How to Buy Eggs From The Grocery Store

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Many people turn to eggs as a healthy source of protein, but do you really know what you’re getting?

While I personally don’t eat eggs because my diet is complete and I don’t find any nutritional reason to eat them, I do feel they are probably among the best forms of animal protein for people who choose to eat it. I talk a lot about animal protein in The Beauty Detox Solution, sharing with you many of the harmful effects arising from meat consumption. For example, seafood, which is generally touted as very healthy, can be loaded with really toxic elements including mercury and PCBs. Chicken, red meat, pork, and other animal flesh is noted as one of the highest sources of human ingestion of toxins, steroids, hormones and more. Eggs, then, can be a better choice than any other animal protein, under certain circumstances.

Egg Nutrition

Before we discuss the specifics of eggs, let’s take a look at the general nutritional information for eggs. In this case, I am referring to chicken eggs, although I am aware there are other choices, as well. Eggs contain:

  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • Phosphorus
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

Egg Buying Guide

When you go to the grocery store, you have all kinds of choices in eggs. Package labeling may indicate chickens are organic, antibiotic free, free range, and omega 3 vs omega 6 enhanced, among others. Let’s take a look at some of these marketing claims to see how it affects the final product.

Conventional Eggs

If you buy eggs at the supermarket without any marketing claims, in other words, the package is labeled jumbo eggs, you might be surprised to learn what that entails. Chicken farming is far from the pastoral image people have of chickens scratching around a barnyard happily before laying eggs. Instead, conventional eggs are raised in egg factories where the chicken are crowded together in multi-hen cages. These close quarters can be a breeding ground for disease, so farmers often fill the hens’ food with antibiotics to keep disease at bay, and those antibiotics can wind up in your eggs. Likewise, hens laying conventionally raised eggs may be given hormones to amp up production. These eggs tend to be lighter in color, less nutritious, and far less tastier than fresh eggs. By the time they get to the grocery store, the eggs may be quite old, as well. Along with containing hormones and antibiotics, conventional eggs may also contain strains of salmonella, which is a dangerous bacteria that can cause severe illness when ingested. Additionally, the hens in conventional factory farms are often fed genetically modified or pesticide laden feed, which can also show up in the eggs.

Cage-Free

Chickens in cage-free systems are still usually living in very crowded henhouses with thousands of other chickens. In fact, some of these houses are so crowded the hens do not have any room to move around. This means the hens are walking around in their own waste and waste from other hens, which is a breeding ground for bacteria. Thus, cage-free hens are often given antibiotics to prevent disease and hormones to increase yield. The cage-free hens (unless labeled organic) are also likely given GMO and pesticide laced feeds. Nutrition is similar to conventional eggs.

Free Range

This is a common claim you’ll find on egg cartons, and it draws to mind pastoral images of hens wandering around a farmyard in the sunshine, obtaining their foods naturally. In fact, many eggs labeled free-range are raised in a manner similar to cage-free animals, with the exception that they have a door or ramp to a small outside yard, which most hens never use. There is little difference between free-range eggs, cage-free eggs, and conventional eggs.

Organic Eggs

You’d think these would be the best of the best eggs, but they aren’t necessarily. Chickens laying organic eggs must be raised under organic laws, which include not feeding the chickens any food with pesticides, hormones or antibiotics. The chickens, however, do not have to be free range or even cage free. In fact, organic eggs from the grocery store are often raised in factory farm conditions with the same inherent crowding and bacteria problems as other eggs. Likewise, organic eggs may be several weeks old before they make it to the grocery store.

The Best Way to Buy Eggs

So how do you know you’re getting the best eggs? Get to know local farmers and buy your eggs from them. Many small, local farmers supply farm fresh eggs from chickens raised organically that are actually raised outdoors in un-crowded conditions. Likewise, small local farmers are more likely to allow their chickens to lay eggs naturally without hormone induction, as well as to feed naturally. If you buy your eggs from a local farmer, you may even be able to purchase them the same day the eggs are laid. Purchase some local eggs and you’ll immediately notice a difference. The yolks are a deep, sunny golden color with much better flavor and far more nutrition than conventional eggs. According to HealthFreedoms.org, pastured eggs have five times more vitamin D, 2/3 more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fats, three times more vitamin E, and seven times more beta carotene. They are also less likely to contain harmful bacteria and be generally healthier than conventional eggs. If you’re unable to organically raise chickens in your own back yard (and many cities ban raising chickens), then find a farmer you can trust. Visit your local farmer’s market and ask the farmer about their egg production practices, or find local farmers at LocalHarvest.org, which helps you find farmer’s markets, CSAs, and local farmers in your area.

If you are going to eat eggs, it is certainly worth it to take that extra step!

