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What About Eggs?

By • Oct 21st, 2006 • Category: Vegetarian Tips, Vegetarianism Print Print

What about eggs?

Over the years, I have significantly cut down on my use of eggs for a variety of humane reasons, yet I understand that eggs are, and will most likely be, a part of many diets, whether you call yourself a vegetarian or not.

I would like to note here the difference between Certified Organic Free Range Eggs that come from hens that run free and are fed organic feed and the less expensive commercial supermarket eggs that come from hens fed a commercial diet and raised in battery cages. The difference between organic and non-organic animal products is significant, not only because of the deplorable conditions in which caged egg-laying hens are kept, but also the effect these conditions have on the animals, the eggs themselves, and the people who consume them.

The difference between organic and non-organic eggs is startling. Eggs provide two fatty acids: omega-6 and omega-3 and those are best when delivered in equal ratios. When you have too much omega-6 and too little omega-3, this imbalance leads to a variety of health problems. Some of those problems may include, overall physical inflammation, high blood pressure, depressed immune function, weight gain, an irritated intestinal tract, and a tendency to form blood clots. Organic Free Range Eggs, that come from hens who roam free and eat green plants and insects, produce eggs that have the perfect ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, a balance of 1:1. On the flip side, commercial supermarket eggs produced from hens living in horrific conditions, fed mainly grains, and administered antibiotics in a factory-farm environment, have a ratio closer to 15 or 20:1.

While the cost to the consumer’s pocket is almost double to buy free range organic eggs, the cost to his or her health of not buying organic is much greater. If consumers demand changes in the conditions of hens kept by mainstream egg producers and large commercial suppliers, I guarantee in time, things will change. In most of Europe, battery cages have been banned for health and humane reasons. Surely, we in America can rise to this occasion. But until we do, my solution is to urge you to consume fewer eggs, which is a good thing anyway, and only buy free range organic eggs. Labels can be deceiving, so if possible, buy locally-produced eggs so you know where the eggs come from and how the chickens are kept. If I can’t get local eggs, I simply don’t use them. And it’s much easier than you think.

Knowledge is power. The more we know about our food and food sources and the more control we take over our own diets, the more power we have to create positive change for ourselves and the world around us.

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is Toni Fiore was raised by an Italian-American father and a German mother who instilled in her a sociable nature and the love of travel and of good food. She has lived in Italy and Germany and now resides in southern Maine. She is the author of: Totally Vegetarian: Easy, Fast, Comforting Cooking for Every Kind of Vegetarian
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4 comments
Reuben Powell
Reuben Powell

omega3 really helps in preventing clogged arteries and cardiovascular diseases:;-

Kai Collins
Kai Collins

I am just concerned about the main source of Omega 3 which is the liver of fish. as you can see, fishes can accumulate mercury and pcb. *'`

Kelly
Kelly

Thank you for attempting to educate some of your vegetarian readers about the horrors of factory farming. I can only hope that some of them will find the courage to GO VEGAN. To know that you are choosing not to support any type of cruelty to any type of animal is truly empowering.

Rae
Rae

Although I rarely eat eggs, my family does, so I am glad you shared this information. I had no idea that standard supermarket eggs had an imbalance of those fatty acids, or what that imbalance could mean to people. Until now I've never paid extra for organic eggs, but you have changed my mind. You might like the novel Fresh Eggs by Rob Levandoski.

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