Food Matters – The EGG

Food Matters – The EGG

The images you are looking at are the difference in lifestyle between a Cage-Free chicken and a Pasture-Raised chicken.

When I look at these images, I see a choice. A choice, not only as to how you spend your money but more importantly the farming practices you support.

I support my Amish farmer by purchasing his pastured chicken eggs versus other less expensive and lower quality product.

According to a 2007 Mother Earth News egg testing project, nutritional difference exist.

Pastured Chicken Eggs contain on average

  • 2/3 more vitamin A
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 7 times more beta carotene
  • 4-6 times more vitamin D

Significantly more nutrition in the same sized package. Is it worth it? Of course! The value of pastured eggs is even higher when you factor in the impact from having poor health & vitality.

With the exception of “Pasture Raised”, most terms used to describe eggs don’t mean what you would think.

CAGE FREE: This only means the chickens are not in cages. They can still be confined in a building, often in large numbers, with little or no outdoor access.

FREE RANGE: According to the USDA, chickens must be allowed outdoor “access”. Key words; “allowed access”. Reality is a “cage-free” environment with a small door that opens outside to a few square feet of space.

VEGETARIAN FED: Chickens are NOT vegetarians. Healthy chickens thrive on bugs and insects. If vegetarian fed, the chickens are most likely raised indoors, caged or cage-free, but does it actually matter at that point?

PASTURE RAISED: There are no current guidelines. This term is typically used by sustainable farmers to mean the chickens are raised outdoors, in pasture (on grass) eating bugs, insects and anything else it can finds.

PASTURE RAISED is what you should look for as it best allows a chicken to express its “chicken-ness”, at least until agri-business highjacks the term.


Without traveling to your farmer’s farm or coordinating a drop site, your best source is your local farmer’s market where you can buy direct from the farmer. You can not only ask questions about farming techniques practiced, but receive answers.


Empower yourself and make informed, educated choices when it comes to nourishing your body


“You can’t get health from an unhealthy plant or animal.”