Friday, August 7, 2009

The Free Grazed Difference

It is amazing, the difference between eggs from actual free grazed chickens and those fed corn, soy, or other grains.

The visible difference is in the yokes and it's evident the second you crack them open. They are larger, firmer (less watery), a darker yellow in color, and yes they taste better too; but more importantly though they are much better for you. Eggs from free grazed chickens are much higher in Omega-3, as opposed to those from chickens fed corn (very high in Omega-6).

The tricky thing about purchasing free grazed eggs is actually buying free grazed eggs. I bought the "free grazed" eggs from my local food store (found in the organic section), and it's evident the second you crack the egg that these are not eggs from a free grazed chicken. But how is this possible?

If you do some research you will find that for something to be labeled "free grazed" in needs only access to grass... actually eating the grass is not required. From what I've read the chickens from these large food manufactures (organic or not) are kept inside when they are young to protect them from "harm" lurking outside. Tightly packed together indoors they live the first part of their lives; with their beaks clipped (to prevent them from biting each other out of boredom) they spend their days eating corn or other grains. So when they are finally given access to the outside (probably nothing more than a door way leading to a small patch of fenced in grass), they choose what is familiar to them, the tightly packed indoors.

So what to do?

I buy mine from a local farmer, where I know they are actually free grazed. I don't need writing on the carton to tell that, the yokes do all the talking. Now that I have a house my wife and I plan to have our own laying hens, but until that day comes I will stick with the local farmers.

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