Egg Labels: What To Look For

I’ll never forget my first hunt to find “real” eggs back when we initially made our switch to real food. I’d read in Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, that “pastured” was the optimal egg label to look for yet when I visited three different grocery stores in our area – including health food stores – everyone basically looked at me like I had three heads. Those early days were fun. So, I went back to my research just to make sure I wasn’t confusing the word “pastured” with “pasteurized” (two similar sounding terms with very different meanings!), and I was momentarily at a loss.

Eventually I figured out that the “good” eggs are the local ones found at the farmers’ market (that come in all different colored shells by the way, including white). I learned that in most cases pastured chickens not only roam free, but roam on a green, grassy field – or should we call it – a pasture! Unlike cows, chickens do well solely on grains, BUT they are much healthier animals if they eat some greens as well. And as I’ve shared before, “The diet of the animals we eat strongly influences the nutritional quality, and healthfulness of the food we get from them, whether it is meat or milk or eggs.*”

Healthier chickens
(defined by diet and living conditions)
= more nutritious eggs!

So, for a couple years now we’ve been almost exclusively buying our eggs from our local grower’s only farmers’ market. And what I’ve noticed is that – no matter what type of grocery store eggs we compare them to – you can see the difference. The color of the yolks from truly pastured eggs are a vibrant orange versus the pale yellow you typically find. And when farmers’ market shopping there is no need to understand the different egg labels since you basically “shake the hand that feeds you” and can simply ask the farmer about the living conditions and diet of their chickens as well as the use (or lack) of antibiotics.

Farmer's Market Egg vs. Organic Egg - 100 Days of Real Food

In an effort to clear some things up, here’s the low down on some common egg labels (based on information provided by the USDA and Humane Society). Read on to see what terms are actually regulated by the government and what they mean exactly – if anything!

*Quote from the book Food RulesAlso, if you are interested, here’s some more egg reading for you from Take Part.Update 3/5/13: A lot of readers have asked what the best choice is if there are no quality eggs from a farmer’s market in their area. We think organic eggs from the grocery store would be your next best bet, but also suggest reading the other comments below. 

Packaging Term

Definition

Certified Organic The birds are kept uncaged inside barns or warehouses, and are required to have outdoor access, but the amount, duration, and quality of outdoor access is not at all regulated (therefore it could be minimal and low quality). They are fed an organic, all-vegetarian diet free of antibiotics and pesticides, as required by the USDA’s National Organic Program.
Free Range, Free Roaming This indicates that shelter was provided with unlimited access to food, fresh water, and the outdoors (which may be fenced and/or covered). This label is regulated by the USDA, but there are no specific requirements around the duration or quality of outdoor access. So let’s face it – this could simply mean there is an opening to a small, crowded dirt yard.
Cage Free This label indicates that the chickens were able to freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water. Note: No outside time provided or specific requirements around how many chicken per square foot.
Vegetarian Fed These birds are not fed animal byproducts, but this label does not indicate anything about the animals’ living conditions (i.e. caged vs. outside time) or what else they are fed.
Pasture Raised, Pastured Due to the number of variables involved, the USDA has not developed a federal definition for pasture-raised products. Generally speaking though, “pastured” means the animals had access to a green field (not just any field) and in turn likely provide high-quality nutritious products. But since this term is not currently regulated there is no way to know for sure unless you directly ask the farmer (at the market).
Natural “As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as ‘natural’ must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.” However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices – i.e. how a chicken is housed and fed – and only applies to processing of meat and egg products.

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258 thoughts on “Egg Labels: What To Look For”

  1. I’m glad to see this post, Lisa. My family owns a small, sustainable farm and we deal with many well-meaning, yet confused, customers who don’t know how to differentiate between the labels and lingo of farm food! There is one more point I’d like to clarify. I noticed the Certified Organic label means the chickens are fed an organic, all VEGETARIAN diet. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that chickens are not designed to eat only plant foods. Chickens are natural OMNIVORES, meaning their natural diets consist of both plants AND animals. Often what a chicken pecks from those grassy fields is insects and bugs it finds crawling along the ground. Sometimes it’s easy to be fooled into thinking the certified organic or vegetarian labels mean those eggs must naturally be better, but it is also important to know the animal’s natural diet to make an informed choice.

