Eggs are all the same, right? We are here to tell you not all eggs are treated the same. Here we go through the true difference between farm fresh eggs vs store-bought eggs.
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This breakfast staple is one of the most popular food items to have in the morning, especially for America. According to the Washington Post, “Americans can eat about 279 eggs per year per person.“
They are so many popular egg recipes and they remain a favorite in Asian cuisine as well. Trending foods like avocado toast, hard-boiled eggs, egg salad, and so many other recipes to name a few.
Nevertheless, I think people eat eggs not only because they taste good but for their nutritional value and benefits to the body.
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If that is the case, the difference between farm fresh eggs vs store-bought eggs is more apparent.
Before we get into this egg investigation, let’s first review some of the egg basics. There are many types of terms for how eggs are presented in today’s market.
By breaking down each egg term you can know the facts about all the different kinds of eggs so you see which type is right for you.
Usually, store-bought eggs are the cheapest types of eggs to get at your local grocery store. They are also known as conventional eggs that come from chickens who are raised in very tight spaces or factory-like environments.
All most 90% of eggs from the U.S come from chickens that live in a cage. These chickens don’t have good living conditions since they are usually overcrowded and never see the light of day.
Some key points of a conventionally raised chicken that produce these types of eggs are:
- Might be given antibiotics throughout their life
- Do not get to eat grass, bugs and the good food nature has for them
- Diet consistent of non-organic grain maybe GMO diet
- Are not raised humanly
- Have a high chance of spreading diseases like salmonella because of their poor living conditions.
I would take this term with a grain of salt because you don’t know how the farmer is taking care of these “cage-free” chickens. Cage-free means chickens can leave their cages in an enclosed area but still are surrounded by thousands of other hens.
Eggs that are labeled to be “cage-free” can still live in confined barns that don’t give them enough room or any hours of sunlight to access bugs for food.
Video Example of Cage Free eggs
Usually, these types of chickens are not bound to their cages and have a few hours a day roaming around a closed-in structure that is an overcrowded area.
The life for cage-free hens is not the same as free-range or pastured raised hens. They are far from it!
Eggs coming from these hens are not as nutritionally dense as eggs that come from hens that are actually out on open land.
This term is a trick to make you think you’re getting the best quality eggs when in reality you might as well pay the cheaper price of regular conventional eggs at your local grocery store.
Omega 3 enriched eggs
Beware of this market scam friends! Egg cartons that are labeled Omega 3 are conventionally raised hens that are given feed that is supplemented with omega 3’s.
These hens are not fed with organic feed unless it has the official organic label on the carton. Hormones and antibiotics can still be used on these types of chicken.
Keep your eye out for these marketing tactic words.
Out of all the egg labels you see at your grocery store, the label pastures raised are the highest quality eggs you can buy.
Farm fresh eggs are usually pastured raised and live primarily outside with all the sunshine, bugs, and grass to forage.
Hens that are raised on grass all day (pastured-raised) get to do what chickens do best, scratch, forage, and spread their manure that creates healthy soil for farmers.
These types of eggs come from chickens that live a great happy hen life. Hens that have great living quarters, green grass, and all the natural food around them create nutrient-dense pastured raised eggs.
There is nothing better than eating eggs that come from chickens who were able to roam freely.
Organic vs nonorganic Eggs
There are major differences between Organic and nonorganic eggs, and it comes down to a chicken’s food quality and source.
Farmers who have an organic certification have to follow strict guidelines ensuring that their products do not contain any antibiotics, pesticides, or any other harmful substances that the USDA won’t allow in products.
These eggs that have a certified organic seal can be guaranteed to come from chickens that are given non-GMO, organic feed.
Nevertheless, just because eggs are labeled organic doesn’t mean that eggs come from hens that enjoy sunshine, forage, or eat what is naturally there for them on pastures.
Non-organic eggs don’t have this regulation. These eggs can be from hens who are fed supplemental feed that is grain-based and can be given antibiotics.
Overall, the biggest difference between organic and non-organic eggs is the quality of the food that is given to the hen which ultimately creates eggs that you consume.
Farm fresh eggs
Farm fresh eggs are considered the Mercedes of eggs compared to conventionally raised and cage-free eggs. The eggs are produced from hens that have similar living environments to pastured raised hens.
Purchasing farm fresh eggs supports farmers, provides you with better nutrients, and peace of mind that no antibiotics and hormones are being used to produce them.
A good thing to do is find more information about the farmer you buying from since not all farmers use natural or organic ways of farming.
Nevertheless, you don’t know what you’re missing if you have never tried farm fresh eggs.
Pros of farm fresh eggs
- Fresher food source with minimal travel time
- Are more nutritious
- Humanly treated animals
- Taster and richier product
Cons of farm fresh eggs
- Can be more expensive
- Maybe hard to find depending on your area
- Eggs shells may be hard to peel if hardboiled
…Not many cons
What are the main differences between farm fresh vs store-bought eggs?
The main differences between the two types of eggs are all good reasons to consider.
- If you are used to eating farm-fresh eggs you might have forgotten how conventional store-bought eggs taste like. Farm are eggs in my opinion do taste better and richer than store-bought eggs.
- The taste of eggs depends on what the farmer feeds their hens, the diets of the hens matter.
