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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Eggs Explained

Eggs are amazing little packages of nutrition.  In this tidy little 70 calorie package you get: 6 grams of protein and 13 vitamins and minerals.  However, there are lots of choices out there that might confuse any egg consumer. 

The shell color of an egg does not make it more or less healthful than another egg.

Nutrition differences:
  • Free-range, or enhanced diet chickens can lay eggs that are higher in certain nutrients such as Vitamin A, E, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  However, you should be wary when it comes to these labels.  Cage-free can mean that the hens are raised solely indoors, but without cages, while 5 minutes of access to the outdoors can constitute free-range, so not all eggs are created equal. 
  • All eggs including conventional eggs are hormone and antibiotic free, so brands that tout those points may be looking for ways to increase their sales price. 
  • The best option for those looking for optimally nutritious eggs should find a local source where you can see for yourself where and how your eggs are produced.

  • Price becomes a definite issue when it comes to making the egg decision.  With prices ranging from $1 - $5/dozen eggs, you could be buying an 8 cent egg or a 40 cent egg.  
  • Eggs are generally play a frequent, yet small role in our overall varied diet so the need to spent 5 times as much for a bit more of certain vitamins may not be so critical.

Eggs and Food Safety:

  • Eggs should be purchased by the sell-by date, but you have around 3 weeks to use them after that purchased date.  Be sure to store the eggs on an interior rack of your refrigerator (the door is the warmest part of the fridge). 
  • Cooking eggs to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 minute is sufficient to destroy any salmonella that may be present in the egg. 
  • Remember that with Easter around the corner, you need to keep those hard-boiled eggs refrigerated.  They should be out for no more than 2 hours. 
Since eggs can be budget-friendly protein source, consider a few more creative ways to incorporate them into your menu:

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