  2. Hello, I have fresh farm eggs for sale, I deliver to Minot, Garrison, and Bismarck, ND once a week. If you are interested in eggs give me a call. 701-721-7497.

  3. Some big chains now carry pastured eggs. Vons in my area sells Vital Farms eggs (“from happy chickens!”). They’ll put you back $7 a dozen, though. As I don’t eat that many eggs, it’s fine for me.

  4. People often forget that the chicken’s most natural source of food is worms… hence the beak… grains are not natural for them… anyone composting will usually have a very healthy amount and deep red in colour worms (the darker the red the healthier the worms)… let the chickens roam in that composing area and feed on the worms and that’s why chickens was a healthy source of protein for us…

  5. We raise chickens and I can tell you that the yolk color is entirely dependent on what they eat. If they are grain fed like supermarket eggs, the yolks will be a light yellow. If the feed is soy free it will be a darker yellow. Our yolks are just like the dark one in your picture – it comes from chickens who are free ranging – ones that pick and choose what they are eating. The same chickens, if they need to be cooped and supplemented with grain, will lay much lighter yolks. If we supplement with grain with soy rather than soy free grain, the yolks are also much lighter.

  6. Darker yolk is better… I have no idea who wrote this, but it is incorrect. The yolk reflects what the hen ate. The darker yolks are loaded with nutrients… This is pure misinformation.

  7. I grew up in the countryside and we have always had our own chickens. And what I have learned from my grandmother is that the colour of the yolk is given by what the chicken eats. So if the chicken would eat lots of corn, it would be a vibrant yelow with orange tint. If it was more wheat, the yolk would be lighter in colour. The eggs as per your picture were valued and prefered by the ladies because you could get nicer colour of the batter and dough with them. So when they had to buy eggs for our special christmas sweet bread (much like a panetone ), they would allways ask what the chockens were fed (of course they all had acces to grass and were also fed the family’s leftovers). Also, the eggs were collected daily, but when you would used them, you rarely had more eggs with yolks in the same tint of yellow. That is probably because the chickens ate different food(depending what they found in the yard and on what leftovers the family had :). )and different quantity of cereal each day. But I am not an expert and never did my research on this subject :D , just childhood memories here.

    1. It seems like all of our eggs are dark no matter what we feed them. We only see the pale ones when we buy them from the store. This is just based on my own personal experience.

    2. A nice rich yellow will come from a diet high on grass and bugs too. Our chickens are fed a grain ration, which includes corn, and given access to pasture every day. The result, yolks that looks the color of apricots. There is no comparison! :)

  8. Pretty new to purchasing organic food products. Lately I have been buying Nellie’s Cage Free eggs. I’ve done some research on them and so far all seems positive but does anyone have any information on why I shouldn’t buy this brand?

  9. We have free ranging chickens and turkeys on our acreage. The chickens spend most of their days scratching in the leaves and dirt — they much prefer the bugs. Turkeys, however, spend their time eating greens. They show little interest in the dirt & bugs. Give them a spot of clover and they are in heaven.

    We do supplement with an organic, soy free grain in the evening during the winter after they have spent all day outside roaming. The yolks are always a vibrant orange unless the grainery is out of soy free feed. Then the yolks will quickly revert to dull yellow.

  10. I have chickens at my house where not only are they free to roam but they get very nutritious treats in addition to layer mash offered at all times. Their yolks are yellow, not orange. I don’t think yellow yolks indicate poor nutrition or unpastured chickens, but colored food.

  11. I raise my own chickens. They have shelter, water and they roam all over my ranch. Sometimes it’s like have an Easter egg hunt year round. They do have laying boxes but sometimes they just don’t want to use them. I find most of them but every once in awhile I see new chick’s walking around. These are the best eggs.

  12. I find the author’s description of pastured eggs amusing: “chickens do well solely on grains, BUT they are much healthier animals if they eat some greens as well. ” I keep chickens. During the day they run free on our acreage. They forage for most of their food. While they do eat grains and grasses, their preferred food is bugs and worms and baby mice. In the winter they pick thru the horse manure. Be very clear on this – chickens are omnivores. A vegetarian diet is not “normal” for chickens. My girls give me beautiful eggs with bright orange yolks and non-runny whites, but those eggs owe some of their beauty to bugs.

