I recently found not one – but TWO – egg farmers within minutes of my house and regular stomping grounds. I can get a dozen pastured, farm-fresh eggs for only $3/dozen! This is much cheaper than even the best quality (albeit nutritionally inferior) eggs offered at my grocery store.
Both these local farmers allow their chickens to roam around freely (I saw this with my own eyes!). The difference in yolk color and flavor from a conventional egg is astonishing!
I was finishing up some (conventional) Eggland’s Best eggs, so I decided to take some pictures. I want to show you how these eggs compare visually. The white egg on the left is the Eggland’s Best egg, and the egg on the right is from the farmer…
Look at the difference in the yolks!
The eggs from the local farmer are orange, not yellow. This difference is apparent not only visually, but in taste and nutrition as well. The farmer’s orange-yolked eggs are creamy and rich. These are SO delish with a little sprinkle of sea salt! You should see the color when you hard boil one of the pastured eggs – I made some Avocado Egg Salad the other day with my new eggs, and it was was ORANGE because of the yolk, not pale yellow like a conventional hard boiled egg!
Studies show that eggs produced by pastured chickens (chickens that roam freely outdoors, in a pasture setting) may contain
- 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
One of the farmers told us that the eggs are so orange because of all the beta carotene the chickens take in from the grass while roaming around.
And to think I usually pay a premium at the grocery store ($4.69/dozen) for organic, cage-free eggs. Sadly, ‘cage-free’ just means that the chickens aren’t in a cage… it doesn’t necessarily mean they are ‘pastured.’ It can just mean that the chickens are crammed together in a hen-house. :( I will take my fresh, $3/dozen, deep-orange-yolked eggs any day!
So how can you find a farmer offering pastured eggs?? First, you can click your state on the Eat Wild map to find farmers with pastured animals. There may be a farmer right around the corner offering pastured eggs!
As many smaller farmers might not be listed on that site, another great place to check is at your local farmers market (check the Local Harvest site to find markets in your area). There is probably a farmer selling his pastured eggs, just waiting for you to find him. :) I know the new farmer my sister and I found at our market had pictures of his chickens out on the pasture, as if he was showing us his grandkids!
If there are no farmers selling pastured eggs at your farmers market, ask around! You could ask the other farmers there or even just the people there like you! A lot of times people at farmers markets are very forthcoming with info (I think Shannon struck up a conversation with a lady about natural deodorants at her market!).
If you can get your hands on some pastured eggs, I completely encourage you to give them a try. You won’t want to go back to regular eggs!
Sidenote: My hubby thinks I should change the title of this post to “Check Out My Huevos.” I opted not to. He thinks he’s so funny. Men.