I've always believed that happy hens lay the healthiest eggs. However, the labels on the cartons can often be more confusing than helpful: should we be looking for cage-free, free-range, or is organic the way to go?
If the homeowners association where I live wasn't so strict, there would already be a couple of hens sunning themselves in my backyard. But until the rules change (or I can persuade someone living close by to take on raising chickens), I'm going to have to be more diligent about which eggs I choose at the store.
Despite some pretty hairy documentaries showing an alarming side of farming, there are still good people out there who care about their chickens. Here's a brief guide to what the labels really mean. It looks like certified humane, pasture raised, or organic are the best choices - and worth paying extra for.
Also, don't forget about your local farmers market: it's a great place to find good fresh eggs without having to plow through labels.
I just have to add that although egg yolks contain cholesterol, they also have an abundance of nutrients (including omega 3's, and hard to find vitamin D.) So, unless you've been advised by your doctor to avoid them, do you really want to throw away the most nutritious and delicious part of the egg? I think not. And with that in mind, I'm off to make myself a nice dippy egg!
* Please always follow your doctor's advice if you have a medical condition.
Consumer Reports "Pasture Raised"
Animal Welfare Approved
Global Animal Partnership