Egg Carton Labels: What do they mean?

Hi wellness friends,

Is it just me, or have you also been bombarded with buzzwords when you’re cruising down the egg aisle? Cage-free, organic, pastured..what do these terms mean? Which eggs are the healthiest ones to buy? And which labels are flat out meaningless?

I put together this guide to help answer some of these questions.

Take a close look! Like me, you might be surprised to find how misleading some of these labels are!

(Click on the image below to enlarge)

Egg Labels

Final thoughts:

The best eggs you can buy are pastured organic eggs from local farms. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Pastured means that the hens laying the eggs are raised on pasture. This means they have access to fresh air, sunlight, and are able to roam around and engage in their natural behaviors. This also means that they are fed their natural diet which includes protein in the form of insects. (You read that correctly, chickens are not naturally vegetarians!)  Tests have shown that pastured eggs are much healthier (higher Vitamin A, Vitamin E, beta carotene, and omega-3 content) than those that are not pastured. For a farm near you, visit http://www.eatwild.com.
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  2. Organic eggs are free of antibiotics and pesticides.
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  3. Eggs from local farms afford you the ability to both research and ask questions about the welfare of the animals. Plus you are supporting your local economy.

A quick note on meaningless labels:

Terms like “Fertile” and “Natural” are virtually meaningless. They are unregulated terms and tell us nothing about the welfare of the animal (how it was raised, what it was fed). If it’s natural, it must be good for you, right? Nope. I wish it were that simple.

The next time you’re in the egg aisle, don’t be fooled by some of the appealing buzzwords that are thrown at you!

Love and light,

vm

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2 thoughts on “Egg Carton Labels: What do they mean?

  1. Very helpful info and I will be in the lookout.

    Many people in the UK keep their eggs on the kitchen counter rather than in the fridge. The eggs are also not in a refrigerated aisle at the supermarket. Do you have any guidance on this?

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    • When eggs are laid, they have a natural protective layering on them which has antimicrobial properties. The US requires eggs to be washed before they are sold, which removes this protective layer and thus requires refrigeration. Eggs may sometimes have feces on them, which is why they are required in the US to be sanitized before being sold. But in Europe, they feel that not washing keeps that protective layer in tact and also promotes better husbandry on farms since no one wants to buy dirty eggs. Hope this helps. The regulation of labeling may be different in the UK than in the US, but I still think my closing points still apply (know where your eggs come from, local, organic, & pastured are best).

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