    1. Same here Ellen, I open the coop door around 7 and close it at dark. They forage all day. Ticks, earthworms, salamanders and I put out a bowl of soy and corn free food every day. The egg yolks are bright orange with multi colored shells. They drink from the creek and in the winter eat snow. Very hardy healthy birds.

    2. When I was a kid, we saw one of our hens eat a little ring-neck snake on the creek bank. A couple of days later, I was cooking my breakfast and one of the eggs I was frying had a really dark orange yolk. My mom remarked that it was probably from the hen that ate the snake. Thanks, mom, for mentioning that while I was making my breakfast!

  13. So how about labels saying no GMO feed? What does “certificad humane” label mean? Also, does orgánic mean free of antibiotics AND hormones too?

  14. My concern with farmers market eggs is always the quality of the food they are giving. Is it GMO feed? They could be roaming free, yet, given crappy food. Organic at least means they are free of antibiotic, hormones and feed is organic. I am not bold enough to ask a ton of weird questions to a farmers market local.

    1. The farmers at the local farmers markets are there to answer your questions. It is why we sacrifice our weekends to be available to you. We encourage and appreciate that consumers are informed and concerned about where their food comes from. You are paying for the privilege to ask the questions that are important to you and your family. The answer, in my best opinion, is that true free range pastured eggs are better than organic even if they are not fed an organic feed supplement. Warehoused organic fed chickens are not getting the nutrients that pastured chickens get. The amount of grain needed to feed a hen that is foraging for her own food is minimal Additionally, in most cases you will find that if a local farmer is pasturing his / her hens, they are likely feeding a non-gmo feed with no antibiotics. But never feel bad about asking for confirmation.

  15. My husband and I visited Germany over the summer and stayed part of the time with some friends, and part of the time in a hotel. We noticed the bright orange color of the yolks at our friends home but didn’t know why! At the time we attributed it to a different diet (purely from location) but looking back I recognize the hotel eggs were a normal yellow. Thanks for helping me see the difference! A friend of mine promised to show me around our local farmers market this week and I am SO excited!

  16. Our local farmer’s market does not have only locally grown produce. They start too early to have locally grown. When I don’t have to work, I go to Trade Day and get some good home-grown eggs. They have the deep-colored yolks and they make better cakes. I grew up eating eggs from our own chickens, and there’s no comparison.

    1. Florida has funny laws about eggs. If you find them at the farmers market, they will be labeled eggs for animal consumption. I asked once and they are just fine for humans too :) but Florida won’t let them be sold as that. It has something to do with the process they have to go through, but I can’t remember the details.

  17. i raise organic fed, free range chickens and let me tell you, my girls yolks are a rich golden color. Store brought ones are pale. A diet high In Greens produce rich looking yolks .

  18. Great post! I have been buying the best choice of eggs at my super market for the past few years when they are available. I noticed a big difference in colour and flavour from the regular eggs. This week I contacted a farmer that I found online who will actually deliver fresh eggs to my door twice a month for the same price as the organic grocery store eggs that are from chickens who live in a barn. I get my first delivery on Monday and am excited to try them and see the difference!

  19. I once got some eggs at a farmers market that, when we opened them, were a scary greenish color. There were several in the dozen (we threw those away) and we wondered if this meant the chicken was ill or something? Does anyone know about that? The market was fairly far from home and we didn’t go back out to ask the farmer, but I wish we had! It made me a little leery about the farmers market eggs, even though this was the first time we had any problem.

    1. I’m not a professional chicken person but I get eggs from my cousin who raises her own chickens and the eggs very in color depending what chicken laid them and I’ve had some green eggs, have been told they’re even cholesterol free.

    2. Sharon, you said “I once got some eggs at a farmers market that, when we opened them, were a scary greenish color. There were several in the dozen (we threw those away) and we wondered if this meant the chicken was ill or something?” The eggs were perfectly fine honey

      In fact those are some of the best eggs in the bunch… at least according to my youngest daughter; they are known as Easter eggs. There are many different kinds of chickens and some lay colored eggs. I have eaten, tan, brown, blue, green & white all from the same seller. If you are going to buy fresh, you will find they will vary… sometimes in size too because nor all farm sellers “Grade” their eggs, meaning you might get a few small and an extra large in the dozen box lol

    3. Thanks for the responses — I can see now that my question was misleading! I meant when I opened a few of the eggs, the white and yolks inside were murky-greenish…I actually love all the colored shells and almost hate to break those open, they’re so pretty. Hopefully that won’t happen again! One reason I crack each egg into a dish first, en add to what I’m making after I’m sure it looks okay.

