Over on our website I have a picture that I took of a supermarket egg on a plate next to an egg from one of our free range chickens. Farm fresh eggs have a richer darker yolk than factory eggs, and of course they taste far better. That alone is enough reason to buy eggs from a local farmer, rather than a supermarket. But there are plenty of other compelling reasons as well.
Buying eggs from a farmer who raises chickens using humane, sustainable practices helps support small-scale traditional agriculture, and keeps your egg dollars in the local community. While some folks charge hefty premiums for their eggs, many don’t. Often real eggs won’t cost much more than factory eggs.
And please don’t be fooled by the deceptive labelling at supermarkets. Much of what are sold as “free range” eggs are simply eggs from a CAFO with a porch. Federal regulations permit eggs to be sold as “free range” as long as the chickens have the ability to go “outside”, even if that is nothing more than a fenced porch on the factory, and even if no chicken ever goes on it. Likewise, eggs that are advertised as from “vegetarian” chickens, are silly rip-offs. Chickens are carnivorous and there is nothing wrong with them having bugs and meat in their diets. This ridiculous tactic plays on consumer ignorance, and the well-founded concerns that arose from mad cow disease, which was caused by feeding dead animal by-products to herbivorous cattle.
It is not difficult to tell if you are getting legitimately superior eggs. Eggs that are all uniform in size and color were likely produced in a factory. If their yolks are runny and pale yellow, then they were not laid by free-ranging chickens. Superior eggs have a dark orange yolk and will not spread out over a plate or pan when cracked.
A final reason to buy free range eggs is that they are better for you. On our website we’ve linked an article describing the health benefits. Free range eggs, as compared to factory/supermarket eggs, have:
*1/3 less cholesterol
* 1/4 less saturated fat
* 2/3 more vitamin A
* two times more omega-3 fatty acids
* three times more vitamin E
* seven times more beta carotene
* three to six times more vitamin D
And I won’t even bother listing the advantages of farm fresh eggs over processed breakfast cereals.