Over the past decade or so there has been a noticeable trend in popularity towards free-range, cage-free, organic, GMO-free, gluten-free, and all around natural foods. Though these terms may not be entirely new to you, it’s important to note that many people aren’t altogether clear on what this jargon exactly means, and for good reason—these buzzwords are thrown around a lot! One particular practice that we are going to look at today concerns free-range eggs. Plenty of people won’t even consider buying regular eggs anymore due to perceived health benefits and animal cruelty concerns. Are free-range eggs in fact healthier and more humane? Let’s find out!
There are several arguments used in regards to choosing free-range eggs. The first argument that we are going to study is the one made by many animal lovers—free-range eggs are more humane than regular eggs. So, what exactly makes these eggs kinder than the alternative? Let’s take a look at the facts.
According to The Humane Society, free-range hens are…
- Cage-free— the hens are not allowed to be kept in cages.
- Free to walk, nest, and engage in other natural behaviors.
- Pasture-raised— the hens are only fed grains that are certified organic.
- Certified organic— all ingredients must be at least 95% organic and free of pesticides, fertilizers, and dyes.
So, now we all know that free-range hens have a much better life than hens that have to live their lives in overcrowded cages.
According to NutritionFacts.org, free-range eggs are . . .
- Less likely to be contaminated with Salmonella.
- Free from traces of pesticides, fertilizer, and dye.
- Not necessarily healthier for you from a nutritional standpoint.
Did you catch that last bullet point? A little bit of a twist in the story, huh?
According to a new study conducted by the National Institutes of Health, free-range eggs, simply put, have no nutritional differences in comparison to regular eggs or industrial-farmed ones. Most people are concerned with the high cholesterol levels found in eggs, but the study shows that there is no significant difference in cholesterol between free-range eggs and industrial-farmed ones. The only disparity between the two is actually the fat content, which ended up being higher in the free-range eggs in the study.
Though nutritional content is no longer up for debate, many still sing the praises of these eggs. One passionate YouTuber made a video to show her followers that there is a big difference in yolk color between free-range and industrial-farmed eggs. The free-range eggs produce a richer, orange tone, while the regular eggs have a bright yellow hue.
Are you a free-range egg believer? What do you do to ensure that your diet is free of harmful ingredients? Do you care whether your eggs are produced humanely or not? We’d love to hear your opinions! Let us know all about them in the comments section below!