- So do your research, if you are getting eggs from a local farmer it doesn’t hurt to ask the farmer what they feed their hens or their living environment.
- When you get eggs from a reliable source.
- You can even go the extra mile and go visit the farm you get your farm fresh eggs at!
- There is nothing like getting a dozen of beautiful multiple-color eggs. You definitely won’t get rainbow-colored from store-bought eggs.
- The color and size of an egg can be distinguished by the type of breed of chicken it came from.
- Not only do farm-fresh look beautiful but the color of their yolk says it all.
- The yolk of farm-fresh is usually a dark yellow or orange color showing how rich and nutritious they are.
The storage and shelf life
- When farm fresh eggs are pushed out by a hen they are about 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Don’t wash farm fresh eggs if you are planning to keep them out on your counter.
- Farm fresh eggs have a protective layer called a bloom ( a cell-protective cell membrane) that coats the egg and helps them keep longer than store-bought eggs.
When you are storing farm-fresh eggs on your countertop you can have fun with it by buying a chicken eggs holder like the ones below.
- Freshness matters when you want to cook with eggs. Farm fresh eggs will not disappoint the taste buds and provide you with more texture.
- From the yolk to the whites of the egg, farm-raised eggs don’t even compare to store-bought eggs when they come to taste.
- If you buy eggs from a store you don’t know how long they traveled to get there and how long they have been sitting at the store.
- Older eggs can affect the structure of the yolk and whites, and may not hold together as well as fresh eggs will.
- One can argue that eggs all taste like and that eggs are just eggs. According to an article made by the Washington post, “People’s perception of egg flavor is mostly psychological.” If you are told they are straight from a farm you might just think they taste better than a store-bought.”
Nevertheless, You can’t argue the fact that farm fresh eggs have a lot more nutrients than the conventionally farmed egg sold at a grocery store.
Farm fresh eggs vs Store-bought Nutritional Value
According to certifiedhumane.org, “researchers found that one pasture-raised egg contains twice as much omega-3 fat, three times more vitamin D, four times more vitamin E and seven times more beta-carotene than eggs from hens raised on traditional feed.”
You can find plenty of studies proving that farm-fresh or pasture-raised eggs have more nutrients in them than conventional eggs. With more vitamin E and omega-4 alone, farm-raised eggs will reduce inflammation and provide you with antioxidants.
According to healthyeating.sfgate.com, “Natural eggs also deliver more lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants important for eye health.”
No antibiotics or hormones are used on hens that are farm-raised (double-check the farm practices beforehand) so you can be sure to not have to worry about them getting recalled either.
FAQ: farm fresh eggs vs store-bought
How long do farm fresh eggs last compared to store-bought?
According to countrysmallholding.com, you can have unwashed farm fresh eggs unrefrigerated for almost 2 months.
Remember to keep your unwashed eggs at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Unwashed eggs can also be kept in the fridge twice as long as washed eggs.
It is safe to say if you don’t plan on using your eggs for a while refrigerating them is the best for long storage. Be sure after washing eggs to dry them completely before placing them in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth on the shell.
The USDA recommends the following:
- Keep eggs at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below
- Washed eggs should not be used after 30 days
- Don’t keep washed eggs out of the fridge for more the 2 hours
- Rule of thumb-If an egg sinks in water it is good to eat, if it floats..toss it!
Why don’t you refrigerate farm fresh eggs?
You can refrigerate farm fresh eggs but you don’t have to if you plan not to wash them because they have a protective membrane helping the eggs from bacteria.
In the UK they don’t require eggs to be washed at all from anywhere because it helps protect the shell. Overall, it is a personal preference you want to wash your farm fresh eggs.
Do farm-fresh eggs have less cholesterol?
Farm fresh eggs have about 140mg-180mg of cholesterol and store-bought eggs have 200mg or more of cholesterol.
Are farm-fresh eggs better for you?
In my opinion farm, fresh eggs are better for you because of the nutrient benefits and freshness it provides. Hens that produce farm fresh eggs are sure to be the healthiest compared to conventionally grown eggs you see mostly at the store.
I’m obsessed with all the beautiful colors and rich qualities farm fresh eggs have. There is nothing better than grabbing eggs straight out of a chicken coop and sitting them right on your kitchen counter.
If you haven’t tried farm fresh eggs, definitely make it happen one day…you won’t be disappointed!
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Such an interesting read! We’re getting chicks this week and I’m so excited for fresh eggs in the Spring!
Thank you! That’s great, I hope you get plenty of eggs next Spring.
This is such a great and important post! Long ago, we have made the decision to eat the best meat we can get from pasture-raised animals and that includes eggs. The lives of chicken in commercial farms is just horrendous and we don’t want to support that at all. Plus, I agree, that the nutritional value and flavor of pasture-raised or farm-raised eggs is far superior!
Wow! This post has so much helpful information and has inspired me even further to get more chickens, since more chickens for us equal less store-bought eggs 😉
I’m glad you found it informative! Yes, more chickens..that’s my motto lol
This is so fascinating! Thank you for all the good information. So thankful we live near farmers to get our farm-fresh eggs!!
Your welcome! That’s is great that you have a great resource for eggs, that make be happy 😊
So many people don’t understand this side of it. I appreciate you sharing all of this great information!
I’m glad you like my post! This information is so important to share.