      1. I admit I used google, but here is what I found.

        Q: The whites of my chickens’ eggs are a funny color–what does that mean?
        A: Cloudy whites in a farm egg are usually indicative of its freshness. The cloudiness is caused by dissolved carbon dioxide in the white, which eventually escapes through the shell in older eggs. If the white of the egg is greenish, that usually means there is too much riboflavin in the diet. Make sure they are getting balanced nutrition. Eating acorns, shepherds purse or some types of weeds can cause that greenish tinge, too. Pinkish whites are caused by some types of weeds a chicken may get into, or high quantities of cottonseed meal in the diet.

  20. Now is the time of year you can buy baby chicks if your municipality allows backyard poultry. My three hens give more than a dozen eggs per week!

    1. i think this is a great idea but may I just add….please do your homework on raising hens before picking them up at the market. I’m definitely no expert,(know nothing about it to be honest) but I’ve seen where hens can develope certain health issues (like being egg bound, bumble foot, etc) so having the knowledge will help keep your girls healthy, happy and productive!

  21. It’s important to note that chickens are not vegetarians. Their natural diet is eating bugs and insects in the grass. I always steer clear of eggs that claim they are from chickens fed a “vegetarian diet” because to me this means the chickens don’t have access to land. And while I’m okay with chickens getting some grains, we also have to be concerned about what kind of grains they are being fed. I buy eggs from a local Amish farm and they are fed a non-GMO and soy free grain (and surprisingly their yolks are quite pale).

  22. I was using pastured eggs but started noticing blood in them and could not bring myself to eat them any more. What causes this condition in eggs and is it safe to consume?

    1. My experience of blood in the eggs is a result of having laying hens that ran free throughout most of the year. Basically anything that frightens the chickens can cause this problem. If a frightening incident happened ( a loud tractor starting up in their vicinity could be enough) I would tend to see several eggs with blood spots later that day or the following day. The eggs are fresh and healthful to eat but I admit the blood spots are not really appetizing. One of the things you must come to expect if you want the best eggs you can buy.

    2. Not a professional on this one, by any means, but blood spots can occur when blood or a bit of tissue is released along with a yolk. Each developing yolk in a hen’s ovary is enclosed in a sack that contains blood vessels. The blood vessles supply yolk building substances. When the yolk is mature, it is normally released from the stigma, which is free of blood vessels. Sometimes, the yolk sac ruptures at a different location, causing blood vessels to break and blood to appear inside the egg. It isn’t harmful to eat. :) Hope this helps! By the way, your local Extension Office can help you with advice on things like this and other information on agricultural related things. Most states have an online website that you can go to to read publication or you can walk right into your county office. Just look up “________” Extension Service in your search engine. For instance, here in Alabama its the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

  23. Katlin Stewardson

    We have our own chickens. They live in a very large coop (probably 120 sq ft of ground space and 12-14 ft tall) and we have 7. Although they are not pastured, we let them out once a week. Their eggs are much more delicious than store bought eggs! They also have a richer color to the yolk.

  24. New to this but that means if the hens eat gmo corn feed but are pastured chickens we should still not consume them? My friend has chickens but found out they eat gmo corn. :-( This was my egg source.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Heather. That is entirely up to you. Sorry to cloud up what you thought was the ideal thing. ;)

  25. Many flax seed meal packages have the recipe for the “egg”. Bobs Red Mill is one and it’s in their website too. For one egg use 1 Tbsp flax seed meal with 3 Tbsp water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add to wet ingredients. This is only to replace eggs in baked goods.

  26. Researching Mama

    I’m not sure if this is mentioned in earlier comments, but I feel it is important to note and even warrants a correction in the original post: yolk color is determined almost entirely by the bird’s diet, not by whether or not the egg is pasteurized.
    Yolks can range from blood-red to white, based on what the bird is fed. Most buyers prefer a yellow yolk, so farmers (commercial OR organic) may add naturally occurring plants (such as marigolds) to enhance the color. In fact, to dissuade your readers from erroneously choosing their eggs based on color, consider this: according to Dr. Hilary Shallo Thesmar, director of food safety programs for the Egg Nutrition Center (ENC), “Richer-colored egg yolks are more likely to come from free-range hens,” because “Free-range hens have the opportunity to eat more pigmented foods, and the pigment is then transferred to the yolk.”
    I love science, so I could go on and the naturally occurring pigment-makers in chicken feed, but the articles cited below are succinct and sufficient. Please check it out and PLEASE amend your post so your well-informed readers can stay that way! :)
    I frequently use this site as a source of information and inspiration, as I’m sure others do, and I think providing accurate facts should be a priority. That being said, thank you for all of your information and delicious recipes!

