Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do the math, eat better eggs!

Sophia is an egg head!
I am a big believer in eggs. I know that when we eat better quality eggs my kids are fuller longer. I also know that they are fast and easy and full of important fatty acids. I am also a big believer in high quality eggs, preferably from hens living on pasture and enjoying a bug-eating existence and which produce a very different egg. My farm eggs, from hens eating bugs and veggie scraps, have delicious orange yolks and seriously tough shells, shells of many colors depending on the breed of the bird, the diet and the time of year. Sometimes I have to really smack that egg hard against the side of the bowl to make a dent in it. Once, when finishing conventional eggs leftover from a camping trip with some other families I picked up the egg and literally smashed it to pieces because I cracked it too hard. Then, when I served the kids the scrambled eggs no one would eat them because they were "white" and tasteless. I know the difference that real eggs make. What's more is that the kids know, even if they don't understand why.

Real Food Freaks are having an egg challenge at their blog asking readers to eat pastured (not pasteurized or heat treated but from hens on pasture and not fed soy) eggs for a week and see if they notice a difference, see HERE. The idea is to eat quality eggs for one week and store eggs for another and write about the difference in you, the eggs, anything. One of these essays will be posted on their blog. I think this is worth trying, so much so that I recently discussed adding high quality eggs into the diet as a goal for the new year for each of you, see HERE. There I linked to a post HERE on just what to do with those eggs, if you are looking for more ideas. I think this project is really worth doing, I think all of you should enter, but I am not so naive to think that some of you are resistant because of cost.

But let's be honest, these eggs are more expensive. There are some families who simply cannot afford to eat only soy-free, pastured eggs. These families will need to take advantage of the best quality eggs they can afford, such as high vitamin eggs which are not organic. I would much rather you eat these eggs in abundance rather than reduce eggs in your diet to eat the best quality eggs. But many of the people who tell me they can't afford them could actually do so if they made different choices. A good amount of eggs in the diet is at least one dozen every two weeks per person which for my local hobby farmer (who attends my church) comes out to $10 a month per person although some people will have to pay as much as $20 per person per month. Where can you find $20 a month in your budget?

  • One less grande mocha from Megabucks a week
  • Three fewer magazines a month from the supermarket checkout racks
  • One less vending machine drink per day while at work or school (make lambicskombucha, and water kefir instead)
  • Pack leftovers and skip going out for lunch twice in the month
  • Stop buying breakfast cereal and spend that money on eggs

There are small daily choices we make as to how we spend our money that could be more deliberately made. So the next time you think you can't afford better quality eggs, think about what else you seem to be able to afford.

Linking up to Real Food Wednesday!


  1. Anonymous2/01/2012

    Melissa- Thank you for this post. I can't tell you how often people tell me they can't eat like my family because they "can't afford it." Yet, they do all the things you mentioned eliminating! One friend says she could never afford the eggs from the farmers market, yet she is at Starbucks 4 times a week. Another friend says she could never afford grass-fed beef, yet goes to the movies and out to dinner every Saturday. Another friend says eating well costs too much, but her pantry is filled with sodas and chemical laden chips.

    I suppose some folks are too addicted to their chemicals to make the change, and some to their lifestyles. That's fine. That's their choice. But I wish they would please stop saying they can't afford it! It is getting tired! My family makes it work by making a lot of sacrifices (I can't remember the last time I saw a movie at the theatre!), but we do it because it is the right thing to do AND we feel better.

  2. Thanks for your support in this Melissa! I think that when people are educated, they are more willing to make "sacrifices" to buy quality food. I really think that so many people just are not educated as to the differences... and therefore they just see "real" food as a more expensive version. Let's keep educating!

  3. illegal chickens anyone?

    seriously, they're coming on 2/20. Don't call the cops!

  4. I find that I won't eat eggs if they are grocery store eggs. I will use grocery store eggs for quiche and egg foo young type things, but if I am eating eggs alone, I can't stand the store eggs. Pastured eggs in butter is one of the most amazing meals ever.

  5. Raising your own hens is a fun and economical way to enjoy pastured eggs. My youngest loved taking care of the baby chicks and young hens. He learned a lot about birds in general too! Each hen will lay slightly less than one per day. We've kept anywhere from 2 up to 20 hens on about 1/2 acre lot. And it was legal ;-) in my case, since we live just slightly outside the city limits.

  6. I think hens should be legal anywhere, but sadly they aren't where we live. I am hoping that our city counsel will change that. There are meetings I need to find some time for if I want to see that change!

  7. Amanda, I forgot to mention this, but we use a combination of store bought organic high vitamin eggs and pastured. My pastured eggs come from friends and in the winter her family gets what there is, so my egg purchases change throughout the year. But we never eat "straight eggs" that are store bought as they taste so bland. I'll bake with them or combine them with other foods (like a cream and kale sauce) but don't eat them fried. If we make scrambled eggs from store eggs the kids complain so much!


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