Organic egg production is the production of eggs through organic means. In this process, the poultry are fed organic feed. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, organic means that the laying hens must have access to the outdoors and cannot be raised in cages.
BENEFITS OF ORGANIC EGGS:
The benefits of organic eggs may be worth the extra cost. They come from chickens that were given 100 organic feed, free of any agricultural chemical residues. The chickens are also treated humanely, with access to outdoor space to roam. In addition, the eggs themselves contain essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals needed to keep you healthy.
For eggs to be labelled as organic, they must meet requirements drawn up and enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The feed given to the chickens cannot come from crops that are genetically modified, treated with pesticides or herbicides, or fertilized with chemical or synthetic products. The chickens also cannot be treated with hormones, antibiotics or other pharmaceuticals. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes that some of the pesticides used in food production may cause cancer, skin irritations, nervous system disruption or hormonal imbalance in humans. Organic eggs are free from any of these potentially harmful chemical residues.
ARE ORGANIC EGGS SAFER & HEALTHIER..?
Studies have shown that consumers buy organic eggs because they are perceived as being healthier, free of chemicals and genetically modified materials, and because they taste better. In addition, consumers expect that laying flocks are maintained under more humane and improved welfare conditions. According to European consumer research, the ideal production system is considered to be one based on relatively few hens, natural feed and freedom of movement (Blair, 2008).
In assessing the effects of organic production on egg quality there are therefore two main aspects to consider: 1. how organic feeding affects shell and internal egg quality, and 2. how the housing system affects egg quality and safety. Organic production is based on non-cage systems. Free-run or cage-free eggs are produced by hens that are able to move about the floor of the barn and have access to nesting boxes and perches. Free-range eggs are produced in a similar environment as cage-free eggs but hens have access to outdoor runs as well. There is a possible higher disease risk in organic flocks since the birds are more in contact with their manure, also soil, wild birds and other animals. For that reason all poultry may be required by health authorities to be housed indoors during disease outbreaks, or there may be a requirement that outside runs be screened with a mesh cover. As a result of the controversy about housing, egg production from caged layers is due to be banned across the European Union by 2012. Cage production is also scheduled to be phased out in California in 2015, following a public ballot in 2009.
The choice for the consumer between eggs from caged and non-caged hens will also depend on the difference in the cost of eggs in the store. Eggs in Europe and in California are likely to cost more as a result of the ban on cages, possibly twice as much. Organic production requirements result in higher costs for the producer, mainly because of the requirement for special feed and a higher mortality rate in the flock.
HOW TO FIND FRESH PASTURED ORGANIC EGGS
The key to getting high quality eggs is to buy them locally, either from an organic farm or farmers market. Fortunately, finding organic eggs locally is far easier than finding raw milk as virtually every rural area has individuals with chickens. Farmers markets are a great way to meet the people who produce your food. With face-to-face contact, you can get your questions answered and know exactly what you’re buying. Better yet, visit the farm and ask for a tour.
To locate a free-range pasture farm, try asking your local health food store, or check out the following web listings:
- Local Harvest
- USDA’s farmer’s market listing
- Eat Wild
If you absolutely must purchase your eggs from a commercial grocery store, look for ones that are marked free-range organic. They’re still going to originate from a mass-production facility (so you’ll want to be careful about eating them raw), but it’s about as good as it gets if you can’t find a local source. We would strongly encourage you to AVOID ALL 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.
For more tips on eggs, including how to identify fresh, high-quality eggs, please read Raw Eggs for Your Health.
CONTENT OF VITAMINS & MINERALS:
The unique feature of this Egg is that the feed of the layer birds is totally organic in nature as it doesn’t contain any animal or non-vegetarian product. Moreover, there are more than 16 herbs which are being used along the feed of layer bird. The residues of the herbs are transferred to the eggs which are helpful for the immune system, digestion system and liver of our body. Extra Vitamins and Minerals are added to the feed as per breeder hen’s requirement. Therefore, our eggs are rich in additional vitamins and minerals for better health.
PRODUCTION OF ORGANIC EGGS :
Eggs were plentiful at the time, as they usually are during summer, so some egg producers decided to shut down their organic production for a while. They got rid of some flocks, and switched others over to conventional feed. The eggs from those flocks still could be sold as “free range” eggs, since all organic chicken houses fit the definition of “free range.”
Organic egg production fell, while demand grew faster than expected last fall, leading to today’s empty shelves. Organic production is now coming back, Bruce says, but the problem of expensive feed remains.
Clarkson, the grain dealer, says it’s difficult to persuade most U.S. farmers to make the switch to organic production. The financial incentives are there, he says. Farmers can sell organic soybeans for twice what they’d get for conventional beans. “This should be almost a no-brainer,” Clarkson says. “But it’s not.”
THE NUTRITION OF ORGANIC EGGS:
Organic eggs have been produced under the strict rules required for them to be classified as organic food. These protocols require that the hens are given organic feed, allowed outdoor space to roam and limited in the use of antibiotics. The positive outcome of these strict rules is that you are left with an egg that is in theory hormone- and antibiotic-free. Some people report that organic eggs have a better flavour than regular eggs, but the primary benefit of organic eggs is the health of the animal and of the planet. Organic eggs have a similar nutritional value to regular eggs. Eggs have been a popular food source due to being low in calories and fats with some essential nutrients.
1 whole poached organic egg:
- Calories: 71
- Fats: 5g / 8% DV
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Protein: 6g
- Fibre: 0g
- Selenium: 15.8mcg / 23% DV
- Riboflavin: 0.2mg / 12% DV
- Vitamin B12: 0.6mcg / 11% DV
- Phosphorus: 95.0mg / 10% DV
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid: 37 mg
ABOUT ORGANIC EGGS AND CHOLESTEROL:
Whether organic or non-organic, eggs have been long touted as “bad” because studies done in the 1960’s claimed that regular consumption of eggs increased cholesterol levels. After decades of studies, it turns out, while the average age does contain around 213 milligrams of cholesterol, they are one of the healthiest foods you can eat because they contain so many nutrients.
As it turns out, consuming conventional or organic eggs and cholesterol in them does not necessarily raise your levels, according to a 1999 study in the Journal of American Medical Association. Sounds counterintuitive to what the public as heard for decades, but here’s how they explain it:
95 per cent of the cholesterol in your body is made by the liver.
When you eat grains and food and beverages high in sugar, the sugar enters your bloodstream and is then converted to saturated fat because your body doesn’t need the extra sugar.Saturated fat increases cholesterol levels in the body and not necessarily the consumption of cholesterol.