Unscrambling the Facts about Eggs
Nutritious and delicious, eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients to have in the kitchen.
And with the old wives’ tale that daily consumption of eggs increases the incidence of heart disease debunked by health experts, you can be sure that what’s good for the taste bud – soufflé omelette, truffled chawanmushi and caviar-topped Eggs Benedict – can be beneficial to the health too.
Here are some facts: Eggs contain protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin and folate that are essential for robust heart-health. What is more, the protein quality in eggs is so extraordinary that it has been conferred a Biological Value (BV) of 100, a benchmark which all other protein sources are measured against these days. This means the protein type found in egg is completely absorbed and utilized by our bodies. For those who need to control their cholesterol intake, or are diabetic, choosing dishes prepared with only egg white is a safe alternative to enjoy egg-y delights without compromising health conditions.
At SuperNature, our organic-feed Zeagold eggs are imported directly from the modern, integrated poultry farm in New Zealand. Every aspect of the production matrix has been rigorously evaluated for bio security, feed quality, welfare of the laying flock and the environmental impact. For such optimal production of eggs, you can be sure that when they are finally served on a plate, they’re perfectly scrumptious.
However, not all eggs are equal. The egg tray label tells the story, and here’s a guide to understanding the small print.
- Grade (as in Grade A) – Eggs are graded based on egg size, quality of the shell and visual quality of the inside (when held up to light). It says nothing about how the hens were raised.
Shell Colour – The colour of egg shells does not denote its nutritional value. Chickens with white earlobes (they have ears!) lay white eggs (or light blue eggs in the case of Araucanas) and chickens with red earlobes lay brown eggs (with a few exceptions).
- Yolk Colour – This is influenced by the feed of the hens. More bugs, (healthy) food scraps and grass usually means darker yolks. Adding marigold or other “darkening” plants to the hen’s diet can also darken the yolk.
- Feed – Chickens are not naturally vegetarian. When put out to pasture, they dig up and ingest worms and bugs, along with grass and grains. A vegetarian egg label signifies that the feed does not contain animal by-products.
- Cage-free: This simply means they are free from their cage, but may not be free from a life of cramped, indoor living conditions.
- Free-range: The “range” that hens actually move about freely in is still open to debate. Access to outdoors and fresh air may be just that – access, rather than actuality.
- Organic: The term covers the hen’s feed, medication and animal welfare. More accurately, they are known as organic-feed eggs. This means that only organic feed were fed to the hens, no antibiotics were used and the hens were also allowed to roam freely.
- Pastured: This suggests they spend much of their time roaming about in a large outdoor area foraging for bugs and grass, but may not guarantee organic feed. As this term is not regulated, do check the brand’s website for their specific interpretation.