    Sources:
    •http://www.chow.com/food-news/55099/does-the-color-of-an-egg-yolk-indicate-how-nutritious-it-is/
    •http://www..incredibleegg.org/egg-facts/eggcyclopedia/c/
    •http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/12/201501977/help-my-egg-yolks-are-freakishly-white

    1. It looks like you did not actually read this article. She is clearly saying that PASTURED eggs produce the darker yolks. That is not the same as pasteurized. Pastured is a term that refers to the hens that are living in grass, able to eat grass and bugs (their natural diet), thus creating a darker yolk. When you see the term “pastured” it IS referring to the diet of the hens. It means they are eating a pastured diet.

  27. We buy ours from friends that raise chickens and allow them to roam free in the pasture as well as to eat the sand and grit that is healthy for them. We never buy store bought eggs any more. You can taste the difference. Much healthier.

  28. I buy my eggs from the local health food store…the owner gets them from local farmers. Everything about these eggs are better than the ones in the grocery store. When the store runs out I go without because I refuse to buy the sick eggs in the grocery store.

  29. I don’t buy or eat eggs anymore.. I grind golden flax seed and add water to make an all natural “egg”.

    1. Molly, could you tell me more about your flax seed “egg”? I have never heard of this before. Thanks

  30. I buy pastured eggs, have only been doing so for a couple of months from the farmers market, they are not much dearer than free range supermarket eggs. I used to buy the cheapest eggs i could until seeing an article on caged birds & their poor feet, they were pecking themselves & very unhappy. I hadn’t eaten eggs for asmalm while before this as when i cooked them for my family i could smell a terrible smell, like rotten flesh & chicken poo, i thought it was just a mental thing, then learnt that eggs absorb odour. I was disgusted that this smell was what the eggs & chickens were in. I am horrified that caged chickens are legal & that nobody cares😢it’s crazy & soooo mean!!!

  31. I purchase my eggs from a local farmer who pastures his chickens. The taste and color is different than the eggs bought in the store, which is why I started buying them. I am also raising chickens but they are not old enough to start laying yet. We plan to allow our to roam free during the day and pen them up at night to reduce the chance of predator attacks.

  32. We have six happy hens in our suburban backyard. I love watching them eat worms and grass, it means lots of nutritious eggs for us!

  33. I am vegetarian for humanitarian reasons. When I learned that most farmers, even those who raise hens humanely, kill them and eat them when they no longer are able to produce eggs, I struck up a conversation with with the backyard farmer whose little stand I get my eggs from. I now have the peace of mind that his “older ladies” still roam freely around his lovely lawn with the “young girls,” enjoying their retirement. I’m grateful for Michael Pollan’s suggestion to visit my food supplier.

  34. This post was very helpful. The descriptions on egg cartens are confusing! i buy eggs at the local farmer’s market during the season. Otherwise i buy “farm raised cage free” i was once told by a local chicken farmer…that grocery store eggs are often as old as a year.. that storage and production keeps them “fresh” for commercial sales. what do you know about that?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Stacy. I can’t tell you how old the store bought eggs are but they are no where near “fresh”. ~Amy

  35. We buy eggs from the farmer’s markets during the “season”, but I have been buying “cage-free” at the grocery in the late fall to early spring when the markets close. Thanks for this post – I will have to ask the woman at the stall I buy from where I can get their eggs outside of the farmer’s market.

  36. I meant “are saying is correct, because my family members are chicken farmers for a corporation.”

  37. I don’t live near any farmer’s markets or fresh egg sources. I buy regular store eggs because the “better” eggs are too expensive for our budget. We are still transitioning to real food. But I already know what you ate saying is correct my family members are chicken farmers in Delaware.

  38. The color of the egg yolk was one of the first things I noticed about buying fresh eggs. And it does make a difference. Thanks for this clarification, there are so many labels on things nowadays it is so hard to keep them straight, especially when some aren’t regulated and businesses can say whatever they want to try to trick us!

