Eggciting News!!!


The results from Mother Earth News’ latest round of pastured egg nutrient tests are beginning to come in. So far, pastured egg producers are kicking the commercial industry’s butt — woo hoo, go free range! We’ve invested a lot of time and energy over the last few years in researching the differences between the meat and eggs coming out of the commercial industry and those produced by conscientious farmers who let their animals graze on fresh pastures. In the past, we’ve found that eggs from hens raised on pasture, as compared to those commercially raised factory farm eggs, contain:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

Now we’re looking at vitamin D, which many of us do not get enough of because we don’t spend any time outdoors, and even when we do we use sunscreen that blocks vitamin D production. (More about that here.) Eggs are one of the few food sources of naturally occurring vitamin D, and we wondered if true free-range eggs might be higher in this important vitamin, too. Our latest tests show that pastured eggs have anywhere between 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs.

So … (1) Get out there and eat some fresh farm eggs! and (2) Check out our ongoing pastured egg research here.

Do you raise chickens for eggs or meat? If you want to participate in one of our studies, please e-mail


1/12/2013 5:35:25 PM

Considering how many eggs I use to make tarts, omelets etc each week, I don't know if. I can actually afford to buy those free range or pastured chicken eggs you all recommend. A local chicken farmer sells her pastured eggs at about $8-9/dozen...oh my freak in god...I don't think she is out of line or anything in her pricing, but choosing healthy food produce, be it meat, fish, dairy or whatever is only for the resolute or the 1%, it seems.

2/19/2009 9:17:41 AM

In Ghana they dye all their chickens shocking pink which stops the birds of prey as they dont go for anything shocking pink... I dont know how they dye the birds though... so not sure if this is humane or not, but its very funny seeing shocking pink chickens all over the rural villages... I guess one could try a scare crow with a few flapping plastic bags tied to them to give additional noise and flutter... good luck!

1/29/2009 10:14:57 AM

"Free-range" is a loosely defined term, and usually means the birds are allowed to range throughout a large area daily. A modified system that keeps the birds protected in movable pens is usually referred to as "pastured" production. Either way, your birds will be happier and your eggs will be more nutritious than if the hens are kept confined in a small run. The tradeoff is that the free-range or pastured hens are not as safe from predators. Whatever system you use, you will need to feed your birds some grain if you want them to lay a good supply of eggs for as long as possible. Humans have bred chickens to lay far more eggs than they would do in "natural" conditions. Free-range birds do gets lots of food from weed seeds, insects, worms, etc., but most people choose to also feed them some grain.

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