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The Incredible, Edible, Organic, Free-Range Egg

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Eggs contain high quality proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

The idea that eggs, as a source of saturated fats, are unhealthy and promote heart disease is a untrue. Though fats from animal sources contain cholesterol, this is not necessarily something that will harm you. Eggs are one of the most healthful foods you can eat, and can actually help prevent disease, including heart disease. Proteins in cooked eggs are converted by gastrointestinal enzymes, producing peptides that act as ACE inhibitors (common prescription medications for lowering blood pressure).

Although egg yolks are relatively high in cholesterol, numerous studies have confirmed that eggs have virtually nothing to do with raising your cholesterol. In healthy adults, eating eggs every day does not produce a negative effect on endothelial function (an aggregate measure of cardiac risk); nor does it increase cholesterol levels.

They also contain antioxidant properties, Tryptophan and Tyrosine, which important for the prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The amino acid, Tryptophan is also an important precursor to the brain chemical serotonin, which helps regulate your mood. Tyrosine synthesizes two key neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine, which promote alertness and mental activity.

Egg yolks are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, a class of carotenoids called xanthophylls, that offer powerful prevention against age-related macular degeneration; the most common cause of blindness.

Antioxidant properties are reduced by half when eggs are fried or boiled, while microwaving chemically alters the structure. This type of distortion can easily lead to allergies. When consumed in their raw state, the incidence of egg allergy virtually disappears. You should only eat free-range or “pastured” organic eggs, as they are less likely to contain bacteria such as Salmonella. If you choose not to eat your eggs raw, poached or soft-boiled is your next best option. Scrambling your eggs is one of the worst ways to cook them as it oxidizes the cholesterol in the egg yolk, which may in fact harm your health. While egg whites contain alot of protein, the egg was meant to be consumed whole. The yolk is loaded with bioflavonoids, brain fats like phosphatidyl choline, powerful antioxidants and sulfur.

An egg is considered organic if the chicken was only fed organic food, which means it will not have accumulated high levels of pesticides from the grains (mostly GM corn) fed to typical chickens. Free-range chickens have the freedom to scratch and peck nutritious bugs and grass, and see the light of day. Their immune systems are stronger due to their nutrition. And because they have cleaner, more spacious coops than the average convential chicken, they are less succeptable to disease.

Free-range, organic eggs are far more nutritious than commercially raised eggs. Hens raised on pasture and found that the latter typically contains 2/3 more vitamin A, twice the omega-3 fatty acids, thrice the vitamin E , and seven times more beta carotene. Take caution when purchasing supermarket “Omega-3 eggs” as they are some of the least healthy for you. These eggs typically come from chickens that are fed poor-quality sources of omega-3 fats that are already oxidized. Also, omega-3 eggs perish much faster than non-omega-3 eggs.

Organic, free-range eggs that have an intact cuticle do not require refrigeration, as long as you are going to consume them within 7-10 days. The U.S. is one of the few places people refrigerate eggs, because the mass production requires eggs to travel long distances and sit in storage for weeks to months before arriving at your local supermarket. The lack of hygeine of factory farms increases the likelihood that your eggs have come into contact with pathogens, amplifying the need for both disinfection and refrigeration.

So, if your eggs are fresh from the organic farm, with intact cuticles, and will be consumed within a few days, you can simply leave them on the counter or in a cool cupboard. The shelf life for an unrefrigerated egg is around 7 to 10 days.
When refrigerated, they’ll stay fresh for 30-45 days. Keep this in mind when purchasing eggs from your grocery store, as by the time they hit the shelf, they may already be three weeks old, or older… USDA certified eggs will have a pack date and a sell-by date on the carton, so check the label!

We have a surplus of eggs this Spring. We rescued all 17 of these chickens, and have grown to love them all with their individual personalities. There are several acres for our happy girls to scratch and peck bugs and grass. Watching them graze is quite meditating. We supplement their diet with certified organic grains and food scraps. You won’t find fresher, better eggs. These come from a mix of Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, various colors of Wynandottes, Barred Rock, Australorps, and Black Sex Links, so you’ll get a variety.