Eat

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Eggs

Sunday, 16 November 2008 | Tags:

One of natureís simplest foods, eggs take a leading role in an endless array of recipes. We find out that not all eggs are created equal.

The Basics

  • Eggs contain many vitamins (D, A, E, B12), nutrients, and all 9 essential amino acids, making them a wise choice for your daily meat requirements.

  • Eggs are good for your eyes because they contain lutein, which helps prevent age-related cataracts and muscular degeneration. Eggs actually contain more lutein than spinach and other green vegetables.

  • If you’ve been avoiding eggs due to cholesterol concerns, you should reconsider. Studies now show that lutein in egg yolks can protect against the early progress of heart disease.

  • Buy your eggs from a store that has reasonable turnover. Look for the longest expiration date possible.

  • Open the carton to check for cracked shells, which can allow bacteria in.

  • Size makes a difference in recipes that call for eggs. The assumption is that you’re using large size. Adjust the recipe if you use small, medium, or extra large eggs.

  • There is no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs. The breed of hen is what determines the colour of the shell.

  • Though studies haven’t found a substantial nutritional difference between free range and mass-produced eggs, the farming practices may make a difference in your personal choice:

    • Free run chickens are not locked up in cages and are able to move about the barn.

    • Free range chickens are not locked up in cages, are able to move about the barn, and also have outdoor privileges.

    • If your eggs don’t say free run or free range on the carton, then they’re likely mass-produced at a factory farm where chickens are typically kept in cages.

Other Considerations

  • Heart-healthy fatty acid Omega-3 can now be found in some specially-fortified eggs. This means a portion of the chicken’s diet comes from flax seed, which contains the Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. These eggs can have up to 8 times more vitamin E than regular eggs.

  • Organic eggs come from chickens that have been fed organic, all-vegetable and medication-free diet, and are usually free run or free range. They typically cost close to double the price of mass-produced eggs, but often have double the flavour.

Tips

  • Not sure if an egg is fresh? Fill a tall glass about 3/4 full with water and drop the egg in. If it sinks, it’s fresh. If it floats, it means the shell has aged enough to allow air into the cavity, which means the egg has probably spoiled.

  • Is it raw or boiled? If you’ve mixed up your cooked eggs with raw, you can tell which is which by giving the egg a spin on its end. A cooked egg will spin nicely, while a raw egg will wobble.

TEST CRITERIA

We cracked open these four different types of eggs and cooked them up for a taste test:

  • Regular White: $2.46 per dozen
  • Omega-3 White: $3.44 per dozen
  • Brown Free-Run: $3.89
  • Free Range Organic: $5.99

Taste Test

  • The mass-produced regular white egg had the least flavour of the bunch. It was bland and slightly chalky in comparison.

  • The free range organic eggs had some testers overjoyed with the full-bodied flavour. The almost double price, however, made them flip out.

  • Most testers preferred the Omega-3 eggs for the rich flavour and health benefits.

OUR TOP PICK

We chose the Omega-3 eggs for their rich flavour, reasonable price and added health benefit.

 

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