these eggs?” asks Gabe, my cheese lover.

“Mom, how come those eggs don’t look right?”

“Mom, can I have the yellow eggs, not the sick ones?”

Out of the mouths of babes…but very smart babes!

So, what makes the difference in color? And is it nutritionally superior?

Check out these stats for yourself.

Mother Earth News did a study with fourteen farms and compared it to the  U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs. They found that the pasture-fed, free range chickens had these qualities compared to conventional store-bought eggs ~

  • 1⁄3 less cholesterol
  • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
  • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene.

A side by side average looks like this:

                                  SuperMarket Egg          Pastured Egg

Vitamin E                        .97                                     3.73

Vitamin A                       487                                  791.86

Beta Carotene                10                                      79.03

Omega 3                          .22                                        .66

Cholesterol                    423                                      277

Saturated Fat               3.1g                                      2.4g

That’s some good eating!

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