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49 Responses to “How to Buy Eggs From The Grocery Store

  1. I have 26 laying hens,of different varieties!
    I get 18-20 eggs a day,on the average.I go out at the crack of dawn(I used to be a night owl) wake them up,and feed them standard laying crumbles(not organic,it is TOO expensive,twice as much,in fact).I keep them locked in a nice size coop until late afternoon(to make sure they lay their eggs where I can find them),then let them out to free range.When I let them out,I feed them bread and cracked corn,and watch their antics as they “play”!!!
    These are the best tasting eggs,with a beautiful golden-orange yolk that stands up in the pan!
    My Wife takes eggs to her work (a childcare facility)and sells them for $3.00 a dozen and they just love them! One co-worker buys from Smith Brothers farm,so I sent a dozen in for her to try,for free.On Monday She told My Wife”those are the best eggs I’ve ever tasted”!!!!!!!
    Store bought free range eggs,like the standard commercial eggs,are lacking the protein (from the bugs and worms they find) plus any greens a chicken can get that is actually free ranged!!!
    So,if You can’t find REAL eggs around You,take a Sunday drive out to the country and look for little signs on fence posts that say “farm fresh eggs”!!! Or,check Craigslist for you area!
    Trust Me,once You’ve had them,You won’t want to go back to store bought/1
    Plus,think about what You are feeding Yourselves AND Your children!!!!
    Thank You,and keep up the good work Kimberly!!!!!
    Brent!

    • Thanks for the information , this is artcle is pretty useful.Had a question can you please suggest ,on how to Find the local farmer to buy the fresh healthy egg. My zip code is 92780.

  2. Try duck eggs if you can. Nothing beats them! Most eggs come in that nice tan/brown color, but there are a few ducks that lay greenish or even pinkish eggs (hence dying eggs for Easter)! They are typically larger than chicken eggs, and are very creamy, and have a bit more “egg taste”. The ducks/geese I get mine from do have some grain in their diet, but throughout the day they get to roam free in a large pasture, catching bugs, eating grass and shoveling for food… Check with your local wildlife rehab center, usually they have tons of resident ducks/geese, so collecting the eggs is a way of population control, and usually they give the eggs away to volunteers, or sell them for donations.

  3. Hi Kim, question: On the egg carton it mentions the chicken’s diet, usually grain fed. But is that what chickens naturally eat? What if, for example, they are fed organic wheat, corn and soy, would that in turn effect the human that has a sensitivity to wheat, corn and soy?

  4. Hi Kim. Question re eggs. You stated facts about pasteurized eggs. Aren’t local eggs from a nearby farmer unlikely to be pasteurized? Or we’re you saying that if I get eggs from the grocery store, go for the pasteurized eggs?

  5. Hey! I read that if egg cartons say organic + “certified humanely raised and treated”, that means that they were actually raised well, on a true pasture. Do you know if there’s truth to this? I’m mostly a vegetarian but I do occasionally eat eggs.

  6. I loved this article. We have our own hens, and their eggs are exceptionally amazing. We let them run free in our inner city backyard. They get organic feed, and I give them fresh fruits and the occasional bits of bread. It is amazing how easy hens are, just minor poop clean up. And they are funny to watch, or have follow you around. My girls are trained to come when called, which cracks people up. But we wouldn’t have eggs any other way. Store eggs are just gross, stale and come from less fortunate hens who are treated terribly. Thank you for sharing this :)

  7. I am very much a fruit and veggie eater,but, following this i find myself eating more carbs like chips, which i love,and crackers.

  8. Thank you so for this info, I really had no idea. I don’t eat eggs often but when I do I usually buy the free range or cage free thinking that I am being a wise consumer. This opens my eyes!

  9. Hello Kim,
    I have bought your book and have gotten three of my girlfriends to buy it as well. We are all following your plan and having our GGS every morning. I was just wondering how many calories are in the smoothie ( per serving)? Thanks in advance
    ~The four musketeers

    • Hi Tiny, I did the analysis for The Today Show and I have to dig it up…especially since I don’t believe in calorie-counting, but I believe it was 160 calories for 20 ounces if you make the full recipe with the banana and all (as I do). If you are concerned you can omit the banana and add some liquid stevia to make sweeter, as some of my clients do. xx

  10. I love free range chicken eggs. Its pathetic to see the hens in such deplorable conditions. Consumers must opt for free range & veg fed chicken eggs this way there will be some improvement in the conditions under which chickens are raised.

  11. You always speak of buying from your local farmer which I think is great if they are around. What if you don’t have local farmers. How are you suppose to shop smart at say your local Trader Joes?

    BTW – I’ve been drinking your GGS and your protein shake with the hemp protein. I love both!! Also currently reading your book :)

    • Are there any smaller, non-chain health stores in your area that source from local farmers? They seem to be in many cities now.

  12. Love love love your book…..and website. I recommend it and have also purchased for gifts. Just a quick question not concerning eggs but where can I find Magnesium Oxygen supplements? No one sees to know what I am talking about? Thanks ahead fr your response.

  13. ya, be sure to find farmer you |REALLY trust . i was finally told by a friend that sometimes farmer markets in the colder seasons just sell eggs bought from grocery stores..so much for farmer market eggs. be careful.

