Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Advertising
     None  Alterations
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auto
     None  Automotive Dealerships
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Barns and Steel Buildings
     None  Blacksmith
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Catering
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dentist
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Electrician
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Firearms
     None  Fireplace Sales/Service
     None  Firewood
     None  Fitness
     None  Flooring
     None  Florist
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Hair/Nail Care and Cosmetics
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Health Care
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  Home Improvement
     None  Home Inspector
     None  Home Maintenance
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jewelry
     None  Landscaping
     None  Movers
     None  Music Lessons
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Pet Store
     None  Pet Training
     None  Photography
     None  Plumbing
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane Delivery
     None  Propane
     None  Racing - Cars
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Roofing
     None  Schools
     None  Sewing - lessons, supplies
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Small Engine Repair
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Storage
     None  Tax Preparation
     None  Tires
     None  Tractor, Trailer and RV Sales
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Window Replacement
     None  Windshield Repair

"The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition."
– Thomas Edison  
About | Contact | Advertise | News Stands | Subscribe | Privacy Policy 

  Volume No. 10 Issue No. 1 January 2014  

None Black Forest News   None Book Review   None Business Briefs   None Community Calendar  
None FFPD News   None Face to Face   None Falcon Area Churches   None Finance  
None From the Publisher   None Health and Wellness   None Letters to the Editor   None Monkey Business  
None News Briefs   None News from D 49   None Pet Care   None Phun Photos  
None Rumors  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
Health and Wellness
Printer Friendly Version
  Which eggs offer egg-cellent nutrition
  By Jason Gray

   Commercial egg producers are launching a public relations campaign to assure consumers that their confinement operations for chickens produce eggs as healthy as the eggs that come from pastured chickens. Local nutritionists and agricultural consultants disagree.
   Consumers are buying more cage-free and organic eggs than ever before. Market share for cage-free eggs was about 1 percent in 2004. It increased to more than 3 percent by the end of 2012, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
   Egg producer organizations that represent confinement operators are funding studies to show standard production eggs are just as nutritious. “Egg quality is affected by the type of feed fed to the hens,” according to “Factors that Influence Egg Production,” published in 2013 by the American Egg Board, which represents producers with more than 75,000 hens.
   “Since more is known about the nutrition requirements of the chicken than of any other domestic animal, it is not surprising that rations are scientifically balanced to assure layer health along with optimum quality eggs at the least cost.” The AEB assists producers by providing marketing information and studies to publicize the nutritional benefits of eggs, confinement operation eggs in particular.
   Dr. Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University said in a market study published in 2013 that most of the change in consumer buying is because of animal welfare issues. “As consumers become more engaged with how their food is produced, they are driving sales of higher welfare animal products,” Lusk said.
   Standard commercial egg-laying operations in the United States keep chickens in windowless, insulated and force-ventilated buildings, according to the AEB. Temperature, humidity and light are controlled to ensure laying efficiency. Molting, or loss of feathers, occurs at about 18 to 20 months of age, according to the AEB producer report. Rather than placing the flock into a controlled molt pattern, they are often sold for slaughter at this point and replaced.
   “Battery cages deprive chickens of the ability to perform natural behaviors such as exploring, nesting, perching, dust bathing or simply stretching their wings;” according to “On the Farm,” a report published in June 2013 by the Animal Welfare Institute.
   In addition to concerns about the welfare of chickens, consumers are buying free range, organic or small-farm eggs because the eggs are thought to be healthier. Dr. Kenneth Anderson, a professor in the Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University, published a study in 2011 stating there is no difference in egg nutrition based on how the chickens are raised. Anderson used 400 identical breed hens raised together until 12 weeks of age, when they were separated into free range or cage-rearing facilities. “A significant nutritional advantage of eggs produced by chickens housed on range versus cages could not be established,” according to the study.
   The results are in conflict with studies by the smaller producers, as well as common-sense thinking, said Jordan Hoefing, Falcon nutritionist. “The study could have been using vegetarian egg feed,” Hoefing said. “Egg nutrition depends a lot on what the chickens are fed and what they have access to. Chickens are omnivores. Free range is starting to become a buzzword that is being corrupted by producers.” The USDA definition of free range includes merely access to the outdoors – not a real pasture where chickens can find natural foods, she said.
   The bugs, worms and seeds that small-farm pastured chickens have access to increase the nutritional content of their eggs, said Dr. Stephen Kutscher, Falcon chiropractor. “Americans’ diets have way too high a ratio of omega-6 fats to omega-3,” Kutscher said. “Even if pastured eggs have a little higher fat content, it's mostly the extremely beneficial omega-3 fat.” An ongoing study that began in September 2007, sponsored by Mother Earth News magazine, shows that eggs raised on pasture contain twice the omega-3 fatty acids, three times the vitamin E content and seven times more beta carotene than conventional eggs.
   Buying healthier eggs means navigating a mine field of regulated and un-regulated marketing phrases, Hoefing said. “I personally solely look for Certified Humane Eggs,” Hoefing said. “Organic means they're fed all organic grain, which has nothing to do with the other nutrients they have to get. Cage free only means they are all housed in an open barn, with still no access to dirt and scratch.”
   The best way to know that eggs are coming from chickens with access to natural forage is to know the producer, Hoefing said. Living in Falcon allows residents opportunities to find eggs from small-farm producers and backyard chicken keepers. “You can look on, since those folks don't often pay for websites,” she said. “Just by asking around, you'll find it's a lot more common than you think. These places need more people to buy them.”


© 2004-2017 The New Falcon Herald.
All rights reserved.