Does anyone remember the original Orange Julius? You could add a raw egg to give it a nutritious boost. Orange Julius is still around today, and uses egg white powder and whey powder, but no more raw eggs. Body builders used raw eggs for decades. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he drank raw eggs and cream to build his sculpted muscles.
Would you drink raw eggs today? You could, but only if you chose pasture-raised eggs. These are eggs laid by hens who have farm land to run around on and are able to grub for bugs and grass like real birds. The hens are never given non-organic feed and are not treated with chemicals or antibiotics. The quality of life of the chickens is considered as a factor in healthy eggs. There is a certified Humane designation if the space allotted to the chickens meets Humane standards. http://vitalfarms.com/pasture-raised-eggs/
Pasture-raised eggs go beyond organic. The designation Organic eggs means that the chickens eat organic feed and are raised in an organic environment. The hens may be fed organic corn or other organic feed, vitamins and minerals. They also receive vaccinations and antibiotics as needed, but do not receive growth hormones. Since 2010, the hens must have access to the outdoors and cannot be caged inside. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/constitutes-organic-chicken-egg-79176.html
Free-range eggs means that the chicken must have some access to outdoors (which they may or may not use) and the size of the territory may not be large. The hens may be given non-organic food and they may receive routine antibiotics. There are no other standards set by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture), so it is up to the egg farmers to decide.
Omega-3 eggs, Antibiotic-free eggs, Vegetarian eggs, Soy-free eggs, and Natural eggs are designations not monitored by government regulatory agencies regarding their claims. So, you are relying on the honesty of egg manufacturers may who cut hens’ beaks, confine them to battery-cages, feed antibiotics constantly and are feeding the hens GMO corn and other non-organic feed. The cages may be filthy and dead chickens may not be removed. Consider all of these eggs as Commercial or Conventional eggs. In one study Omega-3 eggs were found to be higher in Omega-3 fats and lower in Arachidonic Acid, which is associate with inflammation. If the hens are fed fish oil, the eggs may also taste fishy! www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814609003513
Battery-cage (electric cage) farming of chickens has been banned in Sweden since 1992, and in other European countries since 2012. The USDA has not banned the practice in the U.S. It is hard to imagine that such inhumane practices lead to the healthiest of eggs.
Eggs are very nutritious. The egg white contains 20 different amino acids, nine of which are essential” for humans, and only 71 calories on average. They have 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat. A healthy liver makes 2,000 mg of cholesterol a day, so you don’t need to worry about the 190 mg. of cholesterol in an egg. Eggs have no carbohydrates, so they will keep blood sugar in balance.
In 2007, Mother Earth News tested commercial eggs vs. pasture-raised eggs and found that the pastured chickens laid eggs that had two-thirds more Vitamin A, twice as many Omega-3 fats, three times more Vitamin E and seven times more beta-carotene. Carotenoids are anti-oxidants that reduce inflammation in the body.
Organic eggs are one of the best sources of B12, and also contain iron, B6, Vitamins D and A, Calcium and Magnesium, and a host of traces minerals.
It is best not to over-cook eggs, which causes the protein to become rubbery and unusable by the body. Poached, soft-boiled and raw (organic only!) are easiest for the body to digest. Commercial eggs are dangerous to eat raw, as they may contain salmonella, but organic eggs should be safe. Keep eggs refrigerated and consume within the indicated date on the carton.
To check out the best brands of eggs go to www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/ Also, look for the following certifications from The Humane Society:
Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, Food Alliance Certified, United Egg Producers Certified, Certified Organic.
Egg shells are porous, and what is outside passes through, so be careful about what rubs against them. Use a quick warm water rinse or use vinegar diluted in water to wash away any debris. Commercial eggs may be washed in chlorine and coated with mineral oil, both of which will penetrate the shell.
The best place to purchase eggs is from small farmers you know and trust. The Burbank Farmer’s Market has a stand called Ha’s Apple Farm. They have delicious organic apples, and sell pasture-raised eggs, some of which have beautiful green shells. Health Food Stores may also sell pasture-raised eggs.
Hope this helps you to look at eggs in a whole new light, after they have been demonized for years. We now know that whole foods are usually heart-healthy foods and that it is sugar and white starches that are the real enemies of hearts and arteries. Nature’s bounty comes in a beautiful oval shape.