Why I don’t mind shelling out the big bucks for eggs
by Karnivore Kayla
If I was going to be stranded on a desert island and I only had one item of food to eat, it would most definitely be eggs. My girl Debby from the ‘Amanda Show’ knows wassup. If this one leaves you stumped, you are either: A) too old to know who Amanda Bynes is or B) too young to know that Amanda Bynes wasn’t always notorious for her DUI’s.
It is important to understand that I have not always been a connoisseur of quality eggs. Allow me to create a timeline of my short-lived life that represents my ever-changing relationship with eggs.
Age 0-6: Eggs=Initiate gag reflex. Do not attempt to feed this small human eggs no matter how they are cooked. (Unless of course it is Easter and the bunny ends up leaving pastel-colored, extremely hard boiled eggs where the yolk is all chalky in her lunchbox.)
Age 7-14: Dad asks if I want eggs for breakfast and I abruptly decline his offer because “EW”. But then I ask him if I can have a bite of his because he mixes in diced ham and Sargento sharp chedder.
Age 15: Frequently dabbles in the popularity of the “Egg McMuffin” and “Jimmy Dean” breakfast sandwiches.
Age 16-17: Asks mom how she cooks eggs so quickly in the morning, she responds “via the microwave”, still too many steps. I want a breakfast burrito, but not THAT bad.
Age 18: Entering college means watching the physique. “May I please substitute egg whites in my omelet? Thanks, you’re a doll! Also, can I please have extra toast and chocolate milk?”
Age 19: Moves into first apartment, and finally learns how to cook eggs multiple ways.
Age 20-23: Becomes proficient at cooking sunny side up eggs, perfects the art of a soft boiled egg, and discovers that scrambled eggs don’t need to be cooked until they are dry.
Age 24-25: Buys the 98-pack of eggs at Costco because seriously, I eat a dozen a day.
Current: Learns that the words organic, cage-free, and free-range are not all that they’re souped-up to be. If I have to pay $9.99 for someone’s honesty, so be it.
What it comes down to is that if I’m going to eat this many eggs, they had better come from a humane place where the chickens are free to run around, dust bathe, flap their wings, play tennis, and eat like KINGS.
I ain’t even gonna go into depth with Grade A, AA, and B. These hens are chillin’ in a dark room, never see the light of day, and have their wings and beaks clipped to prevent cannibalism and the zombie apocalypse. This will be the theme of the seventh season of “American Horror Story: Commercially Farmed”. How about cage-free though! Have you SEEN a photo of cage-free chickens? It’s basically like they took the already compacted space where the cages used to be and replaced that space with more chickens! So yeah, they’re out of a cage but it doesn’t really matter if they can’t turn around to say what’s up to their buddy because there are chickens all up in his jock! Companies just abuse these labels to make a pretty penny (like honestly, I don’t believe in gluten-free shampoo, as much as I consume shampoo or anything with the word “poo” in it). And “free-range” is only a step above “cage-free” with the name catering to the comfort of consumers. Only 2 square feet of “free space” is required per chicken in order to use the free-range label. And typically that space is a concrete yard. Certfied Organic eggs have this tendency to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because it sounds like a secret admirer of your gut actually cares to feed you things that are non-poinsonous. This is half true, except now the living quarters and conditions take a seat on the back burner. Farmers that use this label are subject to specific USDA regulations which means their feed must be organic with no synthetic pesticides and are not pumped with hormones or antibiotics. The downside is that only some have exposure to sunlight, just as long as they are certified cage-free (1 sq.ft.) or free-range (2 sq.ft.). Speaking of what chickens eat, how about them vegetarian hens! It is true that chickens are not meant to be dining on a tender sirloin steak, fish fillet or pork rinds, they certainly are not vegetarians. They’re omnivores. While they snack on greens, they also enjoy a slimy, yet satisfying worm or two. *Buzz Word for the Day!!= Omega-3 Enriched*. Eggs already contain omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, pasture-raised contain two times as many omega-3’s. But if you’re seriously concerned about meeting your omega’s for the day, go eat some salmon. Wild not farmed raised DUH. And finally, pasture-raised. The most expensive eggs on the market, or what I like to call, the gold of eggs. Here’s a rare photo of me at my favorite chicken ranch….
Vital Farms is my go-to pasture-raised brand. It’s labeled on the box (like most pasture-raised cartons) the square footage that these birdies get to roam (108 sq.ft. per hen) outdoors and bask in the sunlight, they have access to a barn, and are free to veg out on worms, insects, and are able to feed off the grassy land where no pesticides or chemicals are used. Occasionally they feast off of non-GMO, hormone and antibiotic- free feed. Best of all, because of their resort-like living conditions, these hens produce the highest of quality, vitamin rich eggs. Remember that commercial “Happy cheese comes from happy cows”? this is kind of like that only it’s “Happy eggs come from happy hens” and it’s actually true! (Poor cows). Eggs are so much more than protein packed goodness. If fertilized, that egg was going to be a living thing! And remember, egg beaters don’t count here fitfam, you actually have to eat the godforsaken yolk too. Proteins such as Choline, Betaine, Carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin are all found in eggs which are great for brain function, heart function, and protect the eyes. Vitamin A (great for bone growth and eye health), E (great for skin), and C (boost immune system) are all found in eggs as well as folic acid which helps to produce and maintain new cells! Also, froot loops are probably not a great way to get your daily dose of folic acid.
Does my pickiness over the quality of the eggs I prefer make me high-maintenence? I mean, as much as I enjoy the idea of consuming the spawn of dirty birds that suffer from severe depression, I still care how the food I eat diets and lives. I wouldn’t be a true annoying paleo cult member that thrives on the idea of eating clean or sustainable if I did not question these labels. Plus, I haven’t appreciated the beauty of delicious eggs for most of my life so I’m just making up for lost time.