Are vegetarian-fed eggs actually better for you?
I don’t know about you, but for us, purchasing eggs was always so confusing at the grocery store. We didn’t know what half the terms meant and, more importantly, whether we should care about them. There’s a whole long list of terms you might see on there: Organic, Certified Humane, 100% vegetarian-fed, free range, pasture-raised, enriched with omega-3, hormone free, all natural, farm fresh, cage free, no antibiotics, animal welfare approved, and more. We can’t go through all of these here but one we come across a lot and we feel is particularly devious is “vegetarian fed”.
When I read that label, I think of a chicken squawking about a farm munching on grass, herbs, and maybe a leaf of kale or two when the farmer isn’t looking and generally having a whale of a time.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but the truth of the matter is that those 100% vegetarian-fed chickens are not likely having a great time. Even if you buy the most expensive, cage-free, local, non-GMO, organic eggs, if they are 100% vegetarian-fed they aren’t the healthiest eggs out there. You see, chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians. A true forager chicken will eat worms, insects, frogs, and even mice. Vegetarian-fed chickens are not getting their natural food and so are deficient in vital components of their diet. Often they’re fed corn or soy that must be supplemented with synthetic compounds such as the amino acid methionine to make sure the chickens stay relatively healthy.
To be fair, it could be worse. 100% vegetarian fed chickens are at least not fed slaughterhouse-by-products or processed animal feces. Though, let’s be honest, that seems a pretty low bar to set.
Don’t be tricked by labeling and marketing. Chickens are not vegetarian so don’t pay more just because a carton of eggs says “100% vegetarian-fed” and don’t think you’re necessarily getting something healthier if you do. Instead opt for local, pasture-raised eggs whenever possible. If you can, get to know your local farmer - that’s the best way to know you’re getting high quality food and the animals are being treated well.
Want to know more about those sneaky labels? As part of our 90-Day Total Body Transformation Program, you’ll receive a glossary of terms often used on labels. You’ll finally know what they mean and whether you should even care. You’ll also get our exclusive Food Quality Spectrums that clearly breakdown how to pick the highest quality, healthiest foods within each food group (dairy, meat, fish, oils, vegetables, fruit - you name it, we got it). You’ll no longer have to worry abut tricky marketing tactics! Set up your free initial consult now to learn more!