Eggs, eggs, eggs...

With Easter upon us this weekend many people around the world are thinking of chocolate eggs, and understandably so, who doesn't love them!
But let's not forget one of the most awesome 'superfoods' available for those of us not living a vegan lifestyle - the humble chicken egg! Be they scrambled, boiled, poached, fried, made into an omelette or a frittata, or even used in baking, don't miss out on this beauty of a food. Long ago were the myths surrounding the so called dangerous levels of cholesterol debunked; here's a couple of useful articles but don't be afraid to do your own research and make up your own mind;

But before we go crazy for these punch packing nutritional power balls we need to understand the difference between certain types of egg and their true benefits - or otherwise. A perfect egg has all the ingredients to build a whole healthy chicken, a store bought egg however, may not! Something to think about...

Battery eggs are by far the worst eggs to buy; the chickens live in the most dire conditions, (five minutes on Google will show you just how dire!) are pumped full of growth hormones and antibiotics - which get transferred to not only the eggs, but to you too! They live distressed lives and have no room to flap their wings never mind walk.

Free range eggs are often sold as the ethical option, suggesting that the egg laying chickens get to live outside. This is not the case and the (Canadian) law only insists they spend a few minutes each day outside.

Organic eggs suggest not only a more ethical upbringing but also a healthier egg. Organic chickens certainly have to be fed organic feed, but chickens don't naturally eat feed, they eat whatever they can get from the ground. Organic chickens may also have their beaks cut off and can be force moulted to increase yield. Not all organic eggs are 'raised' this way but how will you know?

Pastured eggs.  Now we're talking; these are from chickens that live outside all day, foraging for the food that chickens eat naturally, (bugs, worms etc) and are full of the most amazing nutritional vitamins and minerals.  They will have plenty of space to run around, are unstressed and only get tucked away at night to keep them safe from predators. Not everyone of course has access to this type of farm, (or neighbour) but if you do then I highly recommend you skip the stores and buy your eggs this way. Larger and with much darker yellow yolks, they will also last a lot longer than store bought eggs. The reason - store bought eggs are washed to 'look the part' which also rids them of the protective coating they are born with - pastured eggs don't even need to be refrigerated and will still last a couple of weeks.

And so using the time honoured common sense advice of 'all things in moderation', enjoy your eggs and of course in the meantime, enjoy your chocolate versions and have a great Easter.

By the way - the darker the chocolate, the (generally) healthier the egg - and did you know - dark chocolate is less 'addictive'... :-)

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