  39. I’m buying Vital Farms (at Whole Foods), they’re non-GMO certified, Humanely raised certified and pasture raised. And the yolks are a beautiful orange! They do cost more, but the quality is definitively worth it.

  40. We raise our own & supply for several families. Yolks are dark orange. My mom won’t eat them bc they are “strong.” Not everyone loves the taste of our “yardbird” eggs. 😉

  41. I don’t buy eggs often because we have hens. I only buy during the winter when egg production goes down naturally. My hens are offered layer food and water and free range our yard. We treat them like pets rather than egg machines. They are happy birds who give us delightfully orange yoked eggs, which taste more egg like than store bought pale yoked egss. When I have to buy eggs from the store, I don’t like any of the ones I buy.

  42. I buy from a local lady that raises chickens. She lets me know when she has a surplus and I get some pretty regularly! If she does not have enough to sell then I buy organic at the grocery store. I can tell a difference is both look and taste with the farm eggs winning every time!

  43. We raise our own chickens… we have five on a half acre plot. They roam freely and have become our pets. I love a fresh egg and have become an egg snob now. I can hardly eat an egg for breakfast that isn’t “fresh” Happy chickens produce happy healthy eggs!

  44. I also live out of the country and our eggs are definitely that bright orange color but I have a hard time believing that the eggs in this country are raised in a pasture and free to roam! (We live in a super dirty and super populated country). So is the orange color the only determining factor that my eggs are healthier or are there other ways you can tell?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Angel. There are more and more farms that are pasture raising their chickens because more people are demanding it. Besides being more orange, the yolk will be firm and the egg will have more flavor. ~Amy

  45. We currently live in Japan and the thing I noticed first about groceries was how dark orange all the egg yolks are. We love it. Most in the grocery stores are like this, but they are especially dark orange from the farmers market and the vending machines

    1. Gwen, I would consult a doctor or naturopathy specialist on this one because this totally and completely depends on WHY you have a food intolerance to eggs. Organic might not make a difference at all if it has something to do with protein strands.

  46. I get so frustrated when it comes to eggs… it just sounds like Big Food is trying to skirt around as much as possible and provide the bare minimum of nutrition as required by the USDA. We live in a very urban area where Farmer’s Markets are hard to come by… even the one we are close to doesn’t even sell eggs. And one “farmer” uses pesticides on their produce.
    It’s all so frustrating. But thanks for this post… once we move out of this area, we plan on making some big changes.

  47. Ok, so someone I know gave us some eggs from their chickens, and we HATED them. They were soooo gamey and just overall gross. I’ve had pastured eggs in the past and growing up and they didn’t taste differently at all. Please tell me, do they have to be fertilized to be truly pastured? My husband’s dad had a farm and he had laying hens with no rooster and the taste was fine.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Robyn. I think you must have just gotten a bad batch. My experience has been that the eggs are a richer flavor but very good. ~Amy

  48. We buy local pastured eggs. Eventually I’d love to have my own chickens but that’s not possible just yet.

  49. I don’t have to buy eggs because I raise my own chickens. I love it!! Can definitely taste the difference!

  50. The area I live in has very limited access to farm fresh eggs. Basically you need to know a farmer which I don’t. :( I try to buy organic eggs at the grocery store. Recently I came across Happy Eggs. Can anyone give me any insight as to their quality? They were very expensive and I want to be sure they are worth it.
    http://thehappyeggco.com/our-farms/

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Christine. From their website, they look like a good choice but I can’t discern much beyond what they share. If you want specific info on their practices, I would give the company a call. :) ~Amy

  51. My brother raises chickens with garden scraps and has a great place for them to roam spring, summer, and fall (Indiana winters do not allow much green grass), BUT he feeds them grain. He does not purchase organic grain, therefore leaving it open to GMO/junk corn. Is this better than the eggs I buy at Whole Foods that are labeled as organic free range? sooooo…..chickens that eat grass and cruddy grain, or the chicken that eat organic grain but might not get much grass time…???? Which one?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jill. That is a really tough call, and it comes down to weighing the practices of each operation. I lean toward organic, if the animals are free range but you might need to look into how free range is defined by that supplier. It can be pretty subjective. ~Amy

  52. Just buying organic eggs from vegetarian-fed chickens (from Costco or wherever) still means the chickens could have been raised rather inhumanely, and to some people that’s an important factor to consider.

