Spend three times the money on pasture-raised eggs or eat three times the eggs

I hosted an impromptu brunch for 11. Bell pepper, onion, kale, cheese, and butter leftover from last week’s farmers’ market were perfect ingredients for a tasty omelet. Apples and bananas leftover from the week’s grocery trip earlier in the week, and oranges from our backyard tree became the fruit salad.  The guests, already in my kitchen, helped chop the fruit and vegetables, while my eldest daughter Isabella and I snuck out to get the eggs, the one missing ingredient.

I scanned the refrigerated section of my nearby Vons. I reached for the Vital Farms, pasture-raised eggs, squeezed between cartons of cage-free, free-range, and all-natural eggs.

vital-farms

Photo credit: Vital Farms

“Wow mom, those eggs are a lot more than these,” said Isabella while she pointed out the carton of conventionally raised eggs on the nearby shelf on sale for $1.99. The organic, pasture-raised eggs cost $6.99, full price.

“We are paying more than three times more, but we are getting more than three times the nutrition,” I said, recalling a story told to me by Kristan Fretwell, co-owner of Hunter Cattle.

Kristan educates the public during farm tours of the benefits of pasture-based farm systems for the environment and our health. The animals at Hunter Cattle are rotated on pastures at her family farm in Brooklet, Georgia.

“That means I’d need to eat at least three eggs to get the same nutrition as one of your eggs,” said one young girl after listening to Kristan explain the difference in nutrition between pasture-based eggs, and eggs from chickens raised indoors, on a diet of grain.

“I hadn’t thought about it like that before,” Kristan told the young girl. And neither had I, but when you look at it from that perspective, we the consumer are not paying more, but are paying what the food is worth.

The difference in nutrition between conventionally raised eggs and pasture-raised eggs is startling. I found the following  list of the superior nutrition of pasture-based eggs in the Vital Farms website based on a comprehensive study published in 2007 and 2008:

  • 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
  • Four to six times more Vitamin D

I served tasty and nutritious omelets enjoyed by all. Here is a link to my Chard or Kale and Cheese Omelet recipe. The omelet I served included bell peppers and onion.

omlete

Eat less water at the kitchen table! It is better for the earth and better for you.

There is power in the collective.

Be well,
Florencia

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