  14. I check out localharvest.org , but around my area is only one day and I can’t go. My parents but organic eggs I don’t eat them all time but it is better then regular eggs. I mean we use to pay $2 and now we pay $4/5 so they are not bad right!? I am quite concern now. Thanks for always sharing Kim.

  15. I found another smoothie that I have once in a while for something different. When I have this I don’t mix any other foods with it. Very filling. Tastes like dessert especially since my body has adjusted to stevia and away from Agave. .

    i take
    one acovado
    1 1/2 cups of coconut milk
    Stevia to taste
    one fresh lime juiced,only use juice if lime
    Run thru a good quality blender
    you may like more or less milk per your choice of thickness
    VLL

  16. Hi Kimberley,
    What an amazing book you have written. It makes so much sense and incorporating the changes in my dies has been amazing. I am so impressed with the information and the recipies my body is loving it. I have so much more energy. Your book has become my health food bible. I am so impressed I have recommended your book to so many people even buying copies and giving the book to others as I am so impressed. You look a picture of health. Thank you for your expertise and sharing this with others.

    Jennifer Coggins

    • Thank you so much Jennifer for your kind words. It really means a lot to me to hear that the BDS is helping people help themselves get healthier.
      Thank you for sharing it and helping it spread! xx

  17. Another danger even with eggs that are organic chickens are stil fed large amounts of soy. I am to have no soy due to problem with the thyriod I am healing. I called the customer service numbers and found these smaller coop farmers feed 50% soy. I found one cooperative that had 20% soy in their diets. But could find no eggs that were not fed soy.
    Another thing I learned from Mike Adams, The Health

    Cursander newsletter is that these eggs can still go thru some sort of bath that did not sound too healthy, and truly was another one of those hidden facts below all the
    supposed factual information..
    VLL

  18. I would love to go total vegetarian in my house but my husband feels it is too costly. Can you tell me what your typical diet consists of?

    • Going vegetarian can actually be CHEAPER if you get the seasonal items and stay away from too many processed “faux meat and cheese” stuff. I actually spend a lot LESS money being VEGAN! I suggest going to vegweb for some fantastic, cheap, easy recipes that are delicious and vegetarian. Also, buy in bulk (Costco) and get frozen/ canned veggies or fruits. Seasonal items are great and plentiful. Don’t forget to try to find a local farmers market. They can be SO much cheaper than supermarkets.

    • Check out my blog on eating health on a budget…join a CSA or go shopping in bulk for many items. My diet is similar to what I outline in The Beauty Detox Solution- tons of GGS, greens, veggies, salads, some nuts, seeds (esp. chia), quinoa, millet, and other plants foods. You won’t have to pay for the cost of poultry or meat…and think of the saved health care costs in the long run from being healthier!

  19. Hello, I first want to say I love your book!! It is truly informative! Now I have a bit of a problem! I work at night 6pm till 2am and I would like to know how I should eat because I’m definetly hungry and I find myself eating all kinds of things at night! So do you have any recommendation on how to eat healthier but not cause a traffic jam for people that work at night? Thank you! Tiffany

    • Hi Tiffany, if you go to bed that late do you also wake up later? If so, you can shift everything back but still follow the basic principles. For instance, whenever you do happen to wake up have your hot water with lemon then your GGS when you get hungry, etc. Depending on how physical your job is or if you get a dinner break at say 8:00 or so, pack a healthy dinner to take, then commit to drinking some herbal tea after that if you need something, but don’t snack late at night or after dinner. Be strict with yourself, and every day it will get easier and easier!
      Keep in touch with me on how you are doing. xx

  20. The best eggs I have ever had are from Vital Farms, they are a little expensive but once you try them you will know what an egg is supposed to taste like. They are the only actual pasture raised eggs I know of outside of visiting a farm or going to the farmers market. I don’t eat much eggs anymore but when someone offers me any, I just think of how a good egg tastes and know that the egg offered to me will not suffice.

  21. Dear Kim,

    I’ve followed the BDS for a few months now, and have seen improvements in my digestive problems. I just got my food allergy tests results in and I’m severely allergic to Dairy (I didn’t eat it anyway), Soy (Also didn’t eat), Eggs (which I love and am so sad even though I just read this article), Almonds (which are a major cornerstone in my daily diet), and Garlic (also something I love). I came up completely fine in terms of gluten though.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to adjust to taking out 3 major components of my diet? I’m a little shook up and would to hear your insight to this (I’ve followed your website forever and really appreciate your wisdom and comments)
    Thank you so much!
    -Jackie

    • Hi Jackie,
      You can easily leave garlic out of recipes, and switch to coconut milk instead of almond milk. It won’t be that bad! xo

  22. Love this! Thanks, Kimberly. I haven’t bought eggs from the grocery store (or farmer’s market for that matter) in ages. We have a nice, wooded back yard with roaming space, so we went all in and raised our own hens! Easy, cheap and you know exactly what they’re eating and how they’re treated!

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