  53. Just get organic eggs and make sure the chickens were fed a vegetarian diet. It’s not that hard. We get eggs at Costco that state this.

  54. Different Breeds of Eggs will have different yolk colors, If you get pastured eggs from a farmer who raises different breeds of chickens you can get a similar result to the picture. The other information seems to be good though!

  55. Hi,

    Can someone please breakdown the nutritional proof that these eggs are better than just store bought $2 dozen eggs? At the end of the day all eggs contain protein, vitamin d, etc.

  56. I buy NatureFed because they are non GMO verified and sometime egg-lands best or organic valley more when I can’t get the other ones and I’m in a pinch…. Since I can’t find the farms market where I’m at..

  57. Lisa, what about Certified Humane?

    I was buying organic eggs for a long time until I found out that isn’t necessarily the best option. I heard about Phil’s Fresh Eggs and that they are certified humane and so have been buying them since. I would love to buy my eggs at the Farmers market but it can get expensive along with all of the other organic and non GMO foods we try to buy.

    Would love to you know your thoughts on the Phil’s Eggs. :-)

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Zeena. Phil’s is certainly a cut above most factory farms where chickens are caged. While the Certified Human stamp/seal does mean that the cruelest of practices are eliminated and assures the use of no antibiotics or hormones, it does not mean that the chickens are outside roaming freely nor eating their natural or organic diet. Does Phil’s offer an organic option? ~Amy

  58. I eat locally raised eggs from a gentleman who keeps a few chickens on his property. They are free range and eat lots of good things. We ran out last week so my husband bought a dozen of EB eggs and after tasting one, I fed the rest to the dogs and cats. No flavor compared to my fresh eggs.

  59. We get our eggs fresh from our 5 hens in the backyard. Before we had our own hens, I balked when people said there was a noticeable difference between fresh, small-flock eggs and store eggs. Then I tried some and they are delicious! I hope to never return to commercially farmed eggs.

  60. We buy organic eggs from a local farm, so I guess they are “pastured”. I don’t think $5/dz is that expensive. Gosh, a fancy coffee costs almost the same amount & many people buy those daily without thinking about it. It’s all about perspective.

  61. I JUST PAID …GET THIS… PLEASE BE SITTING DOWN… I JUST PAID $8 for a dozen of farm, fresh eggs. Certified cruelty free and all that but when they said $8 I almost passed out!! What ever happened to the $4 dozen. Not that that is cheap but geeezzz….

  62. I just wanted to point out that chickens are naturally omnivores, like many birds. Their natural diet should NOT be solely grain, despite how well people think they do on it, as is said in the article. Their natural diet should consist of seeds and insects, and sometimes things like lizards or mice. They don’t eat GREENS nor are they naturally vegetarian.

    While I recognize that some factory farms may feed chickens disturbing items like chicken byproducts, and that may be a good reason to choose “vegetarian fed,” removing whole proteins like small animals and insects from their diet means they are not being fed a natural diet.

    1. My girls (aka, hens) love frogs! They eat bugs, flies, worms, etc. I’ve never seen them eat a lizard or mouse but it wouldn’t surprise me much.

  63. Fiona McQuillan

    We are raising our own chickens. We have 20 of them. They currently have an outdoor penned area and come and go as they wish (though we close them inside at night to keep them warm and predators away. One thing we have learned is they destroy/eat the grass very quickly. We are planning on expanding their outdoor area to 4 quadrants which we will rotate them through. They get pellets and grain we buy from the coop, bread and veggie scraps, and weeds I pull from the garden. I have not had to purchase commercial eggs in a year and I love it :)

    1. Fiona McQuillan

      we sell our eggs for $4/dz, which generates enough money to buy their feed, and some of the food for our other furry friends (of the indoor variety)

  64. We had been buying eggs from our farmer’s market here in town for the better part of the past year, but just in the last month or a bit more started getting them from two families here in town that raise their own hens in their yards right in the city. They’re generally even larger, darker, cheaper and even more fresh. They both belong to a raw milk drop we belong to as well…. This lovely way of eating has a way of spider-webbing out once you get started and you can really “grow” your own network of goodness with other folks nearby. Our trips to the supermarket just get less and less frequent in every way.

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