(courtesy healthfreedoms.org)

Yesterday I did some reading, and one article was of particular interest to me: What’s REALLY in Your Eggs?  Read the article – it’s fascinating.

I kinda figured that eggs laid by hens that have been living out in a pasture where they have access to sunlight, exercise, and their natural food would be healthier than eggs laid by hens who have been living in cramped quarters.  But I didn’t imagine that the difference would be so great – even to the point of needing to eat less pastured eggs to feel satisfied.  Quick summary: pastured eggs have twice as much of most vitamins found in eggs, and a lot less fat and cholesterol.  The biggest discrepancy is Vitamin D, because hens who live indoors don’t get access to the Vitamin D in sunshine.

The other disconcerting thought was the presence of arsenic in commercial chickens and eggs.  There is an (apparently benign) arsenic-based additive that is included in chicken feed in the US (I’m not sure about Canada), which gets concentrated and turned into a lethal form of arsenic in the chicken meat and their eggs.  It’s not enough to kill you outright, but they are saying that the accumulation of these low levels of arsenic causes all sorts of health problems over time.  Did YOU know that there was arsenic in your chicken and your eggs?

Pastured eggs are a lot more expensive than commercial eggs, which makes sense;  it costs a lot more to raise the chickens.  At times it seems ridiculous to pay $8 per dozen when you can get eggs for less than half that price.  But the more I educate myself, the more I think that my health, and that of my daughter, is worth it.  If we need less of the food to nourish our bodies, perhaps it won’t be that much more expensive to feed our family on pastured meats and eggs.  The trick is to adjust our habit of eating a large quantity of those items.  As a chronic over-eater, that might be a challenge…but perhaps it’s one I’m willing to take on. It can only benefit me.

For about six months now, we’ve been members at a local farm, called Tara Firma Farms, that raises all of their animals in pastures, feeds them the food they were meant to eat, and grows their vegetables and fruits using sustainable, organic processes.  We don’t purchase ALL of our meat, fruits and veggies from them, but it’s a start.  One day, maybe we’ll be able to afford to switch totally, but for now, I’ll do what I can to help my family be healthy.