Eggs is eggs, right?
Well, not quite..
Eggs are a staple in many of our diets, for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as ingredients in cakes, bakes or breads. While all eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals, several studies shown that organic eggs have even more benefits over conventional eggs from caged hens.
A study from Penn State University found that organic chicken eggs have three times more omega-3 fatty acids than their caged counterparts. Omega 3s help to prevent chronic disease and reduce inflammation while supporting brain function and growth. Omega-3s also play an important role in heart health and help lower cholesterol.
Studies have suggested that while all eggs are a good source of protein and nutrients, organic eggs have:
- Higher Vitamin A content (up to 40% more than conventional eggs)
- Higher Vitamin E content (up to twice as much as conventional eggs)
- Generally higher Vitamin D content (especially in summer, when spending time in the sun increased the hens and therefore the eggs, Vitamin D content)
Rules around routine antibiotic use in poultry feed are changing in the EU with new legislation passed as recently as last year. However, there is still a long way to go. Antibiotics and other medicines in hens’ feed can remain in eggs for up to a week. Conventional chicken feed typically contains a combination of: Genetically Modified Wheat, Genetically Modified Corn, growth promoters, taste enhancers, artificial colourings and more.
Organic chicken feed doesn’t contain any of the above – no nasties!
Lastly, the most important and also the most well-known benefit: animal welfare. We aren’t going to tell you about the conditions in caged hen “farms”, you already know that. What we will say is that Organic Eggs come from hens whose lives are vastly different. There are strict standards that can be spot checked at any time, rigorous paperwork (just ask Liam!) and the welfare of the birds always comes first. They are free to roam, except when outbreaks of bird flu occur in the region. Then they are inside for their own safety – even then they have room to flap around, to scratch, to exercise and to nest. They peck our wellies and frighten our dogs.
When their egg production reduces, we re-home them with local people looking to start a small home flock themselves. Keep an eye on the Drumanilra Facebook Page for news of organic hen sales every couple of years.
All eggs, as part of a healthy diet, provide essential micro and macro nutrients and provide a variety of health benefits. If you can make the choice between conventional and organic, depending on availability, affordability and access we always recommend organic. If not, try to opt for free range or small farmers. Markets can have great deals too!
Pick up Drumanilra Organic Farm Eggs in our Farm Shops in Carrick-on-Shannon or Strandhill 7 days a week!