Hailed as a complete protein source, not all eggs are made equal

Have you ever wondered why some eggs have very thin and brittle shells, and others more thick and firm?

It relates to the diet, health and living conditions of the laying hens.

A hen with a balanced and nutritious diet free from soy, toxic chemicals and clean water lay the foundation for healthy eggs.

The hen’s diet is reflected in their eggs. So, if corn is on your no go list, consuming eggs coming from hens with a diet free of corn are more likely to be tolerated.

The hen’s living environment is also critical –access to natural light, and importantly, a safe and stress free environment ensure good quality eggs with sturdy, protective shells.

An environment free of stress includes adequate space to roam in the case of free range. An Australia wide regulation agreement has recently been handed down to simplify labelling requirements for free range, and includes a requirement for egg producers to include stocking ratios on their labels. This has allowed more egg producers to label their eggs free range, but has angered many egg producers who feel the regulation is not enough. In America, for birds to be considered free range, they only require access to the natural environment. In the case of birds that do not have the opportunity to roam, an adequate sized cage may be important to offer safety from an overpopulated hen house. As hens age, the quality of their eggs may reduce, but, if their diet and their living conditions remain favourable, and they come from bird strains respected for their laying quality, they will likely lay quality eggs for longer.

Understanding where your eggs come from will help you make the best egg decision for your family.

These days urban environments are no barrier to ‘home grown’ eggs. If you are paying for eggs, then you have the right to know what you are paying for – local farmers at the markets are delighted for the opportunity to discuss the science and love in what they do – and they appreciate your interest. Eggs sold in supermarkets and produce stores can be easily traced too. It is easy to go onto an egg producer’s website and it only takes a couple of minutes to browse over their information, understand what their practices are and what’s important in their business of producing eggs. A simple online search will reveal the producers who fall foul (pun intended!) of regulations, and can be helpful to understand the type of business you are supporting.

Having the confidence in your choice of egg supplier means you can feel confident in the eggs your family are consuming.

And, great quality eggs taste better.