So Many Labels, So Little Time: Which Eggs Are Best?
You see eggs labeled “cage-free,” “free-range” and “hormone-free.” Which label actually matters? Functional medicine physician Mark Hyman, MD, supplies The Short Answer.
A: Eggs are labeled in so many ways, but the label I think is most important is “pasture-raised.”
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Eggs may be labeled “hormone-free,” but chickens don’t actually get hormones. They may be labeled “cage-free,” but the chickens may be locked in a room. They may be labeled free-range, but the chickens may be foraging on cement.
Pasture-raised eggs are best because the chickens can hunt for grubs and larvae to eat. Their shells are really hard, not like the factory-farm egg shells you can crush with your fingers.
Their yolks are a dark yellow-orange — rather than pale yellow — because they contain so much lutein, the same antioxidant nutrient that colors salmon, carrots and sweet potatoes.
And because of the food that pasture-raised chickens forage, their eggs also contain far more healthy omega-3 fat.
—Mark Hyman, MD, Director, Center for Functional Medicine